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European commission opens consultation on EU health technology assessment co-operation
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, Department of Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacy, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels 1040, Belgium;richard.price{at}

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The European Commission is inviting stakeholders and civil society to provide comment and feedback on plans to enhance cooperation between European Union (EU) member states in the area of health technology assessment (HTA).

Health technology assessment (HTA) measures the added value of a new health technology in comparison to existing technologies/current standard of care. HTA is defined as a multidisciplinary process that summarises information in a systematic, unbiased and robust manner about the medical, economic, organisational, social and ethical issues related to the use of a health technology. The goal of HTA is to support decision makers at national, regional or local level in their efforts to ensure that patients are treated with the best available treatment while keeping the health budgets under control/in balance. HTA also encourages economic stakeholders to focus their research on areas where they expect significant innovation.

The Commission's consultation is particularly interested in receiving experiences of the current operation of HTA systems, improving understanding of stakeholder needs (including those of healthcare professionals), and achieving public scrutiny of the suggested future of EU HTA cooperation set out in an ‘Inception Impact Assessment' document.

The deadline for comments to be received is 13th January 2017.

Second meeting of COST Action on medicines shortages takes place in Bucharest

Over 35 experts, from 22 countries, across a wide mix of disciplines, recently met in Bucharest, Romania, for the second meeting of the COST Action on medicines shortages.

A COST Action is an initiative of the long-standing European programme ‘Cooperation in Science and Technology'. Operating for over 40 years, the programme gives scientists the opportunity to embark upon bottom-up, multidisciplinary cooperation across all science and technology domains. A COST Action on the topic of medicines shortages launched in April 2016 and set itself the tasks of:

  • Improving understanding of the medicines shortages landscape in Europe (led by Prof Dr Isabelle Huys, Belgium); …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.