How Can We Make a Greater Impact to Improve Patients’ Lives?
Pierre Bourdage via LinkedIn
Mar 01, 2021
The term ‘patient centricity’ is part of the pharma industry’s lexicon but are we really “walking the talk” when we say we are putting patients at the centre? I feel that our journey to change the way we work still evolves and when we are making business decisions, we must ask ourselves the question: “What’s the impact of our actions on the lives of patients and society?”
To have an impact as an industry, we have to understand patient needs and work with all stakeholders to bring the best solutions forward. This is why at Sandoz, it is important for us to truly understand the unmet needs of patients and communities we serve. Their perspectives can inform so many parts of the Sandoz biosimilars and generics business – from product development and design to packaging and services. As a Novartis division, we are committed to deliver on the four aspects of the Novartis Commitment to Patients and Caregivers. Each part of our Commitment highlights what the patient community can expect from us:
Respecting and understanding the patient community perspective
Integrating patient perspectives throughout the medicine lifecycle is important to be able to serve patients. By listening to the patient community, we can understand what really matters to them and with that we are able to improve the patient experience. Across our therapy areas, we remain committed to having an open dialogue and transparent exchange of information with the patient community. As part of Novartis, Sandoz has a range of ways to gather insights and engage with patients, which also help our associates to integrate the patient perspectives into their work.
Expanding access to our medicines
Access is still the biggest unmet medical need and at Sandoz, we are committed to working with the patient community and other stakeholders such as healthcare professionals, policy makers and regulators to break down barriers that delay patient access. For example, in Bavaria, Germany, where I live, the introduction of biosimilars reduced the waiting time of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients to access biologic therapy from 7.4 years to 0.3 years, this is an amazing impact. As a global leader in biosimilars, Sandoz is in a position to make a real difference to patients` lives by offering biologics, which are more affordable than the reference medicine. We developed the world’s first biosimilar, which was approved almost 15 years ago and now our biosimilars are in use in 100 countries around the world aiming to play a growing role in patient care. In addition, through targeted programs we look for ways to improve access for those who cannot access or afford the medicines they need by helping to tackle the biggest global health issues, mobilizing access programs and providing donations in emergencies and where help is needed the most.
Conducting responsible clinical trials
Even though at Sandoz we don’t develop new medicines, we can still take actions to make our programs and processes more patient-centric by focusing on areas like device development, responsible clinical trials. I’m happy that we are making good progress on this in our biosimilar area. If you would like to know more about what we are doing, I encourage you to watch a recent conversation between my colleagues Jasmin and Izlen: Engaging with patients in Biosimilars Development at Sandoz.
Recognizing the importance of transparency and reporting
Our industry’s reputation is heavily influenced by public perception and by being transparent about what we do and how we do it, we can help address some of the misconceptions that still surround the industry. I believe collaboration of all stakeholders is key to address the challenges and our engagements need to be based on mutual respect, trust and transparency.
A lot to do...
We at Sandoz are increasing our efforts to deliver on these four priorities, but we know that there is still a lot to do. That’s why, we are working diligently to do better every day, every month and every year to deliver meaningful benefits to patients around the world.
We know that patient organizations are key partners to the pharma industry and are critical to helping us make a greater impact on people’s lives. In fact, this is just one aspect of the important role of patient organizations – the work they do to support patients and their families is invaluable. Their amazing work inspires us to make our world a much better place; not only for some, but for all.