European collaboration on relative effectiveness assessments: What is needed to be successful?

Sarah Kleijnen*, Wil Toenders, Folkert de Groot, Mirjana Huic, Elisabeth George, Beate Wieseler, Mira Pavlovic, Anna Bucsics, Paolo D. Siviero, Martin van der Graaff, Rafał Rdzany, Finn Børlum Kristensen, Wim Goettsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

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Objective: The objective of this study is to identify the possible barriers and critical success factors for the implementation of European collaboration in the field of relative effectiveness assessment (REA) of drugs. Methods: Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with representatives from eight European health technology assessment (HTA) organisations involved in assessment of drugs for coverage decision-making (AAZ, AIFA, AHTAPol, HAS, HVB, IQWIG, NICE and ZiN). Results: Potential barriers identified mainly relate to methodology, resources and challenges with implementation in the respective national processes (e.g. legal restrictions). The most critical success factors for production of cross-border assessments were the continuous cooperation of competent partners, and the quality and timely availability of the assessment. Conclusion: Further adaptation of the process and methods is required for optimal collaboration. In the near future it can be expected that cross-border assessments will meet in particular the needs of smaller/middle-sized European countries and also European countries with less developed HTA systems as the potential efficiency/quality gains are the highest for these countries. Therefore, national implementation of cross-border assessments is especially likely in these countries in the coming years. Once more experience is gained with cross-border assessments, and successes become more evident, efficiency/quality gains may also be likely for some larger countries with well established processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)569-576
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2015



  • European collaboration
  • Health technology assessment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Reimbursement
  • Relative effectiveness
  • Relative effectiveness assessment

Cite this

Kleijnen, S., Toenders, W., de Groot, F., Huic, M., George, E., Wieseler, B., Pavlovic, M., Bucsics, A., Siviero, P. D., van der Graaff, M., Rdzany, R., Kristensen, F. B., & Goettsch, W. (2015). European collaboration on relative effectiveness assessments: What is needed to be successful? Health Policy, 119(5), 569-576.