AimsTo compare the values regulators attach to different drug effects of oral antidiabetic drugs with those of doctors and patients. MethodsWe administered a discrete choice' survey to regulators, doctors and patients with type 2 diabetes in The Netherlands. Eighteen choice sets comparing two hypothetical oral antidiabetic drugs were constructed with varying drug effects on glycated haemoglobin, cardiovascular risk, bodyweight, duration of gastrointestinal complaints, frequency of hypoglycaemia and risk of bladder cancer. Responders were asked each time which drug they preferred. ResultsFifty-two regulators, 175 doctors and 226 patients returned the survey. Multinomial conditional logit analyses showed that cardiovascular risk reduction was valued by regulators positively (odds ratio 1.98, 95% confidence interval 1.11-3.53), whereas drug choices were negatively affected by persistent gastrointestinal problems (odds ratio 0.24, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.41) and cardiovascular risk increase (odds ratio 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.27-0.87). Doctors and patients valued these effects in a similar manner to regulators. The values that doctors attached to large changes in glycated haemoglobin and that both doctors and patients attached to hypoglycaemia and weight gain also reached statistical significance. No group's drug choice was affected by a small absolute change in risk of bladder cancer when presented in the context of other drug effects. When comparing the groups, the value attached by regulators to less frequent hypoglycaemic episodes was significantly smaller than by patients (P = 0.044). ConclusionsRegulators may value major benefits and risks of drugs for an individual diabetes patient mostly in the same way as doctors and patients, but differences may exist regarding the value of minor or short-term drug effects.