The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) says it is creating a ‘pool’ of patient experts to strengthen the role and voice of patients in IMI activities at both strategic and operational levels.
IMI says it has always involved patients in its work, adding, “now the plan is to take patient engagement at IMI to the next level.”
IMI has involved patients in its projects and activities since the very beginning – as project partners, as members of the IMI Scientific Committee, and as speakers in our events, for example.
Now, IMI wants to enhance the involvement of patients in all activities, for example by inviting them to provide input on scientific strategies; review project proposals; and assess the results of ongoing and closed projects.
To facilitate this, IMI is establishing a pool of patient experts hat is open to a wide range of patients (and family members and carers) with a chronic illness or condition that is linked to IMI’s Strategic Research Agenda.
The conditions for being part of the pool are simple and people who are interested in getting involved can submit an expression of interest via the IMI website.
When registering their interest, patients will be asked about their knowledge and experience of medical research and drug development, among other things.
Whenever IMI has a task or activity that would benefit from patient input, the IMI Programme Office will turn to the pool to find the patient(s) with the most relevant knowledge and experience. For all tasks, patients will act in their personal capacity.
IMI Executive Director Dr Pierre Meulien said: ‘Patient engagement has always been a priority for IMI, and I am convinced that patients can and should be actively involved as equal partners in medical research and innovation.”
He added, “I hope that this pool of patient experts will provide both patients with a channel to influence research into their disease or condition, and IMI with information that will allow us to deliver projects that are truly aligned with patients’ needs.”
Benefits for patients of getting involved in this new initiative include the opportunity to influence IMI’s activities on both strategic and operational levels; work alongside experts from other sectors (academia, industry, regulatory, etc.); raise the profile of patients as equal partners in research in the IMI community and beyond; and learn first-hand about the latest research developments in their disease area.