Dr. Matthias Perleth
INAHTA Board Treasurer (2018-2020)
In accordance with the INAHTA strategic plan, my vision for INAHTA directorship is to contribute to the goal of cultivating awareness of INAHTA, especially to the objectives 4 (“Develop and implement a marketing [external] & communications plan [internal]”) and 5 (“Create & implement a process to develop and ratify INAHTA position statements”) in conjunction with objective 7 (“Strengthen and grow the network”). Awareness implies better visibility. Increased visibility, however, should not be achieved by means of spectacular actions but rather by way of continuously providing meaningful input to discussions and developments. Therefore, position statements and marketing activities deserve more attention. Regarding the development of membership, INAHTA in my opinion should reach out to yet underrepresented regions (Africa, Asia, USA, Eastern Europe, Middle East). Cooperation with WHO might help building relationships with potential member agencies.
I fully support the World Health Assembly resolution 67.23 (2014) on Health intervention and technology assessment in support of universal health coverage. Among others, the resolution stresses “the critical role of independent health intervention and technology assessment, as multidisciplinary policy research, in generating evidence to inform prioritization, selection, introduction, distribution, and management of interventions for health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and rehabilitation and palliation”. INAHTA and WHO could increase their cooperation in order to work on this and other goals mentioned in the resolution.
Another of my special interests includes bringing together the world of assessing evidence with the world of decision-making, precisely: promoting the use of GRADE and Evidence to decision frameworks within HTA bodies. GRADE is “a common, sensible and transparent approach to grading quality (or certainty) of evidence and strength of recommendations”. INAHTA might consider officially endorsing the GRADE Working Group (as other international networks and organizations already do). There should be a discussion process within INAHTA and member agencies as to what extent the GRADE approach might be helpful in daily practice and in health politics. INAHTA could become an important disseminator of this approach among member agencies.