Year in Review 2013: Patients
2013 has been a period of radical change for the pharmaceutical industry; for the first time ever, all of healthcare is aligned in believing that the customer is the key to the future of an affordable and sustainable healthcare system.
Central to this is one customer in particular of course, the end user - the patient. While I could not hope to adequately cover everything this year in terms of new initiatives, culture shifts, policy changes etc in a few measly words, I have managed to put together a snapshot of what we’ve been discussing this year. Below is a summary of some of our finest patients work in 2013, much of which served as a precursor or forewarning of the shifts and changes that were still to come at the time. These are, I believe, some of our most valuable pieces in this space from the year, I hope you enjoy them and share in my excitement to see what happens in this area in the year to come!
I selected this first piece because I believe it highlights the stark reality of non-adherence. That reality of course is that this is not a simple issue. Non-adherence is a very, very human problem in healthcare; it costs the pharmaceutical industry (and of course the wider healthcare industry globally) billions of dollars every year. Those are dollars that could be used for treatment, for future drug development and for a multitude of other things.
It’s a short story, but it’s a reminder that the slighted change, a whiff of mismanagement, could be the difference between adherence and non-adherence!
Highlighting the importance of listening to the patient voice was 22 year old Jason Loo, a cancer survivor who feels that by dictating, rather than consulting, with patients, the healthcare industry is leaving itself open to rebellion. Only by considering a person’s needs and consulting with them on the best course of treatment, can adherence rates (and therefore outcomes) improve.
Earlier this year eyeforpharma spoke to Richard Bergström, Director General of the EFPIA, about one of the larger issues facing healthcare in the 21stcentury – drug development for rare diseases, and what this means for the patient in terms of treatment choices at the point of care. Praising the progress we canmake with today’s technology and calling for “an explosion in apps and tools” to help fill the void, Richard shares his thoughts on the positives and negatives of today’s R&D landscape.
We’ve heard a lot of people claiming they’re ‘patient centric’ this year, but how many times have you actually had the privilege to get a more detailed insight into how our newfound centricity actually works? Earlier this year, eyeforpharma spoke to Petteri Jarkka, Customer Engagement Manager at Janssen Nordic about his experiences working with patient groups to co-create patient-centered services.
It shouldn’t need to be said but sadly, it seems that, for patients at least, this is still how they feel – like they’re expected to adhere/comply regardless of individual needs or circumstances.
Here we spoke to Elena Sainz, owner of the patient education website www.educadies.com about the need for patients in Latin America to be treated as equals, properly consulted and empowered to manage their illness and take an active role in their own care.
This was also the year in which we began our industry-led white paper series. Focussing on a number of key areas within healthcare, our papers have already garnered tens of thousands of downloads and numerous messages of thanks and praise of which we’re particularly proud. One paper in particular holds a special place in my heart, our paper on Value Added Service for patients.
Featuring insights into current programs and costs, effects on patient adherence and more, this paper is our first of what I’m sure will be many in this area, making the argument for patient-focussed services to become the rule rather than the exception.
That’s it! Honestly, I could’ve gone on and on, this is a topic that we should all be actively involved in. We are, after all, all patients at one time or another. For more of our work on patient empowerment, adherence, support and education visit the patients section of our website here, or alternatively sign up to our monthly newsletters here.