The proposed legislation – which has been three years in the making – provides for a creating a co-ordination group that will work on joint clinical assessments and joint scientific consultations on health technologies. The Co-ordination group will bring together national health authorities from the 27 EU member states.
The group will be able to carry out HTA, which allows authorities to determine the relative effectiveness of new or existing health technologies (i.e. medical devices such as pacemakers, medical and surgical procedures, and measures for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases used in healthcare), as well as make evidence-based decisions on the pricing or reimbursement of these technologies.
“The negotiating mandate adopted today [25 March] represents an important milestone,” said Portugal’s Health Minister Marta Temido, who is chairing the EU Health Council for the current semester. “Once adopted, the regulation on health technology assessment will be a major step forward in health. It will provide a robust framework for co-operation, to the benefit of member states, industry, and, above all, citizens.”
Having an HTA at the European level means that member states can collaborate under four pillars, says the proposal: joint clinical assessment, joint scientific consultation, identification of emerging health technologies and voluntary cooperation in other areas.
And Brussels notes that these enhanced assessments ‘can lead to innovative and effective health tools reaching patients faster’, according to Euractiv.com.
Euractiv.com adds that with the mandate agreed today by the ambassadors of the 27 member states and given to the Portuguese presidency, negotiations with the European Parliament can start immediately.
Health technology, such as that used to gather lifestyle data (fitbits, for example), could play a key role in helping to personalise the insurance industry, says Swiss Re’s Global Chief Medical Officer Dr John Schoonbee.