The PREFER project will deliver an overview and evaluation of preference elicitation methods to be applied in the entire drug life cycle, i.e. in the early stages of identifying medical needs, in clinical testing, to guide decisions on reimbursement and to make decisions on withdrawal of drugs from the market. A broad array of (combinations of) patient preference methods will be tested prospectively in a large number of case studies. The availability of large patient cohorts will enable to test new methods or deviations from existing methods in a randomized manner, by comparing well-known methods with newer ones. The use of simulation studies will both contribute to smarter design of case studies and to exploring the sensitivity of outcomes of preference studies. Based on discussions with a broad representation of stakeholders e.g. patients, patient organisations, regulatory authorities, HTA bodies and reimbursement agencies, suitable methods will be tested and their contributions to improved decision making will be discussed in recommendations adapted to the needs of all relevant stakeholders.
The recommendations from PREFER are expected to lead to changed practices, in that industry will routinely assess whether a preference study would add value at key decision points in the medicinal product life cycle and, if so, implement patient-preference elicitation studies according to the PREFER project recommendations.