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09.01.2020 | Editorial | Ausgabe 3/2020 Open Access

The European Journal of Health Economics 3/2020

Advanced therapy medicinal products: value judgement and ethical evaluation in health technology assessment

The European Journal of Health Economics > Ausgabe 3/2020
Elisabete Gonçalves
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Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are a heterogeneous class of medicinal products that by offering the potential of cure represent a paradigm shift in the approach of many life-threatening diseases. Although a common regulatory framework for ATMPs has been established in the EU, the health technology assessment (HTA) and financing decisions remain local. The aim of this article is to present an integrated analysis of the current status of the value judgment of ATMPs and the integration of ethical evaluation in the HTA process. It has been identified that approaching the specificities of ATMPs in terms of market access will require a broadening of the definition of value to be able to systematically capture elements of value not traditionally considered. Outcomes modelling will play an important role in the pricing and reimbursement of ATMPs, providing a way to bridge the gap caused by the absence of data from clinical studies or real-world data. Given the nature and disruptive consequences of ATMPs the assessment and adoption of these medicinal products raises important ethical questions, both at a policy and at society level that should be properly addressed. HTA can be made more transparent and reliable, and simultaneously promote robust and accountable decision making, by turning explicit the value judgments implicit in HTA. Ultimately, there should be no core conflict between ethical requirements and HTA in a scenario where the goal is to promote equity and access of patients to truly innovative therapies such as ATMPs, while assuring the sustainability of healthcare systems.

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