Objectives: To report on a workshop, and subsequent discussions, that reviewed the achievements and progress of the EuroScan collaboration since its establishment in 1999 to share information on the methods and results of early identification and assessment of new and emerging health technologies; considered challenges to the collaboration; and discussed its possible future direction.
Methods: A workshop was held in Stockholm in September 2006, with thirty-two participants from ten countries and representatives from EuroScan member agencies, policy makers involved in policy or decision making relating to new technologies, and invited external commentators from international HTA networks. The workshop used a mix of presentations, panel and audience discussions, and small group work to consider the achievements and challenges put forward.
Results: EuroScan has developed as a sustainable network, and has made progress on all tasks in its initial action plan, with the EuroScan information sharing database on new and emerging technologies being one of the collaboration's key achievements. Identified immediate concerns for the network included consideration of the impact of its current name and membership model; acknowledgement and publication of the full range of benefits of membership; contribution to and development of the database to encourage increased information sharing; and EuroScan's ongoing interaction with the wider HTA world.
Conclusions: The workshop was a useful mechanism for reviewing the work of EuroScan and for creating a platform to take the collaboration forward. The workshop affirmed the benefits of the network to individual members; posed some significant challenges to the network to consider; and acted as a stimulus for an interim name change to better represent the global membership, and a major review of the EuroScan database of identified and assessed emerging health technologies.