HTA reshaping: rethinking the health technology assessment framework in Portugal

Translated title of the contribution: Reformulação da ATS: repensando o quadro da avaliação de tecnologias da saúde em Portugal

João Pereira, Joana Alves, Bernardo Rodrigues, Ricardo Caetano, Pedro Brito-Cruz, Joana Sousa, Branca Barata

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Introduction: Health technology assessment (HTA) aims to provide decision makers with relevant data to make informed choices. Recent changes in the Portuguese HTA framework have altered substantially the assessment methodology with regard to economic evaluation, with potential impacts on access and process efficiency. The HTA Reshaping Project had as its main objective informing the debate on HTA in Portugal, thereby identifying improvement opportunities and solutions to the HTA framework that address future challenges. Methods: The project comprised several phases, i.e., (1) mapping and evaluation of different HTA frameworks across Europe, identifying best practices and key variables to consider in future frameworks; (2) conduction of in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders (n = 11); and (3) development of 2 workshops - one with young professionals (n = 12) and another with relevant HTA stakeholders (n = 19) - to consolidate and further explore vital elements of HTA, aimed at brainstorming ideas and developing solutions to improve some of the most critical points, with a view to addressing future challenges. Results: The comparison of HTA frameworks showed that their purpose and sophistication vary across European countries. For example, the need for economic evidence is not unanimous, and reimbursement agreements vary considerably. Among the stakeholders interviewed there was a high level of agreement on priorities that should be addressed, e.g., expanding and creating national level registries and assuring patient participation throughout the HTA process. The possibility of using managed entry agreements to enhance patients' access, applying multi-indication pricing for medicines with different therapeutic values per indication, and improvement of registry/system interoperability gathered a moderate level of agreement. Conclusions: The Portuguese HTA framework might be further adapted to upcoming challenges and should evolve to improve access to innovative therapies. There is still a long path towards the convergence of HTA frameworks in EU member states.

Translated title of the contributionReformulação da ATS: repensando o quadro da avaliação de tecnologias da saúde em Portugal
Original languageMultiple languages
Pages (from-to)36–47
JournalPortuguese Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Economic evaluation
  • Health financing
  • Health technology assessment
  • Innovative medicines
  • Market access


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