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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 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. However, IQWiG provides an audio recording and a verbatim record, which are published on the Institute’s website together with the comments. The participants are not allowed to make audio recordings.
  • is conducted in German. Simultaneous interpretation into other languages is not possible.
  • requires the participants’ prior submission of the “Form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest” in the original version.

If a debate is conducted, the Institute usually sends a written invitation to the required participants 10 working days before the date 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.

All comments that fulfil the formal requirements as well as the verbatim record of the scientific debate are published in a separate document (“documentation of the hearing”) on the project webpage. Previously unpublished documents that were enclosed in a comment as evidence are also published in this document.

The “documentation of the hearing” is usually published together with the subsequent document of the project.


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