13 September 2018

Today’s decision of the European Parliament ENVI Committee to adopt compromise amendments on the European Commission’s proposal on HTA cooperation shows strong cross-party MEP commitment to accelerate the progress towards a harmonised framework of Health Technology Assessment in the EU. The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) welcomes the advances made and calls on the Member States and the Council to overcome oppositions and seek compromise solutions within the current legislative term.

“ECPC is proud to have created momentum on the European Union cooperation on HTA during the process of amending the regulation 726/2004*, which was voted by the ENVI Committee and the European Parliament in the first quarter of 2016,” said ECPC President Francesco de Lorenzo. 

The European Cancer Patient Coalition supported MEPs Elisabetta Gardini and Alberto Cirio, authors of amendments who shared ECPC proposal for the amendments to the Regulation 726/2004, that called for further integration of HTA systems in Europe, following over 20 years of EU voluntary cooperation in the area.

The proposed EU regulation on HTA presents an opportunity to address the fragmentation of HTA systems, as well as reducing disparities in access to innovative treatments and diagnostics across Europe. 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.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition is pleased to see that the MEPs have taken into consideration suggestion of some Member States to complement the clinical evidence used in JCAs as part of national appraisal processes. This shows commitment to ensure that JCAs become a reality in the EU and driving the momentum.

“Now, ECPC, as the initiator of a move towards more cooperative HTA process in the EU and the voice of over 400 cancer patient organisations, will continue to work with its members at national level and in Brussels to have the Regulation approved by the European Institutions, and then applied in the Member States. This Regulation is a big success for cancer patients, as it will overcome disparities, reduce barriers to accessing innovative treatment, recognise the true value of new therapies, and improve the sustainability of healthcare systems,” said ECPC President Francesco de Lorenzo.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition will take the lead in driving the discussion forward ahead of the plenary vote with an event in the European Parliament “HTA & Access to Innovative Oncology Drugs in Europe” on September 25th at 14:30 – 16:40.

Click here to download the statement