At a recent presentation organised by the Medical Technology Association of Australia, the Chair of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Professor Robyn Ward and Dr Jim Butler, a past chair of the Economic Sub-Committee of MSAC, discussed the common pitfalls of submission based assessments

Both Professor Ward and Dr Butler stressed that a succinct submission was both easier to assess and saved time and effort for all parties. MSAC submissions are not noted for their brevity. Executive Summaries alone can run to fifty pages. This is understandable as often the concepts and analysis included in an assessment can be extremely complex.

It is therefore important that a submission not only contains the relevant evidence, analysis and discussions but that it is extremely well written. This means that, if at all possible, simple, clear and succinct language should be used. Charts and diagrams should be well designed so that they are easy to decipher and should be placed at the relevant points within the text. While all this sounds obvious, it can be extremely challenging to craft a submission that conveys the complexities inherent in an MSAC submission in a clear and appealing manner.

It is important that whoever is preparing an MSAC submission based assessment is not only experienced in the assessment of clinical and economic evidence but is a skilled communicator.

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