A panel (sometimes called a consensus conference, focus group or citizens' jury) of people selected for their expertise and other attributes deemed to be relevant, which is invited to answer one or more questions about which there may be considerable doubt or disagreement on the part of a parent body. Panellists will usually have available to them the consensus questions, one or more systematic reviews, summaries of the available evidence and the ability to interview invited experts and other stakeholders. There may be a facilitator. The conferences usually take place over two or three days. The Citizens Council is a form of consensus panel. Topics addressed have included factors to take account of in assessing 'need', whether age of patients should be taken into account in deciding what treatments are available in the National Health Service and whether orphan drugs ought to be given special consideration.
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