Introducing new health interventions

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7533.64 (Published 12 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:64
  1. John Gabbay, emeritus professor (jg3@soton.ac.uk),
  2. Tom Walley, professor of clinical pharmacology
  1. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX
  2. Departmentt of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GF

    There's still a long way to go to get health technology evidence into practice

    Throughout the world, healthcare innovations have put pressure on limited resources while governments and patients have demanded top quality, yet cost effective, services. This makes it increasingly difficult for anyone who plans, provides, or receives health services to judge which intervention to use—what works, how well, at what cost, for whom, in what circumstances, and with what impact? Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary specialty whose purpose is to bring together the evidence to answer those questions.1 It boasts a thriving international scientific society (Health Technology Assessment International; www.htai.org) and a global network of more than 40 public sector agencies (International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment; www.inahta.org). It evaluates the costs, effectiveness, and sometimes the wider impact of any intervention used in the care of patients, including medicines, devices, techniques, and skills. In the UK, for example, the HTA programme (www.ncchta.org) has produced more than 300 reports that have had an impact on services, including novel research as well as syntheses of evidence …

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