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HIQA begins HTA of smoking interventions

This follows a request from the Department of Health for HIQA to examine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of different treatments to help people quit smoking. The results of this HTA will inform health policy decisions about potential improvements to the provision of smoking cessation services within Ireland’s public health service.

In 2014, prevalence of smoking in Ireland was 19.5 per cent, having decreased from 21.5 per cent in 2013. Prevalence was higher among men and in lower socioeconomic groups.

One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease, while healthcare costs in treating tobacco-related diseases plus lost productivity amount to between €1 billion and €2 billion annually.

HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment Dr Máirín Ryan said: “HIQA’s mandate as an independent statutory authority is to drive continuous improvement in Ireland’s health and social care services…By conducting this HTA, HIQA will be in a position to provide impartial, expert advice on the value (clinical and economic) of a range of smoking cessation therapies to ensure the best outcome for the public and a prudent use of resources.”

According to the Authority, the HTA evaluation team will be advised by an expert advisory group (EAG) during the course of this assessment, which will also review the team’s outputs.

Interested parties will be invited to submit feedback via a public consultation on a draft HTA report before it is finalised and submitted as advice to the Minister for Health and the HSE.

The Terms of Reference of the HTA include describing the range of smoking cessation therapies available and advising on the optimal use of interventions by the HSE.

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