Patient preference assessment: challenges and opportunities

Vikas Soekhai started his PhD at the Erasmus University Medical Centre (EMC) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in October 2016. His PhD will contribute to PREFER knowledge on the challenges and opportunities involved in assessments of patient preferences throughout the whole lifecycle of drugs and medical devices.

Vikas Soekhai, PhD Student Erasmus Univeristy Rotterdam
Vikas Soekhai, PhD Student in PREFER

Patient preferences are taking on an increasingly important role in the lifecycle of medical products. The methods to assess preferences are many, and PREFER will contribute knowledge on which methods are best suited at different points. As part of his PhD project, Vikas Soekhai will help identify methods and simulate the impact the choice of method may have on preference study results.

Depending on the method used when studying or ‘assessing’ preferences, results may differ. This is where simulations can provide valuable input to PREFER. Testing different preference methods in simulations will help us learn more about how they behave in (different) simulated environments. Results from the simulations will give us valuable information when making decisions on what methods to use in real life situations (what in PREFER is known as ‘empirical case studies’).

According to Vikas Soekhai, being part of PREFER offers him a unique opportunity to help strengthen the position of patients. This is the main reason he chose a career in healthcare in the first place.

For him, PREFER offers a unique combination of perspectives from academic health economics and knowledge from the pharmaceutical industry. “Working in an international, multidisciplinary setting means collaborating with partners outside of the academic world. This provides me with enormous opportunities to develop my work and grow as a professional and academic”, says Vikas Soekhai.

About the PhD project

Vikas Soekhai will defend his thesis at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in late 2020. The PREFER project is a part of his PhD. He is supervised by Esther de Bekker-Grob (co-promotor and academic lead for the methodologies work stream), Bas Donkers (promotor and methodologies work stream member) and Ewout Steyerberg (promotor and methodologies work stream member). The promotors are from the Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam and focus on choice modelling in healthcare.

About Vikas Soekhai

Vikas Soekhai has a background in health economics and health law. He worked as a research & development consultant at a major consulting company before starting his PhD.