National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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NICE provides first scientific advice on patient preference study design

The NICE Scientific Advice team, working with the Science Policy and Research team at NICE, has provided its first piece of advice on the design of a patient preference study.

The team aims to encourage more companies to seek its advice on the development of these studies which are designed to capture patients’ views so they can be used in the clinical development programs for new treatments.

Working with drug company Novartis, the pilot looked at a patient preference study for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

People with COPD experience breathing difficulties due primarily to narrowing of the airways. There are an estimated 1.2 million people living in the UK with COPD, an increase of nearly 30% in the last decade.

NICE anticipates that its advice will guide early evidence generation, helping to transform study design and improve the quality of current processes. The aim is to support the development of new products to treat COPD patients.

Jeanette Kusel, Director of NICE Scientific Advice yesterday said:

“We are delighted to be able to shape our offering to suit the requirements of Novartis. Offering advice and guidance on their patient preference study should help it to generate the data required to help future products meet the needs of COPD patients.”

Nigel Cook, Head of Decision Support & Insights, Global Patient Access at Novartis yesterday said

“The scientific advice provided by NICE, together with the patient representative and other external experts, has been very valuable to Novartis; both in endorsing the approach to gathering early patient preference data to inform evidence generation plans, and in regard to valuable input received to improve the design of the COPD patient preference study.

“Collecting certain outcome data alongside the patient preferences, one of the advice recommendations, will also help in correlating the preference results with current NICE processes for evaluating new treatments.

“We see this engagement during the project design phase as a positive step, helping to ensure the results serve the interests of the different stakeholders: industry, NICE and the patient community”.


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