3 October 2018

Today’s decision of the European Parliament to adopt HTA legislation marks the progress towards greater cooperation on Health Technology Assessment in Europe but fails to recognise patients as equal partners in the decision-making processes concerning their lives.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) welcomes the European Parliament decision to adopt legislation for health technology assessment cooperation in the EU.

The Health Technology Assessment regulation would be a win for cancer patients, as it will help overcome disparities, reduce barriers to accessing innovative treatment, recognise the true value of new therapies, and improve the sustainability of national healthcare systems. Improving HTA and strengthening cooperation across countries will also provide better estimates of the medical and social value of new therapies and medicines.

Mandatory cooperation and uptake of Joint Clinical Assessment (JCA) reports is the best approach for successful cooperation in this field, in order to provide equal and timely access to valuable cancer therapies which offer the most value to patients and national healthcare systems. We appreciate steps taken by the European Parliament to address some of the concerns of the Member States expressed regarding mandatory aspect and call for a constructive dialogue to overcome challenges of the legislative file and to make sure that Joint Clinical Assessments become a reality in the European Union without detrimental delay.

Although patient participation has been addressed in compromise amendments, it does not provide for adequate patient participation in the new EU HTA cooperation framework. The European Cancer Patient Coalition regrets the decision by the Members of the European Parliament to reject formalisation of patient organisation involvement as equal and credible members of the Coordination Group.  Patients have unique knowledge, perspectives and experiences, and are the ultimate beneficiaries of medical technologies, therefore patient representation is essential at all levels of decision-making for decisions directly affecting the health and lives of patients.

Every member state wants to do the best it can for its citizens, in healthcare as in other state responsibilities. Further discussions should point the way forward – for the benefit of European patients and citizens by having their involvement in the process.

Going forward, the European Cancer Patient Coalition and the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine calls on the Member States and the Council to do everything they can to ensure compromise before the current legislative term ends.

Click here to download the Joint Statement.