Independent. Patient-orientated. Evidence-based.
These are the most important principles of IQWiG's work. Below we describe in brief how we implement these principles in our benefit assessments. You will find detailed information on our work procedures in the Institute's methods papers.
- We conduct our scientific work in an independent manner. The contents of our reports cannot be influenced by industry, health insurance funds, or public authorities.
- Everyone involved in working on an Institute report must disclose all relationships which could influence the work and the results (conflicts of interest).
- The main criterion in the assessment of an examination or treatment method is the benefit for the patients. Does the intervention prolong life or reduce symptoms? Does it improve the quality of life of the patient? To answer these questions, we regularly ask affected patients about their perspective.
- Moreover, in the assessment the question arises as to how patients weight different aspects (e.g. pain reduction or side effects). IQWiG therefore tested methods for determining such patient preferences.
- The Institute provides neutral health information on current medical knowledge so that patients can make informed decisions on healthcare interventions.
- In IQWiG’s “Themencheck Medizin" (Topic check medicine) members of the public can propose medical topics for the assessment of examination and treatment procedures. If a proposal refers to an urgent and still open medical question, a so-called HTA report is produced in collaboration with external researchers.
- Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an important basis of our work. It denotes health care that is not based solely on personal opinions and conventions, but on proof (evidence). Our reports are therefore based on scientific evidence from the medical literature worldwide.
- We regularly include medical experts in our assessments. This ensures that knowledge from every-day health care is also considered in our reports.
- As a scientific institute we cooperate closely with other research institutions and networks on a national and international level.
- We not only publish the final results of our assessments, but also the intermediate stages of a report: the draft of the protocol (report plan) and the preliminary results (preliminary report). All interested parties can submit comments on these intermediate stages.
- We inform about new assessments, updates and opportunities for participation (comments, calls for tender) via the IQWiG info service (German only).