Experts in the field of health value assessment from both public and private sectors gathered in the Health for Juan and Juana Forum Series 2, to put spotlight on the value of innovation, dialogue, and multi-stakeholder participation as the way forward in the country’s strategy to improve health outcomes.
More than 350 people attended the webinar with theme “Health as an Investment” to widen understanding on sound Health Technology Assessment (HTA) principles and models, and draw lessons from them as the Philippines crafts its own fit-for-purpose value assessment processes.
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) together with its partners, recently conducted the forum to gain perspectives from government, patients, healthcare professionals, and international value assessment groups to discuss shared values in HTA as well as models that put patients and multi-stakeholder engagement at the center of policies.
“We must keep in mind that value assessments should include all outcomes that matter to patients and families and society. What matters to us is that we are given hope that there is a chance for a cure or that there will be major health improvement for our condition,” said Mr. Teodoro Padilla, PHAP Executive Director. “What matters is being able to treat a disease with very few options or even prevent outbreaks and pandemics.”
The webinar focused on HTA as a tool for access to new vaccines, tests and treatments, evaluating their value beyond cost-effectiveness. The webinar provided opportunities for participants to share their understanding of HTA and its impact on them.
In the forum, Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Vice President of International Advocacy Dr. Kevin Haninger highlighted the value of innovative medicines and key attributes of a well-functioning HTA system.
“Transparency, flexibility, stakeholder engagement, and patient access are key attributes of a well-functioning value assessment system,” said Dr. Haninger.
Sound HTA is an integral component of an effective and efficient implementation of Universal Health Care. In the Philippines, HTA has been explicitly included in the National Health Insurance Law of 1995 and in the Universal Health Care Act signed by President Duterte in February 2019.
COVID-19 highlighted the importance of the implementation of UHC provisions, such as HTA, and a collaborative environment in order to innovate the public healthcare system.
“HTA is the tool that will help the government meet its objective of equity in healthcare services through the National Healthcare System,” reminded Dr. Maria Encarnita Limpin, Vice President of Philippine College of Physicians. “From the physician’s point of view, HTA should ensure that healthcare services provided are of good quality. Quality should not be compromised over quantity.”
Both the CCPh and the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations believe that integral to the success of the HTA process is patient involvement.
“Patients have something to say about all aspects of HTA but the most important thing they can contribute is a description of the benefits or unwanted effects of a healthcare technology”, stated Einstein Rojas, a board member of PAPO.
“In order for health technology to be appropriate, feasible and driven by public health goals, it should be designed in coordination with both public and private sector, and most importantly with the community, patients and healthcare providers”, said former Health Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral during her closing remarks.