Patient-reported outcomes labeling for oncology drugs: Multidisciplinary perspectives on current status and future directions

David Cella*, Chieh I. Chen, Ruben G.W. Quek, Ainhoa Uribarren, Matthew Reaney, Vera Mastey, Deborah Collyar, Olivier Chassany

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Regulatory agencies encourage the incorporation of the patient voices throughout clinical drug development. Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) offer one way of doing this and their use has markedly increased in many therapeutic areas, particularly oncology, in recent years. However, few oncology drug labels include PRO data and those which do, offer little consistency. Objective: To provide multidisciplinary perspectives (patient, pharmaceutical industry, PRO researcher, regulatory expert) on PRO data in oncology drug labels. Methods: PRO data in the labels of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for oncology indications between 2010 and 2020 were critically reviewed by authors who provided their insights on the advantages and disadvantages/gaps. Results: Forty-six oncology drugs included PRO data in their labels. Differences were observed between FDA and EMA PRO labeling (e.g., PRO concept, use of tables and graphs to display PROs or reference to clinical meaningfulness). In providing their perspectives on the number and nature of PROs in labels, authors noted limitations including: the low proportion of oncology drugs with PRO labeling, limited PRO information in labels, lack of patient-friendly language, and potential bias towards positive outcomes. Lack of consistency within- and between-agencies was noted. Conclusion: Despite regulatory agencies’ commitment to incorporate patient voices in regulatory decisions, availability of PRO information is limited in oncology drug labels. While several PRO guidance documents are available from regulatory and Health Technology Assessment agencies, harmonization of PRO guidance for labeling inclusion around the world is needed to better inform prescribers and consequently their patients in the process of shared medical decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1031992
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Oct 17 2022


  • PRO labeling
  • oncology
  • patient care
  • patient reported outcome instruments
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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