Health technology assessment

Policy

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is way of assessing the ways science & technology are used in healthcare and disease prevention. It covers medical, social, economic, and ethical issues.

It provides policy-makers with objective information, so they can formulate health policies that are safe, effective, patient-focused and cost-effective.

HTA should be transparent, unbiased, robust and systematic - firmly rooted in research and the scientific method.

Diagnostic and treatment methods, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, rehabilitation & prevention methods, but also organisational and support systems used to deliver healthcare are examples of Health Technologies.

European cooperation on health technology assessment

HTA is an important part of evidence-based health decision-making in most EU countries. To enhance cooperation between countries, the Commission:

  • has set up a permanent, voluntary HTA network in Europe. The network aims to:
    • facilitate efficient use of HTA resources in Europe
    • create a sustainable system of HTA knowledge sharing
    • promote good practice in HTA methods and processes
  • supports EUnetHTA's "Joint Action 3" on HTA, with funding from the EU health programme: EUnetHTA – European network for health technology assessment

Strengthening EU cooperation on HTA

In its work programme for 2017, the European Commission announced that it would introduce an initiative on strengthening EU cooperation on HTA. This follows from the work programme for 2016, where the Commission had stated its intention to enhance consultation on HTA to improve the functioning of the single market for health products.