The EuroScan International Network does not presently have a role in holding discussions with individual companies about emerging health technologies. If you are a company and wish to notify health services of emerging health technologies, you should contact the relevant individual EuroScan International Network members.
The EuroScan International Network’s guidelines on interactions with industry for members was accepted by members in November 2013.
EuroScan – The International Information Network on New and Emerging Health Technologies is a collaborative network of early awareness and alert (EAA) systems that exchanges information on new and emerging health technologies. EAA, horizon scanning or forecasting systems are the first stage of health technology assessment (HTA). They facilitate the rational adoption of new technologies in health care by providing policy makers with timely information on the potential consequences of the introduction of these technologies into the health care system. They also inform commissioners of potential future research requirements.
To enable this process, interaction with external individuals and groups is essential. One of the most important interactions is with industry – pharmaceutical companies, device companies and manufacturers of diagnostic tests. However, it is recognized that working with these industries can be problematic due to differing purposes and conflicts of interest. Members of EAA systems need accurate and up-to-date information that is often commercially sensitive and need to remain independent from commercial interests.
This position paper presents recommendations for interaction between industry and EuroScan member agencies. These recommendations aim to cultivate positive contacts and to ensure that interaction happens on terms acceptable to both parties.
Guideline for interaction
- Members of EAA systems should in all respects remain entirely independent from industry, should act impartially and should not be influenced by social or business relations. Gifts and hospitality from industry should not be accepted.
- Where there is a potential for a private interest to be relevant to the business of EAA systems the relevant interests should be declared, and recorded in the individual EuroScan member’s register. The register should be kept up to date, and available for scrutiny.
- When somebody is providing information to the EuroScan members, the information should be transparent and contain specific conflict of interest (CoI) declaration.
- EuroScan members recognize that some information supplied by industry is considered as ‘commercial in confidence’. Members of EAA systems who receive confidential information from industry should have a policy for maintaining confidentiality.
- Members of EAA systems should maintain a neutral approach towards industry on the identification and prioritization of technologies and to any assessment of impact undertaken.
- The information provided by EAA systems in their assessment of impact should reflect accurately and critically (as from any other source) any information that has been provided by industry, should refer to the source, and should not endorse any particular product or company.
- Any assessments of technologies that contain information provided by industry and not generally available could be sent to the relevant industry contact for comment before publication. Members of the individual EAA system will decide how to handle any comments returned.
- The assessments of impact produced by EAA systems remain the responsibility of the individual EAA system, and they have the full authority to decide how they will be published and distributed.