European Medicines Agency and EUnetHTA Joint Action start collaboration on European Public Assessment Report (EPAR) contribution to relative effectiveness assessments
The European Medicines Agency and representatives from the European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) Joint Action met in London on 11 February 2010 for the first of a series of workshops. This initiates a new collaboration, in which the European Medicines Agency and EUnetHTA will be considering how the European Public Assessment Report (EPAR) could make a better contribution to the assessment of relative effectiveness by health technology assessment bodies in the EU Member States.
Relative effectiveness assessments are increasingly used in the European Member States to help policy makers to identify the most valuable medicines. The collaboration between the European Medicines Agency and EUnetHTA addresses one of the recommendations made by the Pharmaceutical Forum to improve the availability and best use of data relevant to relative effectiveness assessment.
Focus of collaboration will be the EPARs, which are published by the European Medicines Agency for every medicine authorised through the centralised procedure in the European Union. The EPARs reflect the scientific conclusions reached by the Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) at the end of the evaluation process, after deletion of commercially confidential information.
The European Medicines Agency and EUnetHTA will be considering how the information on the assessment of the risks and the benefits of a medicine contained in the EPARs can best be used in the assessment of the relative effectiveness of new medicines carried out by health technology assessment bodies in the Member States.
This new collaboration is in line with a broader initiative at the European Medicines Agency aimed at facilitating access to EPAR information by stakeholders. As part of this, the CHMP recently revised its assessment report templates and continues to look at new ways to improve the transparency of the scientific assessment.
The European Medicines Agency and the EUnetHTA Joint Action also agreed to explore other areas of possible collaboration or exchange of information in future.