July 1, 2020
Horizon Scanning for Covid19 medicines and vaccines is established in Austria
On March 30, 2020, a request was raised by the Austrian Ministry of Health and other Austrian policy stakeholders to set up a Horizon Scanning System (HSS) for medicines and vaccines for potential use for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. The establishment of the HSS for Covid19 interventions has the intentions of:

  • Informing health-policy-makers at an early stage which interventions (vaccinations and drugs) are currently undergoing clinical trials, and
  • Monitoring them over the next few months to support evidence-based purchasing, if necessary
To respond to this request, the following steps were taken:

  • As a first step a repository, based on international sources, is built
  • As a second step, selective search in study registries is carried out for information on clinical studies in human beings and the state of research;
  • This information forms the basis for "vignettes" (short descriptions) for medicines that are already in an "advanced" stage
  • Consequently, the medicines are monitored with regard to the status of the clinical studies up to approval and finally evaluated for their benefit and harm

All steps are conducted in close international (European) cooperation.

Covid19 HSS Version 1 was issued in April 2020, and it included inventory and short descriptions for the products in an "advanced" stage. Further versions include monthly monitoring and updates.

The Covid19 Horizon Scanning System is published at the web site of the Austrian Institute of the Health Technology Assessment (AIHTA). The last available version is of June 2020 (version 3).

See the full details here.

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