What is the best weighting method for MCDA?

A comparisons of 2 often cited approaches

For the implementation of quantitative benefit-risk approaches, the elicitation of patient preferences is key. However, it’s not clear, how to best do this.  Tervonen et al. have compared swing weighting and discrete choice experiments (DCE) with respect to

  • comprehension by study participants
  • cognitive biases
  • representatives of population preferences
  • capturing heterogeneity
  • reliability and validity
  • robustness of the results.

This paper provides a very nice qualitative overview of these points. However, empirical studies comparing these approaches are still missing. Find the paper here:

“MCDA swing weighting and discrete choice experiments for elicitation of patient benefit-risk preferences: a critical assessment.”

4 interesting presentations about benefit-risk from the PAGE conference

At the population approach group (PAGE) conference in Budapest, Hungary, 4 interesting presentations about benefit-risk were given and the abstracts as well as the slides are now online available here:

Praveen Thokala: Overview and implementation of multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) for benefit-risk assessment

Andreas Kouroumalis: European regulatory views on benefit-risk assessment methodologies – role of MCDA and other model-based approaches

Kevin Marsh: Current practices and gaps in benefit-risk assessment: opportunities for combining MCDA with model-based approaches

Carolina Llanos-Paez: Balancing efficacy and reduction in renal function to optimize initial gentamicin dosing in children with cancer

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The FDA will host a public workshop on Benefit-Risk for decision-making in drug development on the 18th of September.

This meeting will focus on:

  • Regulatory and industry experiences with approaches to structured benefit-risk assessments.
  • Approaches to incorporating patient perspectives into structured benefit-risk assessment.
  • Exploration of methods to advance structured benefit-risk assessment.

The workshop is free and can be attended in person or through a webcast (details on how to register can be found in the link above).

Event: FDA will host public free workshop on benefit-risk

Announcement on webinar about: Measuring Patient and Physician Benefit–Risk Preferences in Antipsychotic Clinical Trials

By Eva Katz

Eva Katz

Eva Katz, PhD, MPH, RD

Recently, we shared an example of adopting benefit risk methodology to schizophrenia studies (click here for more information). Now we are happy to announce that Eva Katz, the epidemiologist behind this nice case study, will give a webinar about it and there will be the possibility to have a discussion around this and how other areas can benefit from it.


The 1 hour event takes place on September 26th. 4pm European time, 3pm UK time, 10am Eastern time in the US.

Here is a short bio of Eva:

Eva Katz, PhD, MPH, RD is Associate Director of Benefit-Risk and Epidemiology at Janssen Research & Development.  In this role Dr. Katz serves as an internal consultant for benefit‐risk methodology and patient‐focused benefit‐risk assessment, guiding clinical teams across therapeutic areas in medication benefit-risk assessment using both qualitative and quantitative methods.  As part of the efforts to integrate the patient experience in clinical trials, Dr. Katz has helped integrate patient and physician preference surveys within phase 3 clinical trials. Eva also participates in external task forces on benefit‐risk assessment methods and patient focused drug development. Prior to her role in Benefit-Risk, Dr. Katz was part of the patient reported outcomes team at Janssen where she worked cross‐functionally to develop strategy for development, selection and implementation of Patient‐Reported Outcomes (PROs) in phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials of pharmaceutical products across therapeutic areas. Dr. Katz received her B.S. in Nutritional Science from Rutgers University, her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley and her doctorate in Nutrition Epidemiology from the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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How should I select the right endpoints when creating an Effects Table?

Results based on a survey among pharma and academia

The Effects Table (ET) has become one of the most common tools in the area of Benefit-Risk Assessment. It displays a concise summary of the key benefits and risks of a new product compared to either placebo or an existing product. See here on more insights into what an effects table is and why it is helpful.

On initial inspection, it may look simple to create. However, those who have already tried to do the exercise know that it is not at all easy.

IMI Project PREFER – patient preferences in benefit-risk assessments – replay of the webinar now available

By Conny Berlin and Rachael L. DiSantostefano

In our 1-hour webinar on the 12 of July 2017 (4:30pm CET, 3:30pm GMT, 10:30am EST) we had a presentation by Conny Berlin who is the industry project leader of the public-private IMI PREFER project and by Rachael L. DiSantostefano member of IMI PREFER. They talked about:

Patient Preferences in Benefit-Risk Assessments during the Drug Life Cycle: PREFER – an IMI Project

by Conny Berlin and Rachael L. DiSantostefano

The replay of the webinar including the Q&A is now available here:


The main objective of the IMI PREFER project is to strengthen patient-centric decision making throughout the life cycle of medicinal products by developing evidence-based recommendations to guide industry, Regulatory Authorities, HTA bodies, reimbursement agencies, academia, and health care professionals on how and when patient-preference studies should be performed and the results used to support and inform decision making.

What is this effects table and why should I create one?

8 reasons for creating an effects table

Originating from the EMA Benefit-Risk Methodology Project, the effects table has become one of the most commonly discussed tools in the area of benefit-risk assessment (PrOACT-URL (Oct16)). In fact, its prominence has grown significantly since February 2015 when it became a CHMP requirement for EMA clinical assessors to include an effects table in European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs).

So, what is it?

Benefit-Risk in HTA and best practices based on case studies

have a look at the webinar

In our webinar in Feburary 2017, we had 2 presentations from widely known speakers:

The emerging and merging fields of benefit-risk and health technology assessments

by Jason (Jixian Wang), Shahrul Mt-Isa and Susan Talbot, on behalf of the EFSPI BRA/HTA joint working group

Benefit-Risk Assessment via Case Studies: Key Considerations and Best Practices

by George Quartey

The webinar occured twice and the recording is now available here.

Here is some further background information about the content and the presenters (here is the pdf-file for further distribution):

The emerging and merging fields of benefit-risk and health technology assessments

jasonAbstract: Benefit-risk assessments (BRA) focus on clinical aspects of health care products and are often seen as purely regulatory activities, while health technology assessments (HTA)