Patient involvement in the process of producing health technology assessments has become increasingly important. In the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA), several approaches to patient involvement were explored. The outcome was a document on “Patient Input in Relative Effectiveness Assessments” that is available for access and was published in 2019.
The aim of this article is to analyze the experience gained by EUnetHTA in patient involvement for EUnetHTA assessment production, describe and quantify the approaches used, and outline the challenges and avenues for the improvement of current processes.
Patients were involved in twenty-three of thirty-six pharmaceutical and other technology EUnetHTA assessments from June 2016 until the end of November 2019. Approaches to patient involvement included using a patient input template, one-on-one conversations, group conversations, scoping meeting with patients, and other approaches.
Although it is recognized that patient involvement is important to understand the needs of the target patient population, challenges remain with timely patient involvement. Additionally, further efforts are needed to guide assessment teams on how to implement and enhance the visibility of patient input in assessments.