The most time-consuming IQWiG products are the reports as intermediate results are also published and interested parties may submit comments. Reports contain recommendations to support policy decisions by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA).
Production of reports (simplified):
- Selection of the topic: A report is always initiated by a commission from the G-BA or the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), either of which specifies the research question.
- Formation of a project group: The project group formulates the scientific research question and the outcomes for the project in agreement with the contracting agency and possibly also with external experts.
- Production of the report plan: The report plan is a project outline that summarizes the key aspects of the assessment procedure.
- Commenting procedure on the report plan: The draft of the report plan is published, so that all interested parties have the opportunity to submit comments. These comments are then incorporated into the report plan, which forms the basis of the report production and is included in the preliminary report.
- Information retrieval and scientific evaluation: Based on the criteria laid down in the report plan, scientific publications and additional information are searched worldwide, retrieved and screened. Researchers also evaluate the reliability of the results, i.e. the informative value of the data presented.
- Publication of the preliminary results: The preliminary results of the search and of the scientific evaluation are then first published as a preliminary report.
- Commenting procedure on the preliminary report: Every interested party (people, institutions or companies) may submit comments on the preliminary results.
- Production of the final report: The comments are considered in the revision of the preliminary report. The resulting final report is published together with the documentation of the comments.
- Production of an addendum if needed: If further need for work on the commission arises during the consultations on a final report (e.g. if new studies are published), the contracting agency can commission IQWiG with a subsequent addendum.