Evidence-based health care decision making requires comparison of all relevant competing interventions. In the absence of randomized controlled trials involving a direct comparison of all treatments of interest, indirect treatment comparisons and network meta-analysis provide useful evidence for judiciously selecting the best treatment(s). Mixed treatment comparisons, a special case of network meta-analysis, combine direct evidence and indirect evidence for particular pairwise comparisons, thereby synthesizing a greater share of the available evidence than traditional meta-analysis. This report from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Indirect Treatment Comparisons Good Research Practices Task Force provides guidance on technical aspects of conducting network meta-analyses (our use of this term includes most methods that involve meta-analysis in the context of a network of evidence).
Source: Value in Health