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Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2014 Jul;30(3):306-11. doi: 10.1017/S0266462314000282. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

Patient perspective in health technology assessment of pharmaceuticals in Finland.

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University of Helsinki,Faculty of Pharmacy,Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy.
Finnish Medicines Agency.



The need to consider the patient perspective in health technology assessments (HTA) has been widely recognized. In July 2012, the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) published a national recommendation for integrating the patient perspective into the HTAs of pharmaceuticals. The aim of this study is to describe the development of the recommendation for integrating the patient perspective into the HTA process of pharmaceuticals in Finland.


The development of the recommendation was based on a review of international recommendations and experiences of patient and public involvement in HTA. The draft recommendation was tested in two focus group discussions (n = 7 patients) and three individual interviews among diabetes patients (type 1 or 2) using long-acting insulin treatment. The recommendation was open for public consultation in April 2012 and revised according to the comments received.


Patients will be involved in multiple stages of Fimea's HTA process. The recommendation includes step-by-step instructions on how to assess the patient perspective. The main focus is on qualitative interviews, which will be conducted at the beginning of the assessments to gain information, particularly on patient preferences and values, including positive and negative outcomes important to patients and ethical and social aspects of the medicine's use.


The recommendation will act as a tool to integrate patients' experiences, needs and preferences into Fimea's HTAs of pharmaceuticals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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