An exciting time is ahead for Health Technology Assessment international; we believe, a defining one.
Over the past few months, the Directors of the Board have settled into their new roles and the Secretariat has welcomed a new Managing Director, Lucy Turner. Together, along with the many committees and volunteers involved in HTAi, we are focused on laying the groundwork for better engagement within the Society for our members as well as our global partners.
I must say we are in good standing to move forward on both fronts. HTAi 2015 Annual Meeting was an overwhelming success. We hosted over 900 delegates from over 55 different countries this past June in Oslo, Norway. We tackled Global Efforts in Knowledge Transfer: Health Technology Assessment to Health Policy and Practice in three plenaries, 30 panels and hundreds of oral presentations and posters along with a keynote address from The Lancet editor-in-chief, Richard Horton. When surveyed over the summer, 99 per cent of respondents rated their overall experience and the scientific content favourably and we could not be more pleased.
In May 2016, we will host 1000 thought leaders focused on HTA in Tokyo, Japan for our 2016 Annual Meeting. We will welcome parties invested in the production and implementation of HTA from Japan, neighbouring countries in Asia and around the world. This year’s theme is Informing Health Care Decisions with Values and Evidence with sub-themes focused on Unlocking the Value Potential of New Technologies in Health Care, Waste in Science and Global Experiences in Universal Health Coverage. Abstracts are due in November. We look forward to your contributions.
We are also hosting three Policy Fora in the upcoming months: Asia Policy Forum (October 29-30, 2015), Main Policy Forum (January 31-February 2) and the Latin Policy Forum in South America in April.
There has been much focus our Interest Groups recently too. You’ll find a representative from each of the 10 groups on the International Scientific Programme Committee, led by co-chairs Iñaki Gutierrez Ibarluzea and Isao Kamae, for the 2016 Annual Meeting. Each IG will also have the opportunity to be involved in the review of abstracts as well. The IG Steering Committee has also been reinitiated under the guidance of HTAi Vice President Sean Tunis and has invited all IG chairs to partake.
Internationally, HTAi is actively engaged with the World Health Organization since recently gaining official relations status as a non-governmental organization. We are sending representatives to the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific this month in Hagåtña, Guam and upcoming consultation meetings in Geneva, Switzerland. We also continue to collaborate with our partners, Euroscan, INAHTA and ISQua and expand our efforts to work with like-minded organizations in support of HTA promotion.
An exciting time, indeed.