A recent study found highly-variable times among European countries to reach health technology assessment decisions to reimburse new cancer treatments approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to a press release from the European Society for Medical Oncology. The study was to be revealed at ESMO 2018 Congress.
Researchers, according to the release, identified EMA-approved cancer drugs to treat solid tumors between January 2007 and December 2016, then measured how long after approval it took for four countries (England, France, Germany and Scotland) to make HTA decisions.
Of 47 drugs OK’d for 77 solid tumor indications, the median time between EMA approval and HTA decisions among the latter health authorities was about two to three times longer in England and Scotland compared to Germany in France.
The researchers found England took about 405 days; Scotland took about 384 days; Germany came in at 209 days; and France was the quickest at 118 days.
“In contrast to the centralized approval of anticancer drugs by the EMA, the time to HTA decisions remains a national responsibility,” study co-author Kerstin Vokinger, University Hospital of Zurich senior research scientist, said. “Among other things, the different amount of resources invested in such assessments and different national regulations regarding HTA systems may lead to variation in the time from EMA approval to HTA decisions in different countries.”