Winning the Most Important Game
Jack Whelan puts his faith in science and exemplifies the best of patient advocacy.
Cancer survivor Jack Whelan may just be one of the best friends pharma and biotech have: he has no patience with the argument that the industry is profiteering and laments the fact that it always seems under attack.
Instead, he puts his faith in what he calls 'forward-looking science'. “The kids who now work in biotech and pharma were the ones in high school who kept their heads down and looked for the right answer,” he laughs. This belief in their abilities is central to Whelan’s life: he received treatment for a rare and incurable blood cancer for eight years before being diagnosed with late-stage metastatic prostate cancer. The desire to educate himself about his diseases has turned him into a passionate patient advocate, leading him to write position papers on biosimilars and hold high-level briefings with government.
In this video recorded at eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2016, he talks about the myths of clinical trials, why the patient experience can be useful for legislators – and why it’s worth betting on genomic profiling. As he says: “When you’re told it’s rare and not curable it’s like being told you’re going to play a game you can’t win. And that’s not very appealing to me".
Jack Whelan will be presenting at Patient-Centered Clinical Trials in Philadelphia in October.
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