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There are many challenges encountered in the health technology assessment (HTA) of treatments for the management of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. A recent example where such challenges were visible was the assessment of aducanumab, a medication developed for Alzheimer’s disease. As part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Neuronet project, a series of workshops were held to understand the gaps in neurodegenerative disease research and identify the key research priorities, from the perspective of different stakeholders, that can inform decision-making and enable timely access to effective and safe treatments.
Three workshops were organised by Neuronet to consult with HTA and regulatory experts, people with dementia and their supporters, and academic and industry researchers. The first consultation was with the European Working Group of People with Dementia and their supporters, and their feedback was fed into the following two workshops which were conducted with HTA and regulatory experts, and with researchers. Discussions during the workshops were used to develop a summary of the gaps in research, and priorities from the perspective of each stakeholder group to be submitted to IMI to inform future research funding allocation.
Key priorities that were highlighted from an HTA and regulatory perspective were the collection of longitudinal data to understand the natural history of the disease, the generation of data on long-term clinical outcomes and the use of trial endpoints that are relevant to clinical practice. There is also a need for disease-modifying treatments that is yet to be met in this disease area. Furthermore, the involvement of the public, particularly people with dementia and relevant organisations, in setting research priorities and informing study designs was highlighted as a priority by all stakeholders.
There are key priorities for future neurodegenerative research from an HTA and regulatory perspective to address current gaps and challenges. It is important to involve different stakeholders in priority setting and decision-making to produce relevant and satisfactory research outputs.
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