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The role of health technology assessment bodies in shaping drug development

Authors Ciani O, Jommi C

Received 25 July 2014

Accepted for publication 9 September 2014

Published 10 November 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 2273—2281


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Oriana Ciani,1,3 Claudio Jommi1,2

1Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS), Bocconi University, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy; 3University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK

Abstract: The use of health technology assessment (HTA) to inform policy-making is established in most developed countries. Compared to licensing agencies, HTA agencies have different interests and, therefore, different evidence requirements. Criteria for coverage or reimbursement decisions on pharmaceutical compounds vary; however, it is common to include, as part of the HTA, a comparative effectiveness evaluation. This type of clinical data might go beyond that required for market authorization, thus creating an additional evidence gap between the regulatory and the reimbursement submission. The relevance of submissions to HTA agencies is consistently increasing in a pharmaceutical company’s perspective, as market prospects are strongly influenced by third-party payers’ coverage. In this study, we aim to describe current HTA activities with a potential impact throughout the drug development process of pharmaceuticals, with a comparative emphasis on the systems in place in Italy and in the UK. Based on an extensive literature and website review, we identified three major classes of HTA activities, beyond mainstream HTA, with the potential to influence the drug development program: 1) horizon scanning and early HTA; 2) bipartite and tripartite early dialogue between manufacturers, regulators, and HTA assessors; and 3) managed market entry agreements. From early stages of clinical research up to postauthorization studies, there is a trend toward increased collaboration between parties, anticipation of market access evidence collection, and postmarketing risk-sharing. Heterogeneity of HTA practices increases the complexity of the market access environment. Overall, there are signals that market access departments are gaining importance in the pharmaceutical companies, but there is still a lack of evidence and reporting on how the increasing relevance of HTA has reshaped the way clinical development is designed and managed.

Keywords: health technology assessment, horizon scanning, scientific advice, risk sharing, drug development

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