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 for each comment. This information is provided together with the invitation to the debate.
  • is conducted in the form of a round table discussion.
  • is not public.
  • is documented. IQWiG provides an audio recording and a verbatim record. The verbatim record is published on the Institute’s website together with the comments in the “Documentation of the hearing on the [report plan/preliminary report/preliminary basic report]”. The participants are not allowed to make audio recordings.
  • is conducted in German. Simultaneous interpretation into other languages is not possible.

If a debate is conducted, the date is published on the project webpage at the beginning of the hearing procedure (see "Schedule" section). After the deadline for submitting comments has expired, the required participants are normally explicitly invited in writing 10 working days before the deadline set by the Institute.

If the debate is on a health economic evaluation pursuant to §35b SGB V, the participants are invited at least 5 working days before the date.

Travel costs are usually not reimbursed.

In exceptional cases, a participant can be substituted by another person named to the Institute before the debate.

The debate is literally recorded by a minute-taker of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament on behalf of IQWiG. The verbatim record is published (in a separate document "Documentation of the hearing") on the project webpage.

If we deem it necessary, previously unpublished documents (attached to a comment as evidence or mentioned during the debate and subsequently requested by IQWiG and made available) are also published in full text.

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