In the face of an unprecedented situation, it is essential that researched, timely and reliable information be made available to inform all stakeholders, whether they be healthcare professionals or the general public, to help develop a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, EUnetHTA has taken the decision to prioritise COVID-19-related initiatives above other work for the remaining duration of Joint Action 3, that being until the end of May, 2021.
In terms of COVID-19 products, EUnetHTA are producing ‘Rolling Collaborative Reviews’ for therapeutic treatments and ‘Rapid Collaborative Reviews’ for diagnostic testing and therapeutic treatments. These are evidence-based reports that inform policy, decision-making, and health service planning. Their primary objective is to provide decision-makers with a timely synthesis of available evidence on the comparative effectiveness and safety or diagnostic accuracy of health technologies (diagnostic, therapeutic, etc.) for the management of the current pandemic, with continuous updates as research evolves.
Note: With the official end of EUnetHTA Joint Action 3 it has been decided, in consultation with the responsible authors, to discontinue the updating and publication of Rolling Collaborative Reviews on COVID-19 as of October 2021. Please note that for RCR20 on High-dose vitamin D and RCR21 on Mavrilimumab a final update may follow, depending on publication of available data.
Disclaimer: The EUnetHTA 21 Secretariat will be solely responsible for the publication of the remaining RCRs, but not their content.
What is the rationale for EUnetHTA collaboration in this area?
EUnetHTA comprises a network that spans more than 80 HTA partners across Europe, and is thus well-positioned to mobilise its resources to carry out key functions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of EU cooperation to safeguard the health of EU citizens, and the HTA community should contribute the best available scientific research, where possible, to this response.
By prioritising COVID-19 related work, EUnetHTA is:
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EUnetHTA is working to output ‘Rolling Collaborative Reviews (RCR)’. The objective of such reviews is to provide decision-makers with a timely synthesis of available evidence on the comparative effectiveness of therapeutic health technologies relevant to the management of the current pandemic.
The aim of EUnetHTA ‘Rolling Collaborative Reviews’ (RCR) is:
The scope of the RCR is of a descriptive nature. These EUnetHTA Rolling Procedures are not meant to substitute a joint REA adhering to the agreed procedures, aiming at critical appraisal of the clinical evidence submitted for approval.
Please access the RCR project plan and all separate RCR documents, updated on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, here.
The objective of the EUnetHTA outputs around COVID-19 health technologies, such as the Rolling and Rapid Collaborative Reviews, is to support decision-makers with timely information about the comparative evidence. Whereas the Rolling Collaborative Reviews are updated on a (bi-)monthly basis, the Rapid Collaborative Reviews are no living documents. However, in certain cases it can be worthwhile to update the Rapid Collaborative Reviews.
Reasons for updating could be:
Reasons for not updating the EUnetHTA review could be:
Please note that case-by-case decisions for updates are made within the assessment team. During the COVID-19 pandemic it became clear that both national/regional agencies, but also EUnetHTA, have to prioritise their scarce resources. Therefore, a priority setting of policy questions is important. This could mean that only certain EUnetHTA reviews will undergo an update procedure.
Rapid Collaborative Reviews (named PTRCRXX in pharmaceutical technologies and RCROTXX in other technologies) are more comparable to a REA than the Rolling Collaborative Reviews (RCR), but are a slimmer version. In the Rapid Collaborative Reviews an assessment team (author, co-author, dedicated reviewers) is built, which conducts a systematic literature review and a synthesis of the evidence while following a similar reporting template as to the REAs. Also, for a Rapid Collaborative Review a PICO is established. Rapid Collaborative Reviews however, are not living documents like the RCRs and will only be updated on a case-by-case basis. For COVID-19 treatments, the Rapid Collaborative Reviews can be a follow-up from the RCR and will use the information that report as a starting point.
Current Rapid Collaborative Reviews on diagnostics
Current Rapid Collaborative Reviews on treatments
EUnetHTA partner organisations are located across Europe and work to develop and implement health care policy and response at the national, regional, and European levels. As such, we are well positioned to contribute to the knowledge pool for both the current pandemic and for the institutional response to those that may occur in the future. We are, therefore, developing a repository to connect stakeholders with COVID-19 information from EUnetHTA network partners.
The COVID-19 information repository will connect stakeholders with data from EUnetHTA network partners, with information categorised under the following areas, accessible via the above category links.
This will be a ‘work in progress’ as we accrue data while the response to COVID-19 evolves, so please bookmark this page for quick reference as we build out the links.
For any questions, please contact the EUnetHTA Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
For EUnetHTA’s general statements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow these links:
Statement from the EUnetHTA Secretariat on COVID-19
EUnetHTA Response to COVID-19
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