June 1-5, 2018


PLENARY ONE – Sunday, June 3, 2018

Decision-Oriented Evidence: Uncertainties And Opportunities

The pace of technological development in health and the desire to maximize efficiency in health care has created challenges for decision makers. Evidence-informed policy requires that credible research inform health policy decisions. Ideally, HTA should reduce the uncertainty inherent in health care decision making and indicate where substantial uncertainty remains. Nevertheless, competing goals for decision making (e.g., scientific rigor, timeliness, relevance) and important externalities (e.g., accelerated regulatory approval pathways) lead to different judgements about what the evidence means for practice. HTA is defined as an interdisciplinary activity, yet its approaches to handling and addressing uncertainty in evidence have, for the most part, been limited to approaches developed for assessing clinical studies and conducting econometric evaluations. This plenary will challenge the audience to consider: Where is the uncertainty in evidence for health system decision making? What challenges does it raise in making judgements? What insights can HTA gather from the ways in which other disciplines think about and deal with different types of and standards for evidence? What changes must the HTA community make to the manner by which it generates, synthesizes and presents evidence in order to remain relevant?

Dr. Chris McCabe
, Executive Director and CEO, Institute of Health Economics, Canada

Dr. Rachel Sachs
, Associate Professor of Law, Washington University, USA
Jon Brassey, Trip Database Ltd., UK
Dr. Jeremy Howick, Senior Researcher & Director, Oxford Empathy Programme, University of Oxford, UK


PLENARY TWO – Monday, June 4, 2018

Bridging The Knowledge-To-Action Gap: Effective Strategies For Implementing Evidence-Informed Health Policy And Practice

Evidence is of limited value until it is used to improve the health outcomes for individuals and populations. While a variety of other factors inevitably influences decisions at the individual, organizational and system levels, evidence should be a key determinant for policy-making and action. It is often cited that it takes 17 years for evidence to get into practice; surely, we can do better. This plenary aims to unfold the recesses at the interface between research, policy and practice in order to explore the challenges to evidence-informed decisions, whether these decisions are at the macro, meso, or micro level. By means of case studies of health systems that are using HTA to support better health, better patient experience and better value, this session will demonstrate that the gap between evidence and implementation can be bridged.

Dr. Anne Kolbe
, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, New Zealand

Dr. Joshua Tepper
, President and CEO, Health Quality Ontario, Canada
Dr. Holger Schunemann, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine, McMaster University, Canada
Dr. Dame Denise Coia, Chairman, NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland, UK
Marguerite Koster, Senior Manager, Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) Services, Kaiser Permanente, USA


PLENARY THREE – Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Connecting The Dots: Essential Elements Of An Efficient HTA Ecosystem

The graphic, summarizing the discussion in plenary III is available for download HERE.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This saying, derived from an African proverb, nicely articulates an opportunity for the global HTA community. It is increasingly clear that HTA participation must expand beyond scientists, researchers, and clinicians in order to achieve maximum impact. Many HTA organizations worldwide are already engaging patients and the public. There is no reason to stop engagement activities there. There are many others with whom the HTA community may wish to develop partnerships, including regulators, guideline developers and those who work in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and text mining, to name but a few. This plenary will explore what is needed in order for an evidence-to-action ecosystem to be effective and efficient, who (else) needs to be involved to reap the benefits that broader engagement can bring, and how can such an approach be sustained, over time and across geo-political borders. We will identify examples of where the evidence-to-action ecosystem is working well, where the ecosystem could be strengthened through concerted efforts to better “connect the dots” and what linkages need to be established. As we learned in childhood, the more dots we connect, the clearer the picture becomes.

Dr. Stirling Bryan
, Vancouver Coastal Health and University of British Columbia, Canada

Nicholas Brooke, Founder/Executive Director, The Synergist Patient Focussed Medicines Development
Dr. Máirín Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive and Director HTA, HIQA, Ireland
Dr. Alicia Granados, Head Global HTA & Scientific Strategy, Sanofi Genzyme, Spain
Dr. Robyn Lim, Senior Science Advisor, Health Products and Food Branch, Canada