Psychosocial factors might hold the key to understanding preference heterogeneity
That patients’ preferences differ is not surprising. But figuring out why is one of the main challenges of integrating the patient voice in decision-making across the medical product life cycle. Some differences might be due to clinical characteristics like age and medical history, and others to psychosocial factors like health literacy or illness perception. A recent PREFER publication underlines how measuring psychosocial factors in patient preference studies can provide valuable information to decision-makers. And provides recommendations and a checklist telling us how to do it.
Understanding unmet patient needs and expectations
Learning what patients prefer, what benefits they are after, and what risks they can and cannot tolerate is particularly important in the case of rare diseases. A recent PREFER publication reveals results from a large patient preference study targeting rare disease groups through an international collaboration between patient organisations. Focusing on the preferences of patients with Neuromuscular Disorders.
6 PhD’s furthering knowledge on patient preferences
Thanks to the efforts of six PhD students, we have been able to contribute to the science of patient preference studies beyond the scope of PREFER. In addition to their tasks in the project, they have explored PREFER research questions and methodology in their own patient preference studies, contributing valuable results to both PREFER and the preference research community. Ranging from patient preferences for gene therapy, biologics, new cancer treatments, and glucose monitoring, to how simulations can support our understanding of preferences and whether educational materials and framing of the attributes in a study will have an impact on results.
Patient preferences for treatment of neuromuscular disorders
Rare diseases are complex, uncommon, serious and debilitating conditions that often come with a poor prognosis. Neuromuscular disorders are multisystem and progressive rare diseases with few treatment options available. PREFER researchers set out to explore unmet health care needs and patient treatment preferences for two of them: myotonic dystrophy type 1 and mitochondrial myopathies. They are hoping that their findings can support decision-making in the early stages of drug development.
Time to discuss PREFER results!
We are getting close to issuing recommendations for when and how patient preferences can support decision-making for industry, regulators, health technology assessors and payers. Our clinical case studies are delivering results. And we have developed a framework for patient input to decision making that is currently under evaluation by EMA and EUnetHTA and are looking forward to a public consultation process later this summer. In the meantime, we invite everyone who is interested in patient preferences and the PREFER approach to discuss our work in a series of webinars this year, and the upcoming DIA workshop in June.
Leveraging patient preference studies for development and decision making: DIA/PREFER workshop 15-16 June
How much risk do patients find acceptable for a given benefit? Patient preferences can give us answers that can play a critical role in the development of medical treatments and throughout the lifecycle of a medical product. On June 15-16 this year, PREFER is organising a workshop together with DIA, where we will navigate through the patient preferences landscape. Starting from the PREFER project, we will explore patient involvement in patient preference studies and put the spotlight on the practical implications patient preference information can have in regulatory decision making. The workshop is open for everyone, free of charge!
Bringing patients’ views into medical approvals
Patients want to have a say in decisions that affect their health. But decision-makers have not had the tools to listen. Patient preference studies offers just that: a tool for decision-makers to collect, and for patients to give, representative and well-informed input. Karin Schölin Bywall’s dissertation reveals when and how including patient preferences in regulatory decision-making.
Miss our webinar on the value of patient preferences? Video now available!
On 26 April, the PREFER project organised the first in a series of webinars presenting and discussing results from the project. Want to know what a patient preference is? And how preferences are different from patient reported outcomes? You can now watch a recording of the presentations. The presentations covers the actors that make decisions throughout the medicinal product life cycle, and how they can benefit from patient preference studies. We also explain what we mean by patient preference sensitive situations.
PREFER newsletter out!
The PREFER project is well on the way to delivering results. We are organising a series of webinars to present and discuss results, a workshop together with DIA on patient preferences. There is also plenty of publications to look forward to. Didn't receive the newsletter today but want to be kept in the loop? Sign up!
Save the date for the DIA/PREFER patient preferences workshop 15-16 June!
Patient preferences can give us information that is critical for developing medical treatments. But they can also tell us how much risk patients think is acceptable for a given benefit. The pharmaceutical industry, regulatory authorities, HTA bodies, reimbursement agencies and patient organisations all agree that ‘patient preferences’ need to be part of decision making on benefit and risk. But how? When? And what are the regulatory requirements for preference studies? Join us online on 15-16 June to find out!
PREFER webinar 26 April on the value of patient preferences in the medical product life cycle
What is a patient preference and what is the difference between a preference and patient reported outcomes? Join us on 26 April in a webinar to listen and discuss. We will talk about the actors in the medicinal product life cycle and how they can benefit from patient preference studies, and explain what we mean by patient preference sensitive situations.
Working together to develop a preference study for treatments to reduce risk of developing RA
Figuring out what patients prefer can help inform decision making during drug development. But getting useful results requires rigorous preparation. An international team of PREFER researchers including academics, clinicians, pharmaceutical industry representatives and patient research partners have worked together to develop a preference study capable of informing decision making and also answering questions for the PREFER recommendations about the methods used to study patient preferences. In a recent BMJ Open publication, they describe how they designed their study to be informative for a wide range of stakeholders.
Do educational tools influence what patients prefer?
Stakeholders across the medical product life cycle are eager to find out what patients prefer. From the pharmaceutical companies that develop new treatments, to the authorities that decide if they should become available to patients, and at what price. But to be useful in decision-making, the patient preferences collected need to be informed. A recent Patient Education and Counseling publication explores the use of educational tools in patient preference studies, and finds that sometimes, they influence patients’ preferences.
Patient preference priorities: Questions to answer for patient-centric decision-making
Patient preference assessment is an increasingly popular approach to engaging patients in decisions across the medical product life cycle. But questions remain about how to incorporate scientifically valid preference measurements into decision-making. Especially for decisions about medical treatment, including development, regulatory and reimbursement decisions. PREFER partners have identified questions related to the knowledge gaps that are most crucial to decision-making stakeholders.
How to ask haemophilia patients about their preferences for gene therapies
Recent developments in gene therapy offer haemophilia patients the promise of permanent benefits or even a cure. But because these treatments are new, there are uncertainties about long-term efficacy and safety. This is a challenge for agencies that decide if a drug should be approved and what it should cost. PREFER researchers designed the very first patient preference study about what people with haemophilia think about gene therapies being brought to market.
PREFER: Patients and researchers in partnership
Giving patients a voice in the development of treatments means we first need to listen to them. The PREFER project develops recommendations for when and how that voice can be heard through a structured approach known as patient preferences. We rely on four patient organisations to make sure the patient voice is heard in the project. Together with universities and companies, they are part of developing recommendations for when and how patient preferences can be part of decision-making on whether or not to develop a treatment, if it should be approved, become available to patients, and what to do in case there are safety concerns after it is put on the market.
What matters most to lung cancer patients?
Several treatment options are available for non-small lung cancer, which is what 85 % of all lung cancer patients suffer from. With different benefits, risks, and uncertainties related to each treatment option, finding out what is most valuable to patients can help support decision-making. A recent PREFER publication reveals what treatment aspects lung cancer patients find most important and as a result will be included in an upcoming preference survey that investigates how patients make trade-offs between treatment options.
A Qualitative Protocol for a Patient Preference Study among Lung Cancer Patients
Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer worldwide. And the deadliest. Treatments have different characteristics, all associated with a range of risks and benefits to patients. A new PREFER publication outlines the value of using a qualitative approach with advanced lung cancer patients to identify preferred treatment characteristics. With the aim of informing decision-making for the companies that develop medicines, regulators, payers as well as clinicians.
What do Multiple Myeloma patients prefer?
Right now, the PREFER project is recruiting patients with Multiple Myeloma to participate in an online survey. The survey will help us understand patient preferences in relation to the risks and benefits of myeloma treatments. The results may inform stakeholders on treatment outcomes, side-effects and symptoms that most significantly impact MM patients’ treatment attitudes and choices. It will also contribute to answering some of the PREFER project’s more methodological questions. In doing so, this study supports our goal of finding out when and how patient preferences should give input to decision making for the companies that develop medicines, and the authorities that approve them, and decide what becomes available to patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients’ preferences in regulatory decision-makings
There are many treatment options available for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients’ preferences for treatments vary significantly. Finding out what patients prefer can support regulatory decision-makers to make better decisions when deciding what treatments should be approved and made available to patients. A recent publication explores what RA patients prefer, and how different their preferences are.
Season's Greetings from the PREFER project
The PREFER project wishes you a happy new 2021! This year has affected us all in unexpected ways. Changing how we live, how we work, and project timelines. Despite the circumstances, our students delivered two PhD theses! We stayed connected, and submitted our framework to EMA and EUnetHTA for qualification advice. Want to stay in touch? Sign up to receive our newsletter!
Patient preferences throughout the medical product life cycle: Chiara Whichello’s PhD defence
Finding out what patients prefer is critical for the successful development, regulation and reimbursement or medical products. And for creating a patient centric decision-making within the medical product lifecycle. Before patient preference studies can be incorporated successfully into decision-making, stakeholders need more methodological clarity. Chiara Whichello’s PhD project has centered on this issue. On December 9, she defends her thesis.
Most haemophilia patients are positive towards gene therapies
Structured patient input can support decision-making across the medical product life cycle. This is where patient preference studies are useful. In a recent Haemophilia publication, PREFER researchers share their findings regarding haemophilia patients’ preferences for gene therapies. Despite the uncertainties about long-term efficacy and safety of the treatments, it turns out most of the patients are positive.
PREFER partner MindBytes shares learnings from the project!
MindBytes’ Scientific Integration Expert, Connor Buffel, reports the company’s participation in PREFER has allowed them to build long-term relationships with new partners, which helps them broaden their reach. Thanks to the large scale of the PREFER project, they have also been able to both validate and fine-tune the tools that they brought to the project. This year MindBytes got an order from a pharmaceutical company that they credit to their membership in the PREFER team.
Paving the way: First PREFER PhD defence
Eline van Overbeeke has investigated whether patient preference studies could help bridge the gap between new treatments and well-established decision-making structures. And bring gene therapies to market and patients sooner. She defends her thesis on 9 October 2020.
PREFER's patient input to decision making under evaluation by EMA and EUnetHTA
Patient preferences reflect which aspects of health treatments matter to patients individually and why patients choose a particular treatment (medicine or medical device) over others. We measure these preferences in a structured way, using particular methods. The PREFER project has developed a framework for industry, regulators and health technology assessment bodies for how to use patient preferences as input in medical product decision making. We are now asking the European Medicines Agency and EUnetHTA to assess our framework and issue a public opinion on how useful our approach is from the regulatory- and health technology assessment perspective!
Right now in cyberspace: PREFER annual meeting 2020
Today and tomorrow, the PREFER consortium meets to discuss the final stage of the project and go through initial results from our case studies. We are also looking at what the outputs from the project will be and understand the EMA/EUnetHTA qualification concept of the framework for patient preference studies.
Patient preferences in HTA and payer decision-making: challenges and opportunities
Patient preferences can inform health technology assessment (HTA) and payer decision-making. But application and integration may differ between countries. A recent PREFER publication explores how HTA and payer representatives think patient preferences can be implemented in their own countries.
15 ways to listen to the patient voice
Listening to the patient voice and understanding their benefit-risk trade-offs has the potential to improve patients’ healthcare options. Still, patient preference information is under-utilised in decision-making throughout the medical product life cycle. A recent Health Policy publication explores at which industry, health technology assessment (HTA) and regulatory decision points could use patient preference information and become part of the decision making process, allowing patient’s voices to be heard.
What is the value of treatment effects according to Multiple Myeloma patients?
Patient preference studies provide evidence about what treatment effects are important to patients, how important they are to patients, and quantify the tradeoffs patients are willing to make between treatment effects. Understanding patient preferences may be especially valuable in the case of multiple myeloma, where the existence of treatments with different effects raises uncertainty about the value of these treatments effects to patients.
Preference methods to support decision making
A recent publication identifies 13 patient preference elicitation and exploration methods that are can support medical product decision making. The study has characterised and appraised different methods. The result is a comprehensive overview based on empirical evidence of the usefulness of different methods for decisions at different stages of the medical product life cycle.
Testing preference elicitation methods in clinical case studies
Our researchers will test different methods for preference elicitation in clinical case studies. We will evaluate what patients think is relevant about their disease and its impact. We will look at which treatment options they prefer and their willingness to accept trade-offs between benefits and risks of their treatment. These methods will be evaluated at different decision points in the drug development process.
Finding out what patients with Neuromuscular Disorders prefer!
PREFER is conducting a patient preference study about what kinds of treatment patients with two hereditary neuromuscular disorders prefer. Together with eleven patient organisations, we are now actively recruiting respondents for an online survey. Anyone over 18 with either myotonic dystrophy type 1, mitochondrial disorders, or caregivers of a person with one of these conditions is welcome to participate!
Patients’ and physicians’ preferences don’t always align
Despite having a joint objective, patients' and physicians' preferences for treatment options sometimes differ. Patients are more inclined to want acute symptoms reduced, whereas physicians are looking for treatment options that offer more long-term disease management. A recent publication from Novartis examines physicians’ preferences for treating patients with liver disease, more specifically non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Patient input for more valuable patient preferences
Patients want to be involved in research about them. In a paper recently published in Frontiers in Medicine, PREFER researchers explore how patients want to be involved in patient preference studies, how they want it to work in practice and where they think their contribution will add most value to a patient preference study.
PREFER in 2020: Looking forward to results from clinical patient preference studies
To be able to recommend when and how to involve patient preferences in medical product decision making, we need to do patient preference research. This year, the PREFER project has launched three core clinical patient preference case studies in three disease areas: Lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and neuromuscular disorders. In addition, both academic and industry partners have added studies to the PREFER portfolio that will help us cover different disease areas, methods and research questions.
Lessons learned from the joint IAHPR-PREFER symposium
Thought leaders and experts discussed ways of facing the growing demand for patient preference information at the “Patient preferences in the medical product life cycle” symposium in Basel this summer. An event organised jointly by PREFER and the International Academy of Health Preference Research (IAHPR). In a recent commentary, panellists report on key messages and lessons learned from this event.
Patient preferences in dry eye disease
This month, two papers on patient preferences in dry eye disease were published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology. The first paper presents the consolidated data and methodology. The second paper examines country differences and preferences of patients who are affected to different degrees.
Valuable patient preferences from stakeholder collaboration
Stakeholder collaboration increases the value of patient preference studies, and the acceptance of their results. A paper recently published in Frontiers in Pharmacology shows that this is a key element of successful patient preference studies.
PARADIGM reports from PREFER annual meeting: Understanding patient preferences – the next frontier in PE
The PARADIGM project were present at the PREFER annual meeting. Want to know what EPF’s Camilla Habre (Project Officer) and Mathieu Boudes (PARADIGM Coordinator) have to say about PREFER? Here is a short report (originally posted on the PARADIGM blog onm October 31, 2019).
Right now in Basel: PREFER annual meeting 2019
Today and tomorrow, the PREFER consortium is meeting to discuss the second half of the project and how our patient preference case studies will support the project. We will also talk about how regulatory and HTA qualification and scientific advice for a framework for patient preference studies can help us have impact.
Want a summary of what we have published?
PREFER looks at how and when it is best to perform and include patient preferences in decision making during the medical product life cycle. We include patient stakeholders at every level of the project. The end-result will be recommendations to support development of guidelines for industry, Regulatory Authorities and HTA bodies. Want to know what we have published so far? In this pdf booklet, you will find a list of our publications with abstracts and links to full text.
Critical need for better methodological understanding of preference methods
Before issuing recommendations on when and how to use patient preference studies for decision-making along the medical product life cycle, learning more about the opportunities and challenges faced by stakeholders is key. An article recently published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making has done just this, and offers comprehensive lists of roles, reasons, concerns and requirements for patient preference studies.
Live webinar on patient preferences in European HTA
PREFER’s Nigel Cook is one of the featured presenters at this live webinar on patient preferences in health technology assessment (HTA) in Europe, the recent advances and future potential.
Optimizing patient preference studies
A recent publication from PREFER lists 18 factors and situations that should be considered when designing and conducting patient preference studies. To obtain valuable patient preference information for use in decision-making, knowing what challenges to look out for, and how to overcome them, is imperative. The paper was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology this week.
Positive feedback on PREFER mid-term review!
This summer, PREFER has gone through a thorough mid-term review by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). We are happy to report that independent evaluators concluded PREFER is an ambitious project addressing relevant clinical and methodological research questions, that aims to show how patient preference studies can support decision-making. In the report, IMI states that the work we have provided so far is of high scientific quality.
Joint IAHPR-PREFER workshop and symposium
On Saturday 13 July 2019, the Academy of Health Preference Research (IAPHR) and PREFER will host a joint workshop on good research practices for health preference studies We will describe the basics for how to conduct a health preference study focusing on trade-offs between risks and benefits. The workshop material will build on the textbook that is currently under development by IAHPR members, incorporating the experiences of scientists working with PREFER.
Patient preferences, consensus & standardised procedure
Despite growing interest, the use of patient preferences in decision-making is hindered by a lack of standardization. An article recently published in Patient captures stakeholder perspectives on patient preferences in decision-making.
Celebrating Success: RA Case Study First Participants In!
The PREFER rheumatoid arthritis case study team are celebrating the successful start of recruitment and data collection. The first focus group to inform the development of a treatment choice survey was conducted on Wednesday 29th May 2019 with seven members of the public in Birmingham, UK. A second focus group is scheduled to follow a week later, followed by more focus groups with relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Measuring patient preferences
Both industry representatives, academics, regulatory and patient groups suffer from a lack of knowledge of the range of methods used in patient preference studies. A recent publication provides insight into the many methods used.
PREFER PhD project on rheumatoid arthritis
In March this year, Karin Schölin Bywall started her PhD studies at Uppsala University. Her project is part of PREFER. It will look at how rheumatoid arthritis patient preferences can add value when regulators make decisions on drug development.
According to Karin Schölin Bywall, the PREFER project offers the chance to work with PhD students from other universities. PREFER also allows her to develop research questions with senior researchers from universities and the pharmaceutical industry. This collaboration also ensures stakeholder perspectives in her PhD project.
Willingness, preferences and medical products
What is it that makes patients decide to accept a treatment with serious side effects? And what would make them say no? Jorien Veldwijk explains how Discrete Choice Experiments can help find out what patients prefer.
Jorien Veldwijk is an expert in Discrete Choice Experiments, or ‘DCE’s” as they are often called. Her PhD thesis used DCE’s to look at preferences for and willingness to participate in different public health interventions. DCE’s are one of the methods that the PREFER project will look at. This method makes it possible to find out how people weigh benefits and risks against each other. She is public co-lead for PREFER’s clinical case studies, where the methods selected by the project will be tested in different patient groups.