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Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA)

Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is a transparent and explicit decision-making process in which criteria are identified; weights are given to each criterion to reflect the relative importance of each criterion from the decision-making body perspective; evidence and information for the criteria are gathered, considered, and scored; and weighted preference scores are derived based on the criteria weights and criteria score.

The MCDA process has four basic steps. The first step is the development of relevant criteria. The objective in the development of criteria is to include all considerations relevant to the decision that has to be made, and to provide sufficient clarity to ensure consistency in the translation of information and evidence into ratings.

The second step is the identification of the possible courses of action. For the medical isotopes project, the possible courses of action are the most common clinical uses of technetium-99 (99mTc). Each possible course of action must be accompanied by the evidence and information required to assess it on the basis of the established criteria.

The third step is the formal evaluation of each possible course of action. This is done by rating each course of action on each criterion and, using the criterion weight, calculating a composite score. The same criteria are used with all possible courses of action. This allows the scores across all indications to be compared.

The final step is the formulation of priorities and recommendations.

The ultimate result of the MCDA process is a prioritized list of the possible courses of action (or of the clinical uses), backed by an explicit and transparent methodology that organizes all relevant information. Because the process is explicit and transparent, results can be explained or adjusted to accommodate new information or changes in relative preferences toward decision-making criteria.