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The (optional) scientific debate

If aspects from the written comments remain unclear, the Institute can hold an additional scientific debate.

Such a debate

  • is limited to: persons who have submitted comments and whose personal appearance is required to clarify questions, Institute staff members, external experts and external reviewers. The Institute may limit the number of representatives per comment. This information is provided together with the invitation to the debate.
  • is conducted in the form of a discussion round.
  • is not public.
  • is recorded in the meeting minutes: IQWiG prepares an audio recording and written minutes of the meeting. The minutes are published on the Institute's website together with the comments. Participants are not permitted to make audio recordings.
  • is conducted in German. Simultaneous interpretation into other languages is not possible.

If a debate is planned, the date is published, subject to reservation, on the project website as soon as the hearing procedure is opened. If the debate takes place, the invitations will be sent to the above-mentioned group of participants. If no debate takes place (because the Institute does not consider it necessary), all those submitting comments will receive a written cancellation.  In the case of the methods paper, information on the date of a planned debate is provided after the comments have been reviewed. After the deadline for submitting comments has expired, the required participants will be explicitly invited in writing, usually 10 working days before the date set by the Institute. If the debate takes place for a health economic evaluation according to §35b SGB V, the participants are invited at least 5 working days before the date of the debate.

Travel expenses are generally not reimbursed.

In exceptional cases, it is possible to be represented by a person previously named to the Institute.

The debate is recorded as a verbatim recording by a minute-taker from the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia on behalf of IQWiG. The written minutes are published in a separate document "Documentation of the hearing" or "Documentation and evaluation of the hearing" on the project or methods paper webpage. If we deem it necessary, previously unpublished documents will also be published in full text if they were attached to a comment as evidence or if they were mentioned in the course of the debate and subsequently provided after a request by IQWiG.


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