‘Policy Sandbox’ event to develop HTA methods guidance for COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments

HTx holds its first ‘Policy Sandbox’ event to develop HTA methods guidance for COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments

On August 8th, 2021, 22 HTA stakeholder representatives took part in policy sandbox event organised by HTx partners led by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The event focused on the development of interim guidance to support HTA agencies when assessing treatments and diagnostics for COVID-19 in response to the challenges identified at a previous HTx workshop on May 24th, 2021. Participants included representatives of HTA agencies, clinical experts, patient advocates, pharmaceutical and diagnostics manufacturers, health economists, healthcare payers and the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

The development of this guidance followed the Innovation of HTA Methods (IHTAM) Framework, which was developed by the University of Utrecht team as part of HTx Work Package 1. 

At the event, the HTx team presented an overview of the HTx project and the IHTAM Framework. The team then presented the case for innovative guidance for COVID-19 technologies and the methods that have been followed to develop a first draft of such guidance. The draft guidance was the subject of the main, interactive part of the workshop. Participants were invited to critically comment on the guidance during 4 discussion sessions, each dedicated to a specific key topic (e.g., “assessing value for money”), and were encouraged to propose changes and additions to improve the proposals. In addition, participants added comments and suggestions to an interactive ‘live’ whiteboard. 

The draft guidance will now be revised and finalised with input from the sandbox participants, ready to proceed to the “implementation” phase of the IHTAM Framework.