In the future we may see Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) become more patient centered via inclusion of preferences from those who know best, the patient! Myeloma UK has just awarded a £120,000 grant to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The aim of the grant is for NICE to fund a two year methodological study to explore the most effective means of capturing patient preferences, and how they can be incorporated effectively into Health Technology Assessment (HTA). This will involve exploring best practice in the use of different methods and technologies for capturing information about patient preferences relating to the condition and the treatments received. The study will involve consultation with patient groups, experts, and other leading HTA bodies from around the world.

The study is one of two projects which has been awarded funding via the Health Services Research programme at Myeloma UK following a competitive open grant round. The overall aim being to improve patient outcomes, quality of life and develop more efficient ways to pay for and deliver healthcare.

The research will be led by Professor Sarah Garner, associate director of NICE Science Policy and Research Programme. She highlighted the importance of HTAs including robust evidence from the patients’ perspective. She also reported that NICE “have always strived to understand what matters most to patients when assessing treatments for them”; they are now keen to explore whether patient preferences can be captured quantitatively so they can be incorporated alongside other data in decision-modelling.
Research organisations, such as Cancer Research, have supported this work, highlighting the importance of NHS funding decisions being made on the basis of the best possible evidence, which includes the patient perspective and experiences.

At DRG we know how important robust collection of patient preference information is and how the information can best be used in the life cycle of new drugs and products. If you would like to find out more, please visit our website or contact one of our clinical outcomes assessment team on

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