Objectives: The aim of this study was to obtain information on rapid health technology assessments (HTAs) prepared by members of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA).
Methods: A questionnaire was prepared, drawing on earlier INAHTA documents for recording HTA impact. A request for responses was sent to member agencies, seeking information on rapid HTA reports prepared during 2006.
Results: Responses were provided on fifteen rapid HTAs, which covered both new and widely distributed technologies. The most common purpose for the HTAs (n = 8) was to inform coverage decisions, but other reasons included capital funding, formulary decisions, referral for treatment, program operation, guideline formulation, influence on routine practice, and indications for further research. All the rapid HTAs were considered by the agencies to have had some influence. The most common indications of influence were consideration by the decision maker, use of the HTA as reference material (both n = 10), and acceptance of recommendations or conclusions (n = 8).
Conclusions: Rapid HTAs are used for a broad range of technologies, to inform several types of decision, and are effective in informing the decision-making process. Supplementation of their findings by further assessments will be appropriate in some cases.
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