the netherlands_flag  The Hague, The Netherlands

An active involvement of health care professionals, patients, researchers and healthcare decision-makers is essential in HTA research to identify priorities, perform high quality HTA and facilitate implementation”.
– Véronique Timmerhuis, Director, ZonMw


History and Structure

ZonMw stimulates the entire innovation cycle with a range of grant programmes, since 2001. From fundamental research to the implementation of new treatments, preventive interventions and improvements to the structure of healthcare. ZonMw is an intermediary between research, policy and practice.


Progress requires research and development. ZonMw funds health research and stimulates use of the knowledge developed to help improve health and healthcare in the Netherlands. ZonMw’s main commissioning organisations are the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. In the view of ZonMw, two things are needed to improve health and healthcare in the Netherlands: knowledge, and the actual use of knowledge. In selecting grant proposals, ZonMw always looks for a combination of added value  and quality. This is the only way to deal with the complex challenges we face in society today, and to ensure that clients receive affordable, high standard care. ZonMw always strives for the best result.

How ZonMw Works

HTA is key in several ZonMw programs, the most important being:

1.  Efficiency Studies

Dutch decision-makers in health care practice and policy have to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of health care interventions. The ZonMw programme Efficiency studies provides new knowledge about effectiveness and costs of interventions. Thus contributing to the evidence base needed to make decisions about the introduction of innovative interventions or the abolishment of less efficient interventions in order to achieve good quality, affordable health care.

For more information about the Efficiency Studies and projects granted see: (In Dutch)


2. Medicines

In 2012, the Dutch Ministry of Health provided means for the funding of research addressing gaps in society’s knowledge about the optimal use of pharmacotherapy. The Medicines programme aims at optimising effective, safe and efficient use of existing medicines (i.e. pharmacological treatments authorised for the Dutch market). Questions concerning the use of medication in daily practice are a central theme. Pre-registration drug development research cannot be financed by this programme.

The programme has open calls for studies designed towards different aspects of pharmacotherapy including (cost-)efficiency, reducing/stopping, compliance, polypharmacy and extension of indications. Widespread dissemination and practical application of the generated knowledge is crucial in delivering health benefits to patients, improving the quality of care, and saving unnecessary costs. The programme also helps the start-up of registries that focus on pharmacotherapy in daily practice. These registries provide healthcare professionals with feedback information and collect data for research towards rational pharmacotherapy.

For more information about the Medicines Programme and projects granted see: (in Dutch) (in Dutch)


Dissemination Activities

The true value of practice oriented scientific research only becomes apparent when the results are incorporated in clinical practice or health care policy.  The HTA programmes, therefore, focus on dissemination and implementation of results in e.g. professional guidelines (in Dutch). Dissemination activities include the publications of annual reports, TA-reports and research findings through various media, newsletters, website and peer-reviewed literature. There is an active policy to achieve implementation of the results of the projects. The importance of implementation is recognized both on the level of the programme as on the level of the separate projects.

Recent Publications:

For more information about recent publications see: (in Dutch)

Current Projects

Projects can be searched through the ZonMw website (in Dutch). Some projects have a summary in English.

Future Plans

The Efficiency Studies Programme and the Medicines Programme both focus on the collaboration with stakeholders like patient representatives, healthcare professionals and insurers to further improve dissemination and implementation of results in, amongst others, professional guidelines.


Agency Information

Country: The Netherlands
Description of population served: The Netherlands
Population served (mil): 16.8
Current HTA budget (mil USD): $36 M
Permanent staff: 50
Consultants: variable
Ongoing TA projects: 350

Contact Information

Director: Mrs. Véronique Timmerhuis
Contact person: Mrs. Mariëlle Snijders

The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
P.O. Box 93245
NL-2509 AE The Hague The Netherlands

Tel: +31 70 349 5260
Fax: +31 70 349 5389