In recent few years, many of the pharma companies try to elevate the perspectives of the patients and caregivers and find best ways to respond to their priorities and needs. Pharma companies engage individual patients and advocacy groups in improving patients’ outcomes and experiences during the actual product development (clinical trials) and incorporates patients’ inputs into products, services, and integrated solutions. This is what buzzword “patient-centricity” is about. We read about it and hear about it a lot, especially from pharma executive leadership during official communications with mass media.
Patient-centricity may be seen as a pharma’s trend, potentially short-lived without embedding it into the organizational culture. I personally think that since the patient-centric focus is pretty recent, companies must help their employees to understand that concept.
There are few ways to do it. Most importantly, pharma companies should start building awareness on relevant actions their organization is taking to achieve the patients-centricity. Employees should be engaged through various initiatives and mentored on technical aspects on how to act on the patient-centric principles in day-to-day work. Patients centricity has to be part of the R&D/commercial strategy with ongoing broad communication on the status of the relevant activates and initiatives. Every company thinking seriously about patient-centricity must acknowledge that employee’s education is as important as the patients’ needs and perspectives. One can not be achieved without the other.
Like everybody else, in the pharma world, we rush trough our lives, busy with jobs, families and various problems. We do not think every day about how important our jobs are. This is why the education and communication on patients’ centric approaches are so critical in the organizations that want to advance their culture in that direction.
Personally, I somewhat disregard the importance of my work and how impactful it can be to the patients. But this moment of sudden consciousness eventually comes. It happens when I hear about a personal journey through a difficult to treat disease. I certainly think about patients after experiencing the drug shortage in clinical programs or after watching to clinical trial patients’ testimonials. Those are a few moments when I start considering the significance of my industry. That pharma jobs are not just about coming to work, doing what we have to do– we all truly have a larger mission to complete. Every day of our work brings the hope of a cure for devastating diseases a bit closer, make some patients feel better and/or gives them back control of their own lives. Thus, being patient-centricity should be the only way to go.
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