President's Blog

President’s Blog: May 2015


It’s only just under a month until HTAi 2015 in Oslo and the meeting is foremost in our thoughts.

Over 1000 HTA practitioners and policy makers will discuss ‘Global Efforts in Knowledge Transfer: HTA to Health Policy and Practice’. Lancet Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton and Norwegian Knowledge Centre researcher Andrew Oxman will share the stage with the Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie, high profile plenary speakers, 30 panels, and hundreds of oral and poster sessions. On June 13-14, we will also host two-days of pre-meeting workshops.

With the support of the Norwegian Knowledge Centre and HTA agencies from Sweden, Denmark and Finland, we are preparing to welcome delegates from over 55 countries. The Secretariat is currently managing a surge in registrants, with the number confirmed towering this time last year. I must say, if you haven’t already, best to confirm your attendance and accommodation soon.

Behind the scenes, HTAi Interest Groups are also planning for your arrival. The ten HTAi Groups serve as experience-sharing hubs among HTA producers and users worldwide and they have a powerful role in promoting HTA in the areas of Conditional Coverage/Access with Evidence Development, Disinvestment and Early Awareness, Ethics, Hospital-based HTA, HTA-Regulatory Interactions, HTA in Developing Countries, Early Career Network, Information Resources, Patient and Citizen Involvement and the Impact of Public Health Interventions and Nutrition.

Several of these Groups and their members have provided expert input into the Annual Meeting’s scientific program. But the impact of the work of the interest groups goes beyond this. Of special note is our Patient/Citizen Involvement group. They have developed practical tools for the implementation of Values and Quality Standards for patient involvement in HTA. They are going to present these at a panel to discuss progress made over the past year in implementing these values and standards in both established and emerging HTA agencies, across various countries. I have the utmost admiration for all the people actively involved in the Interest Groups. They give their precious time and energy to work on behalf of all of us in the Society. The Groups are also holding business meetings (mainly during lunch breaks) and social activities, such as the ice-breaker hosted by our Early Career Network ISG on Sunday, June 14. An extensive list of ISG sessions and events will be available on our final program online, in print and within our wonderful conference App.

Please also consider attending our Annual General Meeting on June 15. I’ll be presenting the HTAi 2015-20 Strategic Plan and welcoming several new people to the HTAi board, including Vice President Sean Tunis, Treasurer Don Juzwishin, Secretary Americo Cicchetti and Director David Grainger. And my best wishes will extend to Guy Maddern who will take my place as President after the meeting.

Finally, a word of special thanks and appreciation to all our members, partner organizations and event sponsors who have been spreading the word to colleagues about our fantastic conference building up the excitement. We feel the enthusiasm and I hope that each and every one of you will too when you join us in June.

See you in Oslo!

Carole Longson

President, HTAi