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Key reflections from ISPOR Europe 2023

Whether you made it to ISPOR Europe 2023 in Copenhagen this year, or weren’t able to attend, the team at Valid Insight, part of Bioscript Group, have condensed key highlights from the conference. Here you can find reflections on the issues likely to have the biggest impact in HEOR and market access. What are the key trends that will define the landscape in the years to come? 

Clarity on how the JCA will impact HTAs across the EU 

Of course, the dominating factor for ISPOR Europe 2023 was the Joint Clinical Assessment (JCA) and the impact of this on health technology assessment (HTA) across EU.   

The conference brought the opportunity to delve into the key concepts and previous unknowns associated with the JCA. Particularly enlightening was a session that discussed some of the finer details of the assessment process, including the number of expected PICOs, timelines, company responses, and the balance of national HTAs vs the JCA process.  

There was also clarity on the impact of the JCA on medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics. However, with digital health innovations moving rapidly, questions were raised on whether a “one-size fits all” approach is really needed, or if flexibility should be incorporated to account for the nuanced nature of these technologies? 

Another key consideration was the impact of patients on the JCA, with a presentation session demonstrating the importance of training patients in engagement, to allow them to optimise their impact on the HTA process and the industry in general. With patient input important in defining the PICO, the President of ISPOR, Brian O’Rourke, quoted Stephen Covey during his keynote plenary session: “Begin with the end in mind.” If patients are the ‘end’ that the industry has in mind, there is much work to do to ensure they feel engaged and can contribute readily to the new processes. 

A penny for your data 

Another hot topic was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Despite discussions on the use of AI in both HTA and health economics, it seems that AI algorithms are not in a place to substitute decision-making, either from a systematic literature review (SLR) or HTA perspective. Where AI can support is in the collection of real-world data (RWD), particularly in lower- and middle-income countries where standard processes for capturing RWD are costly. 

There could also be a role for AI in utilising social media, which Valid Insight has significant expertise in; our team recently contributed to a study on patient perception and self-reported outcomes in ophthalmology, analysing patient social media posts. In this sense, AI can be a cost-effective way of capturing large data sets, which are relevant and up to date. Social media listening was also described as a potential solution to support decision making in these markets and can be used internally by industry to help demonstrate product value. 

Sustainability in HTA assessments 

Another topic at the conference was environmental sustainability. This has been on the agenda for several years – we presented at ISPOR 2022 on the shift to sustainability in tendering and contracting. 

Interest from payers in sustainability is expected to rise over the next five years, with countries like Germany, Sweden and France leading the way. Several companies are moving towards more sustainable practices. However, a common perspective is that enhancing product sustainability comes at a price, which should be factored in when comparing products. The discussions at ISPOR demonstrated that when this is not directly linked to a specific product, it becomes challenging to directly assess this in a comparative HTA.  

Organisations can consider sustainability in pharmaceutical pricing by incorporating impact assessments, quantifying environmental costs and benefits, using cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) with environmental impact, and considering sustainability-adjusted life years. However, this complexity led to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) stating during discussions that it is not ready to incorporate environmental sustainability in pricing negotiations, and it is not an option in the near future. 

So… what’s next? 

As the market access and HEOR landscape continues to evolve, the complexities brought by new processes, guidance and technologies demand a strategic approach.  

Valid Insight, part of Bioscript Group, is on hand to assist you in navigating these challenges, offering tailored solutions for your specific needs.  

If you want to discuss any key takeaways from this conference, drop us a message with the word ‘ISPOR’ at and our specialists will be happy to help in any way possible. 

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