Objectives: Since 1997, members of the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) have collaborated on a Joint Project to track the diffusion, evaluation, and clinical policy of positron emission tomography (PET). Part 2 of this updated Joint Project report summarizes HTA-based strategies for directing the clinical use of PET and a discussion on the value of HTA in managing the diffusion of high cost diagnostic technologies, which were presented at an INAHTA-sponsored workshop at the Health Technology Assessment International Annual Meeting in 2004 on strategies for managing high cost diagnostic technologies.
Methods: A summary of the workshop proceedings is presented.
Conclusions: Sharing assessment work, universal agreement in assessment conclusions, stakeholder input, and modeling techniques help manage the uncertainty in the evidence base while targeting clinical use of PET toward the most promising indications. Emphasis on HTA findings, linkage between financing of clinical PET and outcome evaluation, and targeted dissemination of scientific findings empower providers to reduce unnecessary utilization and contain costs within a quality improvement framework. Above all, a trustworthy source of HTA information and a process that is conducive to using scientific evidence as the basis for decision making are essential for managing the diffusion of complex and costly diagnostic technologies in patient care.