Involvement of Patients and Medical Professionals in the Assessment of Relative Effectiveness: A Need for Closer Cooperation

Paulus Lips*, Lonneke Timmers, Roland Bal, Diana Delnoij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Objectives: Involvement of patients and medical professionals in assessment of relative effectiveness (relative effectiveness assessment) contributes to an efficient and effective health technology assessment (HTA) process and supports acceptance and implementation of the outcome. This study aimed to analyze stakeholder involvement in assessing relative effectiveness and how the parties involved value this collaboration. Methods: This is a document analysis of all drug assessments completed in 2019 (20) by the public HTA agency of The Netherlands, enriched with semistructured interviews with employees of the HTA agency (18) and representatives of patient (5) and medical (11) associations involved in these assessments. Data were analyzed, coded, and categorized. Results: In almost half of the assessments, there was no coordination with the medical associations at the start of the relative effectiveness assessment and no patient associations involved in this phase. During the assessment procedure, patient and medical associations were always asked to comment on the draft report. Nevertheless, the strict 5-day deadline that the HTA agency uses as a response period often hampered a proper response and involvement. According to interviewees of the HTA agency, this leads to a great diversity in the substantive quality of their input. Patient and medical associations indicated that the HTA agency relies too much on “paper knowledge,” which leads to a (perceived) lack of alignment with clinical practice. Conclusions: The limited involvement results in a lack of coordination and mutual trust. Optimizing involvement of patients and medical professionals in HTA practice requires effort from all parties involved. Procedural adjustments and better coordination, especially at the start of the assessment, would probably improve cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1488
Number of pages9
JournalValue in Health
Issue number9
Early online date9 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding/Support: Zorginstituut Nederland (ZIN) funded this research project.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, Inc.


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