In 2004 the legislator planted IQWiG right in the middle of the established scientific community. The new Institute’s remit was to assess medical interventions in an independent and evidence-based manner. IQWiG took this legal remit seriously– and still does – and in the beginning therefore had to face considerable opposition. Today these initial problems are of only historical relevance. The Institute fulfils its scientific responsibilities within the framework of various national and international collaborations, and holds an established place in the healthcare System.
Methodological foundations laid
At an early stage, IQWiG’s founding director ensured that the procedures and methodological foundations of the Institute’s work were documented in a transparent manner. This formed a reliable basis for the Institute’s work, which meanwhile is even appreciated by the German social courts. In open discussion, IQWiG has continuously further developed this scientific basis. It has partly adopted new methodological developments and partly developed its own necessary specifications.
Verdicts of the German Federal Social Court
Two verdicts of the German Federal Social Court had a signal effect. One in March 2011 confirmed the so-called “warranted correctness” (“Richtigkeitsgewähr”) of IQWiG’s assessments, which were assessed to be conformable to law. A second verdict of December 2012 confirmed that the Institute had carefully evaluated the relevant studies available.
Establishment, committees, and more: the legal basis
The main legal framework for the establishment of IQWiG, its structure and committees, its funding, as well as its working procedures and responsibilities are outlined in Social Code Book V (SGB V). In addition, individual laws or rules of procedure supplement the Institute’s legal foundation.