Patient preferences in healthcare decision-making

There is a growing movement in the pharmaceutical industry, putting focus on the patient experience. The PREFER project is part of this movement. In a recent issue of CenterWatch Weekly, Bennett Levitan explains patient preference research and how PREFER intends to play a role.

(Image removed) Bennet Levitan, private co-lead for methodology (Link removed)

Bennett Levitan is private co-lead for PREFER’s work on methodology (Link removed) . In an interview with CenterWatch, he describes how patient engagement is growing. Patients want to have a role in clinical development and approval. They also want to suggest areas of research, provide input into clinical protocols, help indicate which endpoints are most important to them. Patients also want to provide their perspective on benefit-risk balance for treatments.

Collecting and using patient preferences in clinical trial development and regulatory decision making is very much related to this field.  He explains the how benefit-risk assessments, as a process, can determine "whether a treatment’s benefits outweigh its harms when compared to standard-of-care or other alternative treatment. In general, this involves a combination of clinical data and value judgments”.  According to Bennett Levitan, one  application of patient preferences is to obtain these value judgments from the patients’ perspective.

Bennett Levitan told CenterWatch that there are challenges to including patient preferences in medical product development, but they are decreasing.  The PREFER project could help address some of these challenges. For example through developing standards for the collection and use of patient preference data in medical product development. Moreover, PREFER will provide recommendations on how to do so in a transparent and defensible way.

Go to CenterWatch Weekly

About Bennett Levitan

Bennett Levitan, MD-PhD is Senior Director, Epidemiology, at Janssen R&D. He introduced state-of-the-art patient-focused benefit-risk assessment to Janssen and has led numerous teams in preparation of benefit-risk assessments for regulatory submissions and health authority meetings. Bennett has published widely on both theoretical and pragmatic aspects in this field. He co-led development of the PhRMA Benefit-Risk Action Team (BRAT) Framework for benefit-risk assessment and serves on several committees that inform policy on patient preference and benefit-risk methods.

By Kristin Bullok & Josepine Fernow





  • Disclaimer: This website and its contents reflects the PREFER project's view and not the view of IMI, the European Union or EFPIA.


The Patient Preferences in Benefit-Risk Assessments during the Drug Life Cycle (PREFER) project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115966. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).