The general objective of this complimentary Joint Action on Health Technology Assessment (JA2) is to strengthen the practical application of tools and approaches to cross-border HTA collaboration. The JA2 aims at bringing collaboration to a higher level resulting in better understanding for the Commission and Member States (MS) of the ways to establish a sustainable structure for HTA in the EU.
Specifically, the JA2 will develop a general strategy, principles and an implementation proposal for a sustainable European HTA collaboration according to the requirements of Article 15 of the Directive for cross-border healthcare.
The JA2 is a response to an explicit request by EU and MS for a sustainable network for HTA, now formalised in the above mentioned Directive. Article 15 requires the EU to support and facilitate cooperation in HTA through a voluntary network of HTA institutions from the MS. The proposed JA2 is of particular strategic relevance for the implementation of the Directive within the next few years. It provides a test on the capacity of national HTA institutions to cooperate in specific assessments (including rapid ones) within a network structure and on the utilisation of common structured HTA information in the production of local reports. Pilot work will deliver information on the added value and costs of collaboration and provide experience regarding the management and functioning of the network. Thus, the JA2 provides the empirical basis needed by the Commission and the MS to make decisions regarding the design and running of the voluntary HTA network within the framework of Article 15.
The JA2 will have two interrelated streams of activity. The “production” stream (WP4 and WP5) and the structure and methodological consolidation stream (WP2, WP6, WP7 and WP8). The JA2 builds upon the activities in the EUnetHTA Project 2006-08, EUnetHTA Collaboration 2009 and particularly on the evolving activities in the current JA on HTA (JA1).
In the production stream HTA Core information (including rapid assessments) for priority technologies (i.e. those for which information needs are identified by the partners) will be produced collaboratively based on the methods and recommendations generated in the EUnetHTA Project and the current JA1. The Core information will be then used to produce local HTA reports accounting for national context-specific issues.
In the second stream the information and knowledge management tools developed during JA1 will be refined and finalised and additional methodologies, guidelines and models developed. Experiences from the pilots in the production stream will be accounted for. Manufacturers will be specifically involved in the development of a data template for submissions. Finally, specific training of partners and stakeholders on the use of EUnetHTA tools is also included.
The main outcome will be the consolidation of the permanent network for HTA in Europe resulting from recognition of its added value. Exchange of information among agencies is increased and unnecessary duplication of work is reduced. Availability of Core HTAs allows agencies to redirect resources to the methodologically sound assessment of context-dependent aspects increasing HTA responsiveness to the needs of decision-makers (i.e. timely provision of locally relevant information).
The gains from and investments needed to participate in collaboration are known to HTA organisations, the Commission and the MS. The experiences and the information generated feeds into the decision-making process related to the transposition of the Directive on CBHC through recommendations regarding the design and management of the future EU HTA cooperation process.