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December 15, 2015

Engaging Patients Across the Spectrum of Medical Product Development: View From the US Food and Drug Administration

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Devices and Radiological Health, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • 2Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA. 2015;314(23):2499-2500. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15818

The complex tasks of developing, evaluating, and determining the appropriate use of medical technologies occur in an evolving ecosystem of diverse stakeholders. However, as new medical therapies and diagnostics are designed and tested, the preferences and views of the patients and care partners who are most directly affected by these treatments are all too often overlooked. Individual patients often experience different effects of diseases and may have unique preferences about treatments or diagnostic procedures that differ from those of other patients or of their physicians or other health care practitioners; they may also have differing views about what kinds and degrees of risk are tolerable. As patients weigh the balance of benefits and risks, their decisions are informed by their experiences, backgrounds, and personal circumstances. In addition, patients are no longer passive recipients of care; instead, they are empowered consumers of medical products and partners in the process by which those products are developed. Patients increasingly act as advocates for new treatments, and many are fully engaged in making decisions about their care.

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