International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

General Essays

European network for Health Technology Assessment, EUnetHTA: Planning, development, and implementation of a sustainable European network for Health Technology Assessment

Finn Børlum Kristensena1, Marjukka Mäkeläa2, Susanna Allgurin Neiktera3, Nina Rehnqvista4, Lise Lund Håheima5, Berit Mørlanda6, Ruairidh Milnea7, Camilla Palmhøj Nielsena8, Reinhard Bussea9, Sun Hae Lee-Robina10, Claudia Wilda11, Mireia Espallarguesa12 and Julia Chamovaa13

for the European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA)

a1 National Board of Health, Copenhagen, Denmark and University of Southern Denmark

a2 National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland and University of Copenhagen

a3 Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care

a4 Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care and Karolinska Institute

a5 Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services

a6 Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services

a7 University of Southampton

a8 National Board of Health, Copenhagen, Denmark and University of Copenhagen

a9 Technische Universität Berlin

a10 French National Authority for Health

a11 Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Health Technology Assessment

a12 Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research

a13 National Board of Health, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract

Objectives: The European network on Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) aimed to produce tangible and practical results to be used in the various phases of health technology assessment and to establish a framework and processes to support this. This article presents the background, objectives, and organization of EUnetHTA, which involved a total of sixty-four partner organizations.

Methods: Establishing an effective and sustainable structure for a transnational network involved many managerial, policy, and methodological tools, according to the objective of each task or Work Package. Transparency in organization, financial transactions, and decision making was a key principle in the management of the Project as was the commitment to appropriately involve stakeholders.

Results: EUnetHTA activities resulted in a clear management and governance structure, efficient partnership, and transnational cooperation. The Project developed a model for sustainable continuation of the EUnetHTA Collaboration.

Conclusions: The EUnetHTA Project achieved its goals by producing a suite of practical tools, a strong network, and plans for continuing the work in a sustainable EUnetHTA Collaboration that facilitates and promotes the use of HTA at national and regional levels. Responsiveness to political developments in Europe should be balanced with maintaining a high level of ambition to promote independent, evidence-based information and well-tested tools for best practice based on a strong network of HTA institutions.

Footnotes

We thank all thirty-four Associated Partners and thirty Collaborating Partners that were involved in EUnetHTA (see Supplementary Tables 1–3, which are available at www.journals.cambridge.org/thc2009004, where all partners are listed and where all other acknowledgements can be found together with acknowledgements for all EUnetHTA articles in this series). The EUnetHTA project was supported by a grant from the European Commission, Agreement number 2005110 (790621). The sole responsibility for the content of this article lies with the authors, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The EUnetHTA Project was led by the Danish Agency for HTA, DACEHTA, in the National Board of Health together with the Executive Committee of Work Package Lead Partner organizations represented in the authorship of this article and with the Steering Committee of all Associate Partners.