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EBC will be present at the upcoming third European Patient Advocacy Summit, organised by Pfizer. The 2021 capability strengthening programme will focus on patient participation in Health Technology Assessment (HTA), with an emphasis on involvement in early stages of the process and the future impact of an EU-wide HTA. The summit will be organised in three sessions via Webex, to be held on October 6, 13 and 20 from 2.30pm to 5.00pm C.E.T.

HTAs assess whether a new pharmaceutical innovation works better, equally well, or worse than existing alternatives, while also considering its cost implications for the patient and impact on healthcare systems. As patients know what it is like to live with a disease and have the needed experiential knowledge on existing treatments and the desirability of innovations, patient involvement is crucial at an early stage to ensure the full integration of patient perspective into HTA outcomes. This includes involvement in early dialogues, working to identify technologies, up to the development of the assessment by helping to set the scope and formulate research questions. However, the type and level of patient involvement in early dialogue and assessments is varied across Europe, reflecting the different rationale, motivation and approach applied in each country.

Such differences aim to be tackled within the soon-to be adopted regulation for an EU-wide HTA, as Member States will be called out to better cooperate, work towards joint clinical assessments and identify emerging health technologies together. It’s important that patient organisations understand the implications of this new legislative framework on their engagement activities, to best approach and integrate themselves within this complex, yet vital HTA process.

With this in mind, this Summit aims to empower your voice as a patient organisation in your national and pan-EU HTA processes, by helping you to strengthen the advocacy skills needed to participate. Practical workshop sessions will recap the importance of patient participation, provide an overview of the significance of the upcoming EU-wide HTA legislation, explain where early dialogues and assessments fit into the overall HTA process and approaches to achieving effective patient input and practical examples of best practice.

EBC will be represented by its Executive Director, Frédéric Destrebecq, presenting “The patient voice is at the core of Europe’s rapidly evolving health policy landscape”.