Discussion Paper | December 2020 | Download PDF

As 2019 drew to close, Health Action International (HAI), like many of its peers, looked back on a year of minimal progress on the issue of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) reform and challenged 2020 to be the year that would break the impasse. Instead the HTA file was one of many to be put on the backburner whilst COVID-19 wreaked havoc on populations, economies and healthcare systems, redirecting Member States’ resources and redefining the political agenda. This delay is concerning to HAI: we believe joint HTA is an important development in access to medicines and believe that increased participation will encourage transparency and the sharing of information and expertise across the continent. In fact, the COVID-19 crisis itself highlighted the place for joint HTA in handling cross-border health threats and how data sharing is critical to the expeditious research and development (R&D) needed to meet urgent challenges–something that the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool is also seeking to champion. As a result, one year on from our expression of hope that 2020 would bring progress, we were pleasantly surprised to see the German Presidency of the European Union (EU) ending its term in a flurry of action.

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