Randomized controlled trials provide robust data on the efficacy of interventions rather than on effectiveness. Health technology assessment (HTA) agencies worldwide are thus exploring whether real-world data (RWD) may provide alternative sources of data on effectiveness of interventions. Presently, an overview of HTA agencies’ policies for RWD use in relative effectiveness assessments (REA) is lacking. Objectives:
To review policies of six European HTA agencies on RWD use in REA of drugs. A literature review and stakeholder interviews were conducted to collect information on RWD policies for six agencies:
The following contexts for RWD use in REA of drugs were reviewed:
13 Policy documents were identified and 9 academic publications, and 6 interviews were conducted. Results: Policies for RWD use in REA of drugs notably differed across contexts. Moreover, policies differed between HTA agencies. Such variations might discourage the use of RWD for HTA. Conclusions: To facilitate the use of RWD for HTA across Europe, more alignment of policies seems necessary. Recent articles and project proposals of the European network of HTA may provide a starting point to achieve this.