Patient preferences in HTA and payer decision-making: challenges and opportunities


Patient preferences can inform health technology assessment (HTA) and payer decision-making. But application and integration may differ between countries. A recent PREFER publication explores how HTA and payer representatives think patient preferences can be implemented in their own countries. 

HTA representatives from all countries compared in this recent PREFER study find patient preferences useful for investigating trade-offs associated with benefits, risks and administration. But whether patient preferences should influence decision-making depends on the quality of the study.

The PREFER publication identifies several general similarities between countries, and there is lots of interest from HTA and payers. While it may be impossible to achieve structural integration of patient preferences with other evidence in the near future, HTA bodies are willing to incorporate patient preferences as supportive evidence in their assessments. 

“If studies are found to be of sufficient quality, HTA representatives would be happy to include them as evidence for decision-making. Going forward, the challenge will be how to ensure patient preference studies meet HTA needs and how to educate HTA and payer representatives on how these studies work” says Eline van Overbeeke, one of the authors.

By Anna Holm

van Overbeeke, E., Forrester, V., Simoens, S. et al. Use of Patient Preferences in Health Technology Assessment: Perspectives of Canadian, Belgian and German HTA Representatives. Patient, Published Online 28 August 2020,

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