Exploring the Effect of COVID-19 on HTA Bodies Now and in the Future

Chair: Matthew Brougham, Senior Global Consultant, Certara Evidence and Access
Iñaki Gutiérrez Ibarluzea, President, HTAi and Director of Innovation, Basque Foundation for Health Innovation and Research (BIOEF)
Michelle Mujoomdar, Director, Scientific Affairs, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
Lou Garrison, Professor, Departments of Pharmacy, Global Health and Health Services, University of Washington
Date: July 14, 2020
Time: 11:00 am ET
Duration: 1 hour

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and so many questions remain, including around how it is affecting health technology assessment (HTA) bodies. HTA bodies report that they have had to ramp up and are increasingly relying on smaller evidence sets. Going forward the priorities for and speed of assessments, particularly for vaccines, is likely to increase. On top of this, economies struggling with significantly increased levels of debt may respond by tightening budgets outside communicable diseases thus affecting assessment priorities, methods and recommendations.

During this panel, we will explore how the pandemic is affecting HTA bodies in Europe and NA now and how it might affect them and their processes in the future. We’ve invited HTA and pharmaceutical market experts to provide their insights on the following questions:

  • How are HTA bodies around the world responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Is there any early evidence of changes to process and priorities? If so, what are they?
  • How are processes and priorities likely to change moving forward?
  • Will tighter budgets, should they arise, change process, priorities, and assessments?
  • What other impacts might this pandemic have on the pharmaceutical industry?
  • Will some therapeutic areas be more affected than others?
  • Might HTA body assessment processes weight impacts of new health technologies differently?
  • Will the COVID-19 pandemic experience have any impact more broadly on societal preferences/decision-making weights and, thus, resource allocation decisions?
  • Should the COVID-19 pandemic have an impact on HTA process and/or societal preferences?

About Our Speakers

Iñaki Gutiérrez Ibarluzea earned a BSc and MSc in Sciences from the University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, Doctor in Sciences (NeuroScience) from the same university, Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health and Masters in Bioethics from the University Ramon Llul and the Institute Borja of Bioethics. Iñaki is also an associate professor in the School of Nursing of Osakidetza Basque Health Service and works with the University of the Basque Country and the Open University of Catalonia in different academic activities. He has also participated as an advisor in different call for funds at the local, regional, country (Spain, Poland, Korea and UK) and the European Union levels (FP7, COST and Horizon 2020).

Michelle Mujoomdar has held several leadership roles since joining CADTH in 2008. In 2013, Michelle joined CADTH’s Evidence Standards team as Director, Scientific Affairs where she has accountability for the quality of CADTH’s work. In this role, she also has oversight for CADTH’s Scientific Advice programme and Patient Engagement activities. Michelle returned to CADTH in 2018 following a 19-month secondment to the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) where she served as EUnetHTA’s Senior Scientific Officer. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment. Michelle holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Dalhousie University, Canada.

Lou Garrison is Professor Emeritus in The Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics Institute in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington. For the first 13 years of his career, Dr. Garrison worked in non-profit health policy at Battelle and then the Project HOPE Center for Health Affairs, where he was the Director from 1989-1992. Following this, he worked as an economist in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years. From 2002-2004, he was Vice President and Head of Health Economics & Strategic Pricing in Roche Pharmaceuticals, based in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Garrison received a BA in Economics from Indiana University, and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. He has more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Matthew Brougham holds science degrees in Zoology (BSc hons, University of Otago, NZ) and Natural resource management (MSc hons, Canterbury University, NZ) and a post graduate diploma in Health Economics (Dip. Health Econ., University of Tromso, Norway). His professional background includes 17 years in senior public sector positions in New Zealand and Canada including 3 years as Vice President of CADTH (Canada’s health technology assessment agency) and 5 years as Chief Executive of PHARMAC (New Zealand’s universal drug benefit program). He is an expert in the scientific, economic and financial analysis essential for efficient and equitable allocation of public and private resources and has applied this expertise primarily to the health sector – in particular, pharmaceutical benefit program management and design.

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