We all are faced with an unprecedented situation, a reminder of how fragile we as individuals are, how fragile our societies remain. EUnetHTA is a network of specialists, dedicated in their own jurisdictions to excellence and the support of their individual health care systems. EUnetHTA derives its strength from its diversity, from the ability to collaborate across borders, the willingness of its members to share experiences and learn from each other. It is in times like these that we need to remain strong as partners in a network, and as partners we need to stand together with those who need help, regardless of the country in which they are facing the challenges and grave realities this virus has brought.
EUnetHTA has reached out to international bodies such as WHO, OECD, ECDC and national organisations offering to support their tasks where our remits and resources allow us to do so. In our activities we commit to the non-duplication of any work already done and ensure that we are not interfering with the work others are already conducting.
Where our network can help its members we should strive to do so, where we can help beyond our national borders we should not be hesitant in reaching out. Europe is built on solidarity. Now, more than ever, it is upon us to prove with our actions that Europe is carried by its citizens.
We specifically want to share our thoughts and support with those countries and communities, with health care professionals and family members, who are facing the dark and heavy burden COVID-19 has placed on our societies. We want to encourage ourselves and our partners to support each other where need be, and where necessary to make the impossible possible.
EUnetHTA, as a network, will continue with its mission and tasks. At the same time, we recognise that in light of the above, many of our specialists have to focus on tasks more pertinent to the immediate needs that our health care systems require. We therefore wish to inform that:
EUnetHTA Assessments both for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices / Other Technologies might face delays in their publication due to the impact COVID-19 measures have on our authoring teams. Any delays will be communicated with the relevant partners as soon as we become aware of them.
EUnetHTA Early Dialogues will, for the next few weeks, be put under additional scrutiny to prioritise the needed resources to be used in other capacities in their various national settings to respond to the current emergency. This is likely to result in an overall reduction, or temporary suspension for new requests of Early Dialogues conducted during this exceptional crisis situation (most likely March and April batches). Nevertheless, the EUnetHTA EDs that have been accepted up to and including the February 2020 batch will be taken forward according to the original timeline of the specific ED as much as possible. The EUnetHTA ED Secretariat will engage proactively with applicants, to provide all necessary guidance and clarifications.
Marcus C. Guardian