Two NONMEM Tutorials in PSP!

Author: Lena Friberg, PhD on July 12, 2019


Thank you, Bob Bauer!


NONMEM remains the most widely used software for population PK and PKD analyses, both within academia and in the pharmaceutical industry. I believe the continuous development to include features requested by users, and various contributions to the pharmacometrics community, are part of the continued success. The July issue of PSP will include two tutorials on the NONMEM software one for beginners and one for more advanced users.

Part I provides a comprehensive overview of the software and points to the most essential information to get started with NONMEM in a language that may be more easily accessible than the NONMEM user guides. For example, it explains how to set up the dataset, and the various components of the input and output files are described. Two basic PK modelling examples are discussed, step by step, and all necessary files to run the examples, as well as the user guide, are provided as supplementary material. The tutorial and associated files will definitely be a fine open-access contribution to our community, allowing researchers to get going with NONMEM. I will certainly add this tutorial to the material I generally provide our newcomers.

Part II focuses on the different estimation methods available in NONMEM, i.e. FO approximation methods, sampling-based methods, and MCMC Bayesian analysis. Their pros and cons are outlined from the perspective of the author. Moreover, the tutorial includes seven complete examples of more advanced models and common approaches that a user encounters, e.g. handling data below LOQ, inter-occasion variability, mixture models, interval collection data, categorical data, etc. In the spirit of PSP to increase the educational possibilities for modelers globally, all necessary input files, as well as the output files, are freely accessible as supplementary material (one zip-file per example).

These two tutorials and the associated examples will be a very welcomed resource to our pharmacometrics and QSP community and contribute to the curriculum in courses of population modelling. Thanks to Bob Bauer (ICON) for taking the effort to author these tutorials, which are nice complements to the earlier tutorials in our collection on the concepts of population modeling by Diane Mould and Richard Upton:

1.      Basic Concepts in Population Modeling, Simulation, and Model‐Based Drug Development

2.      Basic Concepts Part 2: Introduction to Pharmacokinetic Modeling Methods

3.      Basic Concepts Part 3: Introduction to Pharmacodynamic Modeling Methods


PSP welcomes further tutorials on how to get going with software. Future tutorials on the comparisons between software would be interesting, however ideally performed by independent researchers. Please submit today!

Image by Bauer. CPT Pharmacometrics Syst. Pharmacol., doi.org/10.1002/psp4.12422, is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. ©2019 ICON Clinical Research LLC. 

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