The team worked with NICE’s Science Policy and Research members to provide the advice to Novartis on a study involving chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

The initial guidance is intended to support the development of new products to treat COPD.

NICE expects its advice to enable the early generation of evidence while helping to transform study design and improve the quality of existing processes.

A patient preference study aims to capture patients’ insights, which can be used in clinical development programmes for new therapies.

NICE Scientific Advice director Jeanette Kusel said: “We are delighted to be able to shape our offering to suit the requirements of Novartis. Offering advice and guidance on their patient preference study should help it to generate the data required to help future products meet the needs of COPD patients.”

Statistics reveal that the number of people suffering from COPD in the UK increased by about 30% over the past ten years to reach 1.2 million.

Novartis Global Patient Access Decision Support & Insights head Nigel Cook said: “The scientific advice provided by NICE, together with the patient representative and other external experts, has been very valuable to Novartis; both in endorsing the approach to gathering early patient preference data to inform evidence generation plans, and in regard to valuable input received to improve the design of the COPD patient preference study.

Cook added that the collection of certain outcome data along with the patient preferences will aid in correlating the preference results with existing NICE processes for assessment of new treatments.

NICE plans to urge more companies to seek guidance on the development of patient preference studies.