Top 10 Medical Research Issues and Trends to Watch in 2016

Advances in scientific discovery are converging with unparalleled policy and regulatory action for medical research. At FasterCures, we have surveyed the landscape and interviewed subject matter experts to come up with our recommendations of the top 10 issues to keep an eye on in 2016:

1. Patient engagement: Put a ring on it (with apologies to Beyoncé)
Patient engagement was the “hot date” of 2015, and it’s about time, right? Now, 2016 must be about turning it into a lasting commitment before the passion fades. Anecdotal evidence is building about the positive impact of patient input on R&D efficiency and effectiveness, but this needs to become a discipline that is scalable and actionable. Methods for collecting and applying patient perspective data must be created and consensus built around them. Skills and capacities need to be built in organizations, from industry to patient groups to regulators and, yes, even payers. Concerns about conflict-of-interest must be addressed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is leading the way by offering guidance on incorporating patient preferences into clinical trial designs and using those data to inform approval decisions; its new Patient Engagement Advisory Committee will convene in 2016.

2. Value frameworks: The time has come to put patients in the picture
2015 saw the introduction of multiple frameworks for determining the value of new medical products, including those from American Society of Clinical Oncology, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and National Comprehensive Cancer Network. These tools will continue to proliferate, with varying audiences and objectives. While all claim to have patients’ interests at heart, none have included patient participation and insight in any significant way. And all this at a time —> Read More