Objectives: A mapping exercise was undertaken to determine how HTA is being described and conducted across the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA), with the aim of harmonizing terminologies and approaches.
Methods: Three progressive surveys were undertaken. In 2010, INAHTA agencies were asked to provide details on all of their HTA products. In 2013, additional information was sought on key methodological characteristics of five of the most common HTA product types. Subsequently, final agreement was sought on three proposed product types.
Results: Forty-five HTA agencies responded to at least one of the surveys. In 2010, twenty-one agencies reported publishing over seventy named HTA products. Core domains associated with full HTA reports were reported by a third of agencies but were labeled differently, so products were classified according to product type (n = 17). Agencies producing short, tailored products increased between 2010 and 2013, with the publication of rapid reviews doubling from 33 percent to 66 percent. In 2013, half of the agencies adapted their common HTA products from documents produced by other agencies. A consensus (>70 percent) was achieved on definitions for HTA reports, mini-HTAs, and rapid reviews.
Conclusions: The product label for an HTA is not always indicative of its content. Terminology has, therefore, been agreed to make explicit the trade-off between rigor and timeliness in three common HTA product types. An INAHTA Product Type (IPT) Mark has been created to identify each of these. It is hoped this will further facilitate HTA adaptation between agencies and reduce duplication of effort.
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