Nowgen contributes to major European patient and public engagement project

The New Year will see the start of a major pan-European project to inform and involve patients and the wider public in pharmaceutical processes, with a team from Nowgen playing a key role in the programme.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a partnership between the European Union and the pharma industry, has provided €7 million over five years for a patient-led consortium to develop the 'European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation' (EUPATI).  The project is co-ordinated by the European Patients Forum with academia, patient groups and industry as project partners.  The IMI funding is matched by in-kind contributions from pharmaceutical partners in the EUPATI Consortium.

EUPATI will provide scientifically reliable, objective and user-led information about pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), and will increase the capacity of patients and members of the public to be effectively involved in pharmaceutical processes.  It will cover personalised and predictive medicine, the design and conduct of clinical trials, drug safety and risk/benefit assessment, pharmaco-economics and methods for patient involvement in pharmaceutical processes.

Nowgen will lead a work package assessing the information needs of patients and members of the public, including harder to reach groups.  Dr Bella Starling will lead Nowgen’s work on the project.

“Our findings will help EUPATI colleagues to produce relevant content for training courses, education materials and an internet-based library of up-to-date, unbiased information about new medicine development,” she said.

“The overall aim is to ensure patients and members of the public across eleven European countries, including the UK, are well-informed about innovative medicines and can actively take part in the R&D process.

“Pharmaceutical processes remain a mystery to many people, yet patients and carers have a key role to play; research which places public voices at its heart often produces the best results.  By developing a suite of independent information resources, EUPATI will help to boost knowledge of pharmaceutical innovation.  It will also empower pharma companies to be more responsive to patients and the wider public, and to engage with them more effectively.”

EUPATI will provide information resources in six European languages: English, French, German, Polish, Russian and Spanish.  A group of regulators, patients and experts in public engagement and ethics will ensure the objectivity, transparency and independence of the resources.

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