Horizon Scanning
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Horizon Scanning

Horizon scanning is the process which allows the identification of new and emerging medical products by systematic analysis of pipeline health technologies, typically before they reach the market, and before the HTA process. Early identification of new medicines enables the assessment of their potential relevance and impact on the healthcare system, as well as the identification of possible threats and opportunities, thus allowing for pro-active policymaking better budgetary planning in the healthcare system.

 A horizon scanning system was set up within the Pharmaceutical Policy and EU Affairs Unit at the Directorate for Pharmaceutical Affairs in 2020 with the aim of performing horizon scanning activities within the context of pharmaceutical policy. The horizon scanning system at DPA will be used to improve strategic and financial planning and decision-making by providing timely, early intelligence on new medicines which are not yet licensed.

After receiving and evaluating a request for horizon scanning the urgency of the request is determined and a time-frame for a reply is decided upon. Information is then gathered from a number of publicly available sources including horizon scanning information from other EU member states, the European Medical Agency and online pharmaceutical databases. Information may also be submitted directly by pharmaceutical industry stakeholders. The gathered information is then compiled into a report and relevant data is stored in a database which enables quick filtering and sorting of data. The horizon scanning system can provide information on pharmacological classification, indications, epidemiology and estimated patient numbers, treatment alternatives, expected impact on the National Health Service, EU orphan drug status, expected placement in clinical guidelines, research development phase and expected launch period amongst other things.

 For further information please contact us on dpa.strategyandpolicy@gov.mt