Enabling Equal Access to Molecular Diagnostics: What Are the Implications for Policy and Health Technology Assessment?

Juliette Plun-Favreau, Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous, Lotte Steuten, Anja Strootker, Roman Rouzier, Denis Horgan, Mark Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


Molecular diagnostics can offer important benefits to patients and are a key enabler of the integration of personalised medicine into health care systems. However, despite their promise, few molecular diagnostics are embedded into clinical practice (especially in Europe) and access to these technologies remains unequal across countries and sometimes even within individual countries. If research translation and the regulatory environments have proven to be more challenging than expected, reimbursement and value assessment remain the main barriers to providing patients with equal access to molecular diagnostics. Unclear or non-existent reimbursement pathways, together with the lack of clear evidence requirements, have led to significant delays in the assessment of molecular diagnostics technologies in certain countries. Additionally, the lack of dedicated diagnostics budgets and the siloed nature of resource allocation within certain health care systems have significantly delayed diagnostics commissioning. This article will consider the perspectives of different stakeholders (patients, health care payers, health care professionals, and manufacturers) on the provision of a research-enabled, patient-focused molecular diagnostics platform that supports optimal patient care. Through the discussion of specific case studies, and building on the experience from countries that have successfully integrated molecular diagnostics into clinical practice, this article will discuss the necessary evolutions in policy and health technology assessment to ensure that patients can have equal access to appropriate molecular diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-52
JournalPublic health genomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2016


  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Europe
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Pathology, Molecular
  • Precision Medicine
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Journal Article


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