Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
194.4K views | +2 today
Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
Curated by Pharma Guy
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Pharma “Patient Centricity” Aids & Abets the Opioid Epidemic

Pharma “Patient Centricity” Aids & Abets the Opioid Epidemic | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The machinations of Washington are complex, but it’s hard to overstate the influence — often behind the scenes — of lobbyists. For years, the opioid industry has been funding nonprofit organizations that promote patient access to their drugs. These medical organizations pushed for Congress to approve Marino’s Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which serves the interests of major drug distributors and retailers.


On Jan. 26, 2015, a number of organizations nominally interested in ensuring legitimate access to pain medication wrote to Marino, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Judy Chu, D-Calif., praising their fight for the now controversial legislation. They argued that the country needs need a balanced approach to the opioid abuse crisis that ensures access for pain patients while stopping drug abusers. Among the groups were the Alliance for Patient Access, which describes itself as “a national network of physicians dedicated to ensuring patient access to approved therapies and appropriate clinical care” and the American Academy of Pain Management (since renamed the Academy of Integrative Pain Management), which describes itself as an organization advancing “integrative pain care approaches” defined by the National Institute of Health.


As of June 2017, the Alliance for Patient Access’ list of associate members and financial supporters contains over two dozen pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Purdue Pharma. The latter’s marketing practices have been blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic.


“Federal agencies, law enforcement, pharmaceutical industry participants and prescribers each play a role in working diligently to prevent drug abuse and diversion,” they wrote. “However, it is also imperative that legitimate patients are able to obtain their prescriptions without disruption.”


Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University, said this argument — that legitimate pain medication patients should not pay the price for the fight against drug abuse — is how the opioid lobby has framed (and continues to frame) the issue of prescription abuse from the beginning.


“These pain organizations make the case for the opioid lobby. But if you scratch the surface, you’ll find that the pain organizations that signed the letter are receiving money from the opioid lobby,” Kolodny told Yahoo News.


Kolodny said the opioid lobby often uses “phony front groups” to support its efforts in blocking any reduction in prescribing — and uses them very effectively.


An explosive investigation by the Washington Post and “60 Minutes” released Sunday revealed that Marino had accepted large donations from the pharmaceutical industry while pressing for the legislation that they favored (read “How Congress Allied with Drug Company Lobbyists to Derail the DEA’s War on Opioids”;


The next day, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that she would introduce legislation to repeal the law.


Further Reading:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

PwC Predicts Patients Sharing Data Directly with #Pharma Will Be Valuable in 2017

PwC Predicts Patients Sharing Data Directly with #Pharma Will Be Valuable in 2017 | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

PwC's pharma and healthcare predictions for 2017 are out. And though, yes, next year may be "a year of uncertainty" with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump set to step in, it's also a year of "opportunity," the consultancy says.

One forecast pharma might want to heed? Patient connections, which aren’t necessarily anything new, will be increasingly valuable, PwC points out.

“Everybody wins when engagement takes place. Pharmaceutical companies would learn more about how patients manage their medications, and insurers could appreciate that patients are more likely to be adherent and meet their outcomes. There’s a domino effect," Fran Kochman, director of advocacy and alliance development at GlaxoSmithKline, said in the report.

And some patients have shown they're up for connecting directly with pharma. PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) found in 2016 that the majority of consumers with chronic conditions are willing to share their health data with pharma companies, including how well treatments are working and information about daily symptoms.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Centralized versus De-Centralized Approaches to Patient Centricity in #Pharma

Centralized versus De-Centralized Approaches to Patient Centricity in #Pharma | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Earlier this year, Ashfield convened a patient forum of 12 representatives from pharma companies, including large, broad portfolio companies as well as smaller/mid-sized, more specialist providers. It invited contributions from a mix of people with patient-centred roles, from Chief Patient Officer through to regional and functional patient leads.


The participants discussed their companies’ visions for patient-centricity, the strategy and structures they were putting in place, and the key challenges they were encountering.The forum participants felt that most companies believed there were two major considerations: bringing the patient into every person’s role within a company, and then developing solutions to positively impact patient outcomes.


A straw poll of webinar attendees gave a clear message about how a patient-centric approach could be built: 45% said senior-level endorsement of any such initiatives was vital, with embedding patient-centric principles across every team and function, and allowing sufficient budget and resource also ranking highly.


The forum research found a clear division in how companies were approaching the challenge: 50% had appointed a Chief Patient Officer, whereas the remaining 50% had opted for a ‘framework’ approach, where aiming to be more patient-centric was everybody’s responsibility.


Robinson said companies could be successful with either of these two contrasting strategies, as long as the organisation made its goals clear and maintained its patient-centricity efforts in the long term.


However, there was a clear gap highlighted between reality and aspirations: only 50% of the forum respondents believed their company’s framework to be patient-centric currently.


What still needs to happen? More...

Pharma Guy's insight:

Related articles:


“Anne Beale – one of the first Chief Patient Officer in Pharma - Discusses The Three Pillars of Sanofi's Patient-Centric Strategy”;


“Janssen's Jane Griffith: Patients Can Bring Great Value to #Pharma”;

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

@Richmeyer Calls for Resurrection of George Merck - a #Pharma CEO Who Put Patients Before Profits

@Richmeyer Calls for Resurrection of George Merck - a #Pharma CEO Who Put Patients Before Profits | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The biggest challenge facing pharma, and all healthcare for that matter, is the drive for increased profit at the expense of patients. Unless pharma acknowledges that they need to put patients first in everything they do, they are going to pay the price in increased calls for a “single payer” system.


Following Digital Pharma in social media I was reminded that there still are a lot of very good people in the industry who understand the challenge of marketing to patients today. However, like I wrote before, there is a disconnect between developing a strategy and actually implementing it.


When I see the salaries of pharma CEO’s and health insurance executives I am often troubled and confused. How could a health insurance CEO take home tens of millions of dollars in compensation when they raise rates for customers? How can a pharma CEO take home so much money knowing that there are some patients who can’t afford their medications?


DTC marketers know what they need to do to make their marketing relevant to their audience, but they often lack the budgets to make it happen. Everything is now based on ROI instead of asking “how can we help patients?”. Offering a medication to fight chronic health problems is not enough. Patients today need help from a healthcare system that treats them as a number not a person. They are left to fend for themselves when it comes to understanding how to live with health issues that affect their lives.


A new breed of pharma CEO is needed. Someone who can tell Wall Street that what we are doing to help patients will lead to better profits and someone who doesn’t ask for a compensation package that makes them a millionaire ten times over. Most importantly, we need CEO’s that allow the rank and file to implement programs that actually embrace patients based on their needs rather than a projected ROI.

Pharma Guy's insight:

When was the last time a big pharma CEO was featured on the cover of Time magazine (does that mag still exist?). Unfortunately Merck has rewritten its founder's words: "We try to remember that medicine is for the patient investor. We try never to forget that medicine is for the people investors. It is not IS for the profits. The profits follow lead, and if we have remembered that, they will never fail to appear. The better we have remembered that, the larger they have been." – George Corporate Merck. For more on that, read “Merck in the Mirror: Profits, Not People, Come First. Shame!”;

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Patient Centricity #FAIL: Do Patient Surveys Induce Physicians to Prescribe More Opioids?

Patient Centricity #FAIL: Do Patient Surveys Induce Physicians to Prescribe More Opioids? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The questionnaire arrives in the mail a few days after a patient’s discharge from the hospital.

Did doctors treat you respectfully? Was your bathroom kept clean?

Most of the queries seem mundane, but a backlash has been growing against one: Did staff members do everything they could for your pain?

As the country struggles to control the epidemic of overdoses and deaths from prescription opioids, many medical professionals and policy makers are challenging the wisdom of asking patients to rate how hospital employees manage pain. Doing so, they argue, creates a dangerous incentive for doctors to prescribe powerful and potentially addictive painkillers.

Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the Indiana health commissioner, said that in conversations around the state, doctors frequently told him, “I’m scared to not give out those opioids because my patient satisfaction scores will come back poorly.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, patient ratings grew even more important: In 2013, scores on an inpatient survey required by the federal government became tied to hospitals’ Medicare reimbursement. But after waves of angry petitions and proposed bills to cut the pain questions, the Obama administration said last month that it would remove them, at least temporarily, from the reimbursement formula.

Doctors and other providers say part of the problem is that because pain is highly individualized and difficult to measure objectively, a survey question is a poor instrument for judging medical competence. Moreover, many experts add, patients have unrealistic expectations: They equate good treatment with the complete eradication of pain and assume they will be handed a prescription for fast relief.

In a culture increasingly influenced by consumer ratings, many doctors say such questions pressure them to substitute what a patient wants for their judgment about what the patient needs.

“Part of my paycheck comes from satisfaction scores,” said Dr. Thomas E. Benzoni, an emergency medicine physician at three hospitals in Des Moines. “So if doctors are being measured on whether the patient wants pain relief,” he added, that is what they may be inclined to provide.

Many experts, including physicians and patient advocates, agree that patients’ views should carry weight. But if surveys are to address pain management, other questions might be more useful in reinforcing good medical practice, they say.

Dr. Adams, Indiana’s health commissioner and an anesthesiologist, said questions about pain should ask whether staff members discussed the risks linked to painkillers such as opioids. Such exchanges, he said, could help temper a patient’s assumption that pain can be eliminated.

His suggestion: “Did staff set reasonable expectations for what your pain should be?”

No comment yet.
Rescooped by Pharma Guy from Pharma Marketing News, Views & Events!

Pharma Marketing Blog: Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too! But Is It Absolutely Transparent?

Pharma Marketing Blog: Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too! But Is It Absolutely Transparent? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

On, David Palacios, Head of Global Patient Relations, and Sanja Njegic, Head of Patient Advocacy & Relations in Europe at Novartis, explain how their company has moved from working with doctors and payers to working directly with patients. The interview was recorded at Eyeforpharma Barcelona 2016.

“We developed last year what we call the 'patient declaration,' which is a public statement about what patients can expect from us,” said Palacios. “It is an internal and external commitment. By having this document everybody in the company needs to work seriously to honor what we said in the patient declaration. That has triggered a lot of discussion internally.”

Some of that discussion must have been around "transparency" with regard to compensating patients -- especially patient bloggers and patient advocates -- for their opinion, much like pharma has traditionally paid physician Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) for their opinions. Did that discussion result in any relevant disclosure in the "patient declaration?


Find out here.

Pharma Guy's curator insight, July 23, 2016 9:40 AM

Back in 2013, the U.S. Justice Department  filed a civil false claims lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. involving alleged kickbacks paid by the company to health care providers (read the details here).

DOJ claims that Novartis violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by paying doctors to speak about certain drugs, including its hypertension drugs Lotrel and Valturna and its diabetes drug Starlix, at events that were often little or nothing more than social occasions for the doctors. 

Many speaker programs were held in circumstances in which it would have been "virtually impossible for any presentation to be made, such as on fishing trips off the Florida coast," the suit claims.

"Other Novartis events were held at Hooters restaurants."


Read "Novartis Wines -- er, Beers -- and Dines Docs at Hooters!";

Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Are Pharma Marketers Really Responsible for "Patient Centricity/Engagement?"

Are Pharma Marketers Really Responsible for "Patient Centricity/Engagement?" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

For the last few years, most pharma companies have discovered (or is it rediscovered?) the healthcare consumer — putting patients at the center of their businesses with patient-centric thinking.


But who understands and represents the patient in big pharma? Marketers do [says David Anderson, managing partner at Insight NZ, a healthcare brand advertising agency. See my insights].


Marketers have a unique opportunity to be “the voice” of the patient within their organizations. What does this mean in practice?


1) Get into the patients' shoes. Understand their world. Understand their commonality and their diversity. Understand their journey from illness to wellness. What motivates them? Why do they make the decisions they make?


2) Include patients in the conversation. Make sure they're involved in their health, which means talking to them in a language that they can understand. Health literacy is low for many chronic conditions — so don't use “dyspnea” when you can say “shortness of breath.” And it's the flu, not influenza, no matter how much the medical team may hate that abbreviation.


3) Support physicians by augmenting the clinical information they have, so that they can deliver a more holistic healthcare solution.


4) Advocate for the patient in your organization. Patient needs should come first in all levels of your organization. At every opportunity advocate for your patients and share what you know. This will help others make patient-centric decisions in their roles.

Pharma Guy's insight:

The author of this piece, David Anderson, is a managing partner at Insight NZ, a healthcare brand advertising agency. He argues that, by definition, marketing is "patient centric": 

The UK Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as: "… the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably."


"Profitability," however, often trumps (with a small "t") putting patients' interest first. If it weren't so, I would never have anything to write about! 


For an alternative view, read this: "Are #Pharma Medical Departments Responsible for 'Patient Engagement?'"; After reading that you will see that Mr. Anderson completely ignores the medical research side of the business, which marketers don't fully understand until after the fact it seems.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

How to Improve Patient Engagement by Partnering with #Pharma Legal Overlords

How to Improve Patient Engagement by Partnering with #Pharma Legal Overlords | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Jutta Ulbrich, Head of Patient Engagement, and Kristin Buetecke, Head of Legal, for AbbVie Germany, presented a case study at the recent Barcelona 2016 conference. The study detailed efforts that the German affiliate had embarked on to help translate the concept of patient centricity into reality. As they explained, “Employees often haven’t been as patient-centric as they’d like to be because they worry that by trying to help, they might end up inadvertently over-stepping the mark.”

The realization that employees were often deterred from engaging with patients out of fear that they might act inappropriately motivated the Patient Engagement Team to seek a solution. They decided to partner with the legal department to create a guidebook for patient interactions. The digital manual that has been produced provides a comprehensive framework of information that can be used daily by all staff, and offers guidelines for many of their interfaces with patients. The intention was not to create another policy but to develop a ‘one-stop’ digital manual where all policies, legal requirements, applicable codices, and rules were referenced, as well as putting procedures and various templates into one document.

As Ulbrich states, “Legal teams may occasionally be seen as a bottle-neck for pharma companies, but when you’re talking about the healthcare of people, the support from the legal department and compliance are of key importance, as are the Codes of Conduct.” By allowing the legal department to become an enabler, the manual has actually increased the number of patient-centric projects that the AbbVie German affiliate has been able to embark on. As Buetecke says, “Staff now know exactly where to look to have their questions answered and where to access company guidelines for most situations that face them, so are more willing and able to make decisions that will ultimately benefit the patient.”

To date, the usage figures have been extremely encouraging. “People really seem to have accepted this as a tool for their daily use,” says Ulbrich.  She feels that this success can be attributed to the intention behind the manual, which was to be helpful in providing answers to everyday questions and situations. Given the enthusiastic response to the document since its launch, she believes it would be useful to any pharma company wishing to improve its patient centricity by providing an enabling manual that provides clear guidelines for all customer interactions.

There have already been many requests from other companies in Europe for assistance in putting together a similar document, and Buetecke says the team is happy to share the basic framework. However, she cautions that content needs to be company specific, with examples taken from a company’s daily practice in order for a manual to be relevant to the business. Ultimately, she believes that the manual AbbVie has produced provides an easily accessible framework that documents a wide-range of daily challenges to all staff and the steps that should be taken in each situation. Having convenient access to this knowledge assists employees in their patient centricity by allowing them to act confidently and within the boundaries of compliance.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Pharma's Rep Among Patient Groups at 4-Year High

Pharma's Rep Among Patient Groups at 4-Year High | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

It seems that the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing attention on patient centricity is starting to rub off on its corporate reputation, which has hit a four year-high according to findings of the latest PatientView survey.
Pharma’s standing in this respect has hit its highest level since 2011, when the PatientView survey began, with 44.7 percent of the 1,075 responding patient groups stating that it had an “Excellent” or “Good” corporate reputation in 2015, compared with just over a third in 2012, while 28 percent said its reputation had improved during the year.

The vast majority of patient groups responding (72 percent) said that pharma as a whole was “Excellent” or “Good” during the year at producing high-quality products. But, on the downside, just 15 percent said the industry was “Excellent” or “Good” at having fair pricing policies (and at not making excessive profits), while 45 percent said pharma was poor at this activity. 
Overall, out of the 48 companies assessed for their corporate reputation by patient groups in 2015, ViiV Healthcare took the top spot again with AbbVie remaining a close second. Lundbeck moved up two places from 2014 to third place, Johnson & Johnson group Janssen jumped four place to fourth, Novo Nordisk slipped three place into fifth, and Gilead moved up eight places into 6th. 
According to the report, a number of factors influence patient groups’ opinions on the corporate standing of pharma companies, including: product launches that offer a genuine, measurable and positive impact on a medical condition; mergers & acquisitions, which are not viewed favourable particularly if they target tax bills and overheads; and drug pricing and market access, one of the most sensitive topics for patient groups.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Several of the patient organizations participating in this survey receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek's curator insight, March 10, 2016 3:13 PM

Several of the patient organizations participating in this survey receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Alexandre Gultzgoff's curator insight, March 11, 2016 11:51 AM

Several of the patient organizations participating in this survey receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Scooped by Pharma Guy!

#Pharma is Not Ready to be Patient Centric, Says This Patient Blogger

#Pharma is Not Ready to be Patient Centric, Says This Patient Blogger | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

With all due respect, you are not automatically a “patient-centric” company just because you added that term to your marketing materials and hired someone with an eponymous title who travels the country with a spectacular LinkedIn profile on fact-finding missions to buy nonprofit CEO’s lunch to data mine their insights.

And don’t get me started on regulatory. We in the Patient Advocacy sector are not naive to The Physician Payments Sunshine Act. (It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) This onomatopoeic law is killing all of us. It stifles innovation (with a lower case “i”), presents innumerable encumbrances to actually getting anything done and ties up any possibility for success in a sea of red tape negotiations.

My point is that that a re-imagining of patient-centricity needs to occur STAT. Otherwise no one wins.

PAOs are at fault too. We can’t just take your money and not expect to produce ROI. And yet, there are a few nonprofits for whom ROI is in their DNA. They operate using program management and evidence-based patient outcome reporting. Pharmas that choose to meaningfully engage with these groups benefit from a measurable competitive advantage by viewing us as business partners, rather than charities looking for a handout.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I guess this patient's points are (1) transparency of payments to physicians somehow stifles "innovation," and (2) payments to Patient Advocacy Organizations (PAOs) should be fees for service!

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

A Broken Covenant With Patients

A Broken Covenant With Patients | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In 2007, federal law mandated that all pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals conducting clinical trials must disclose study results and adverse events on, a website used by a large percentage of doctors and patients. Mr. Piller’s evidence proves that pharmaceutical companies have often failed to follow the law while prestigious medical research institutions have routinely flouted it. Malfeasance appears to be the rule, not the exception.

An example from the pharmaceutical industry: According to Mr. Piller, in my home state, Indiana, the nonprofit Hoosier Cancer Research Network, which runs trials for drug companies, terminated a study of Avastin in 2009 because it did not help but harmed patients with metastatic breast cancer. During the next two years, the trial’s investigators neither published their results in a journal nor posted them on It was not until 2011 that the F.D.A. revoked approval of Avastin for metastatic breast cancer because of its life-threatening risks. How many sick women were unnecessarily endangered between 2009 and 2011?

An example from the prestigious medical research institutions: According to Mr. Piller, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center broke the law on 100 percent of its studies—“reporting results late or not at all.” In two trials of the experimental drug ganetespib, it failed to report adverse consequences — heart and liver disorders, bowel and colon obstructions, death — affecting “volunteers” with breast and colorectal cancers.

The word “volunteers” reminds us that the often debilitated participants in clinical cancer trials decide on their own accord to put their lives on the line, usually with no resulting personal health benefit. It also brings to my mind the first anxious days of my participation in the Phase I trial that I began in August 2012.

My husband and I undertook the one-hour drive from Bloomington to the Indianapolis cancer center at the crack of dawn. Inside a hospital room from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m., I spent a long period of that time fasting. Because the experimental drug had never been used on human beings before, I was monitored every hour with all sorts of tests that were followed by various infusions to offset potential side effects. Totally exhausted upon release, my husband and I got lost finding our way to a bleak motel, paid for by the trial because we had to return to the hospital the next morning for more testing.

The stressful and demanding start of the trial forecast its evolution. To date, I have had approximately 20 CT scans for the trial—not one of which was good for me physically or psychologically, but all of which help researchers ascertain how the drug I take works. Yet the knowledge they gain from this study remains barren, if it does not circulate among other researchers, cancer doctors, and patients. I benefit from the study drug, but no one else will be aided unless at its conclusion the results of the trial are promptly reported not just in a medical journal but on the site provided for the dissemination of information required by law.

Pharma Guy's insight:

This story suggests to me another way that can be more "patient-centric" - Publish all clinical trial results. For other suggestions for pharma to be more patient-centric, see 

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Are #Pharma Medical Departments Responsible for "Patient Engagement?"

Are #Pharma Medical Departments Responsible for "Patient Engagement?" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

[Scooped from Paul Tunnah]: 

We seem to be at the tipping point where a majority of pharma companies are realising the importance of talking to patients when it comes to gaining a real-world perspective on all aspects of their business, from early trials to ensuring newly-launched products meet unmet needs beyond the clinic.

You see, patient engagement has myriad benefits for pharma companies that span all kinds of initiatives. To name but a few, they include:

  • Input on clinical trial input to deliver against the real-world setting (R&D)
  • Supporting with communication around clinical trial recruitment (R&D / communications)
  • Advising on unmet needs / real-world patient challenges to help with product positioning (marketing)
  • Advising on supportive solutions needed  beyond medicines (marketing / digital marketing)
  • Helping communicate key challenges at the disease area level, above the brand (patient advocacy / communications)
  • Helping identify novel commercial partners to work with (business development / strategy)
  • Helping define the successful high-level strategy for pharma (C-level)

The list goes on and on…

And so we see the increasing importance of patient-focussed roles such as ‘Patient Advocacy Manager’ and the creation of relatively new ones such as ‘Patient Engagement Manager’, going right up to the C-level with positions like ‘Chief Patient Officer’ or ‘Chief Patient Affairs Officer’.

But beyond the role titles, questions are now being asked about which department should house such personnel. There seems to be an allergic reaction to patient engagement roles sitting within commercial departments like sales and marketing because clearly the industry doesn’t want to be seen to be selling directly to patients where direct-to-consumer advertising is prohibited (pretty much everywhere outside the US). Equally, it’s generally not seen as a communications function because they’re already pretty busy managing the company’s image in the eyes of healthcare providers, policy makers, commercial/academic partners, investors and jobseekers.

The answer at the moment therefore seems to be that patient engagement roles sit within the ‘medical’ functions of pharma companies, nicely one step removed from the selling side of the business and sitting within a department focussed on education rather than branding/PR.

Pharma Guy's insight:

"Patient Engagement" like "Patient Centricity" may be a mere buzzword for pharma marketers/communicators/PR peeps, but on the R&D side of the business it's a reality as many companies begin to name Chief Patient Officers whose main function is to enlist patients in clinical trials and improve outcomes (listen to Anne C. Beal, M.D., MPH, Chief Patient Officer, Sanofi, talks about patient centricity and Sanofi's commitment to engaging patients and improving outcomes; Also, you might enjoy reading this: "Patient Centricity Should Be the Rule, Not Exception, in Pharma Drug Trials";

Scooped by Pharma Guy!

In this industry, patients are always the first and last excuse for everything. How true!

In this industry, patients are always the first and last excuse for everything. How true! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
In this industry, patients are always the first and last excuse for everything

In a moment of candor no doubt brought on by some personal animosity, Martin Shkreli let down his guard on Sunday and told me exactly why he hiked the price of a 62-year-old drug by more than 5000%.

"It's a great business decision that also benefits all of our stakeholders," Shkreli told me on Twitter. "I don't expect the likes of you to process that." He then called me a moron, and later bragged about flipping off the media.

So there you have it. The unvarnished truth. It was a business decision. It was about money. And screw you.

Come Monday morning, though, as his blunt remark started to blow up on Reddit and Gawker and Twitter and Hillary Clinton started discussing price controls, talk about business decisions and flipping off reporters didn't quite fit the protocols of damage control. And Shkreli adopted the same pious defense that all industry execs turn to when the mood gets harsh.

Instantly, Shkreli transformed into a paradigm of virtue. The move to raise the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 days after buying control of the medicine was all done for patients. The money would finance precious research into vitally needed new drugs that would benefit suffering individuals.

While raucous Web groups were letting him have it, it was amazing to me how often the most prestigious media outlets in the country gave him a pass, even after he had provided them with a statement of unequivocal defiance. If Shkreli wanted to adopt the Good Samaritan defense, he was evidently entitled to it, in their opinion.

In this industry, patients are always the first and last excuse for everything. If you waste $400 million on a dumb Phase III study, it was done for your love of patients. If you charge $150,000 for a bad cancer drug that gives a person an extra four weeks of misery, you were doing it for them.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Patient centricity as an excuse for raising drug prices…unbelievable!

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Why Does #Pharma Have Problems With Achieving Patient Centricity Success?

Why Does #Pharma Have Problems With Achieving Patient Centricity Success? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

According to IMS a majority of companies have attempted patient-centric initiatives but only a third have reported any success.  


We keep hearing about patient centricity but the pressure on sales has ensured that most patient centric strategies are too much about conversion than helping patients.


IMS reports that nearly 70% reported that their organization has not been adequately successful with patient-centric initiatives , and only 4% reported a high degree of success.  Why?

Pharma Guy's insight:

eyeforpharma has addressed, the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW behind patient-centricity in their latest magazine.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

PC: Patient-Centricity or Merely Politically Correct? That is the Question

PC: Patient-Centricity or Merely Politically Correct? That is the Question | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

It is time that pharma started prioritising patient-centricity activities, so that the concept becomes something that patients notice and benefit from, rather than just a mantra


The mantra of patient-centricity has unquestionably become ubiquitous within pharma, and there can be few marketers in the industry who are not striving to understand the concept and turn it into something which in reality will make a beneficial difference for patients. But just how successful has that effort been so far - and what does pharma need to do to turn the aspiration for true patient-centricity into reality?


At its most basic, patient-centricity is about a duty to inform patients and their caregivers about their condition and the subsequent treatment. By providing patient-friendly support materials at key touchpoints and extending their efforts to understand, and go some way to meet, the patient's emotional or social support needs, pharma can help secure better adherence and better disease management.


If successful, this is undoubtedly a win:win for both pharma and patients - if they join and stay on the treatment pathway, they stand the best chance of improving their condition, and pharma will see a commercial benefit too.


Beyond this basic involvement in better communication comes the concept of patient engagement (another buzz word much used but not so well understood). Patients are being brought into the marketing process across the whole treatment journey. Often patient support organisation relationships are nurtured, and in some cases internal patient advocacy roles are created, by pharma in order to understand patients' unmet needs' from first symptoms through diagnosis, to ongoing management.


The evidence would suggest that the influence of the patient is still not really understood - or at least fully taken on board - by pharma companies. Despite the explosion in patient research that has taken place, all too often the findings are not awarded as much weight as the HCP findings - because the strategic value of the patient voice has not been grasped. This is merely paying lip service to 'patient-centricity'.


So is patient-centricity working well? Is it totally embedded within what pharma does? Or is it another 'buzz word concept' that at best is being partially and patchily implemented?


Further Reading:

  • “Is Patient-Centric’ Just Another Pharma Marketing Buzzword?;
  • “#Pharma's ‘Patient Centricity’ Pays Off: Patient Groups Mum on Drug Costs”;
  • “Anne Beale – one of the first Chief Patient Officer in Pharma - Discusses The Three Pillars of Sanofi's Patient-Centric Strategy”;
  • “Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too”;
  • “Patients' Views Matter: Can Pharma Be There for Them When Needed vs Whenever?”;
  • “Are Pharma Marketers Really Responsible for ‘Patient Centricity/Engagement?’";
  • "Are #Pharma Medical Departments Responsible for 'Patient Engagement?'";
No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

How "Patient Centricity" Helps Pharma Develop & Gain Approval for Orphan Drugs

How "Patient Centricity" Helps Pharma Develop & Gain Approval for Orphan Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In rare diseases, true patient engagement is critical to every step of a drug's development, from clinical trials and regulatory approval, to patient diagnosis and adherence.


Why is that? Because patients with rare diseases (and their families) are essentially the thought-leaders of their condition. Usually these patients are very few in number, and have high unmet needs. Management of their condition is often fragmented, with knowledgeable healthcare professionals few and far between. Patients can feel isolated which begets active participation in both online and offline networks with other affected patients and families. Many rare diseases specifically affect children, which causes huge distress for parents and family members, who become very actively involved.


So despite often very challenging circumstances, patients with rare diseases and their families and caregivers are typically very well-informed about their condition, very connected and active in the space, and very willing to be involved when it comes to potential advances in the area.


Putting the patient at the centre is an absolute necessity for pharma companies involved in this space, and several companies have been very successful in doing so, for example Sanofi Genzyme, Novo Nordisk and Novartis, that were ranked the top three companies for corporate reputation according to rare disease patient groups (however, read, “Report: #Pharma Does Not Feel the Pain of Orphan Patients”;


So how do companies successfully engage with patients and ensure the orphan drug they have in development will reach the patients who need it?


In both the US and Europe, a range of schemes to facilitate patient involvement in the regulatory process has been established (read, for example, “How a #pharma Funded ‘Grassroots’ Patient Advocacy Campaign Changed FDA's Approval Process”; The FDA has introduced a Patient Engagement Advisory Committee and the EMA has patient representatives on a range of its committees, including its management board.


Orphan drug companies collaborate with patient advocates for example to demonstrate the burden of the disease, add it to the policy agenda and help to incorporate the rare patients' benefit-risk preferences into a structured evaluation process.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Ad: Did You Miss the Webinar? Align Your Culture with the Patient in Mind - Get Recording

Ad: Did You Miss the Webinar? Align Your Culture with the Patient in Mind - Get Recording | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Enacting real patient-centricity can become a reality across your company, bringing benefits for patients as well as a good ROI for your team.

A commercial model focussed on patients is just a cultural shift away. Learn about the barriers to patient-centricity, and how to overcome these in your company  in this eyeforpharma webinar: Align your culture with the patient in mind

Hear from:

  • Jack Whelan, Research Advocate, Principal, & Event Speaker, Jack-Whelan LLC
  • Kalahn Taylor-Clark, PhD, MPH, Associate Vice President and Head, US Public Affairs and Advocacy, Cardiovascular Unit, Sanofi
  • Michelle Berg, VP, Patient Advocacy, Abeona Therapeutics
  • Jill Donahue, Co-Founder, The Aurora Project


Sign up here to receive the full recording of the webinar.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Patients' Views Matter: Can Pharma Be There for Them When Needed vs Whenever? 

Patients' Views Matter: Can Pharma Be There for Them When Needed vs Whenever?  | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

If the statement “Not everything that matters can be measured, and not everything that can be measured matters” is true, then biopharma need to quickly find a way of understanding what matters. Knowing what really matters, especially to patients, could be a huge differentiator.


But what does matter to patients? And how can the industry find out what really matters to them? Not surprisingly, the simple answer is listening to patients, as opposed to trying to manage them and making decisions on their behalf. Conducting workshops that serve as a venue for patients to discuss their challenges, needs and ideas is a good place to start. Conversations with patients can generate multiple insights and enable a community-first approach to developing solutions, where patients act as co-creators in the design process.


Essentially, the approach to patients should be human-centric, rather than disease-centric. Knowing what matters to patients is going beyond what is clinically needed to target a disease, and moving towards developing therapeutic services that are overall solutions to improved living.


What matters to people often involves emotion, sentiment and personal opinion. These concepts can be perplexing to companies, who are dependent on using objective methods of evaluation. So, how can an area as subjective as “what matters to patients” be measured and authentically assessed?


Before anything else, biopharma companies must evaluate the current business models and metrics they adopt in order to determine whether they give consideration to the subjective aspect of the patient experience. Furthermore, they must identify at which patient journey points they can “meet” the patient. By studying the journey of the patient, companies will begin to realize that there are a number of opportunities to improve customer engagement, and to “be there” for patients.


Here are four measurable areas that matter to patients.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Also read “Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too”;

No comment yet.
Rescooped by Pharma Guy from New pharma!

Patient Services Survey 2016: Pharma’s Growing Opportunity - Accenture

Patient Services Survey 2016: Pharma’s Growing Opportunity - Accenture | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
We surveyed 200+ patient services executives in the pharma industry to understand where their companies are in developing patient services
The future of patient services is bright.

Patient Services offˆers pharmaceutical companies a tremendous opportunity—for those willing to invest in the right places and let patients know about them in the right way. We surveyed 200+ patient services executives in the pharma industry to understand where their companies are in developing patient services and where they intend to go over the next two years and contrasts that with patients told us they want, value and expect from patient services.

Our survey covered seven therapeutic areas: heart, lungs, brain, immune systems, bones, hormone/metabolism, and cancer. And guess what? Our study revealed that the future of patient services is bright—for both pharmaceutical companies and patients.


  1. Patient Services are delivering value with a significant increase in focus and investment expected over the next two years.
  2. Companies are going big with investments in digital engagement technologies and supporting analytics.
  3. Much of this investment (but not all) is aligned to what patients value


  1. Companies primarily make patients aware of their services through healthcare professionals, however, less than 1 in 5 patients are aware of the services.
  2. The majority of companies are not able to precisely measure the impact of patient services on outcomes.
  3. Heads of patient services/experience are rapidly emerging but without full ownership of the patient experience.

This research report is intended to help pharmaceutical companies’ hone in on the services that present the highest potential—for them and the people who use their therapeutics—so they can take a leadership role in shaping this rapidly evolving market and prepare for the shift from delivering products to delivering better patient and health system outcomes.

Via rob halkes
rob halkes's curator insight, June 1, 2016 9:12 AM

Great insight from this research in what patients want and how pharma tries tof fulfill these needs. However, as this research shows too, only a less than optimal approach is chosen to disseminate and implement the services: a finding we already acknowledged in our own research of pharma's value added services. (See
The right approach to patient services is to create and disseminate them with them instead of to them. You need to align with patient groups to know what patients want in their region within their care. Next, you may align with both physicians and patient (groups) to create local applications in healthcare. See here for more information:

Scooped by Pharma Guy!

What’s You Company’s “Patient Engagement Maturity Level?”

What’s You Company’s “Patient Engagement Maturity Level?” | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

With regard to patient engagement, there is emerging support for moving away from a reactive approach, in which coordination between stakeholders, therapy, and care is limited or ad hoc, to a proactive model in which engagement tools and support bolster both patients and health care providers.


The five key needs that a comprehensive patient services suite should address are:


  1. Therapy: Connecting with patients to provide access to and support with their care. Specific therapy-related solutions include access to care, specialty pharmacy triage, distribution solutions, site of care/infusion site match, lab/test results coordination, and nurse visits.
  2. Financial: Helping patients obtain the resources they require to stay on therapy. Specific financial solutions include insurance verification, benefits investigation, claims appeals and re-coding, prior authorization, co-pay assistance, and bridge therapy programs.
  3. Clinical: Providing patients with a point of contact during trials and assisting with transitioning from clinical to commercial drugs, specifically clinical trial support and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies.
  4. Engagement: Granting patients access to programs via traditional and emerging channels that will help support their unique treatment journeys and enable better long-term treatment outcomes. Specific engagement-related solutions include enrollment and consent, case management, patient adherence programs, portals, assistance with appointments and scheduling, mobile health monitoring, telehealth, and advocacy.
  5. Education: Delivering educational insights to inform patient decision-making and behaviors. Solutions include medical information and pharmacovigilance, nursing educational support, and between-visit care.


Maturity levels across companies are highly variable; maturity in patient engagement has not been correlated to the overall maturity of the organization. In order to evaluate their current patient engagement maturity levels, pharma companies should examine their current patient engagement strategy, service offerings, and enabling technology on the following parameters: More here…

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Did MM&M Senior Editor Vow to No Longer Use "Patient Centric" Buzzword?

Did MM&M Senior Editor Vow to No Longer Use "Patient Centric" Buzzword? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Maybe it's time for pharma and healthcare marketers to put all the “patient-centric” talk on the shelf — not the actual paying-attention-to-patients part of it, but the trumpeting of it as the most noble of life-science virtues.

This is a business that is, first and foremost, about curing, treating, and otherwise caring for patients. Shouldn't an advanced degree of patient-centricity have been baked into every company's DNA from the outset? Just as restaurateurs and haberdashers and DJs don't blow out their rotator cuffs patting themselves on the back for their focus on their core clientele, so too should healthcare marketers get out of the habit of such self-congratulation. If this ain't the most elementary aspect of their jobs, it's close.

Hey, we've been guilty of preaching the patient-centric gospel. I'm too lazy to input “MM&M patient-centric” into the ol' Google machine, but I can't imagine such a search wouldn't produce multiple pages worth of results. We've fallen into the trap in the past, because “patient-centric” rolls off the tongue so easily. It's a simple, innocuous catchphrase in the age of the empowered health consumer (itself a simple, innocuous catchphrase). Who in healthcare can possibly be anti-patient-centricity? If you're patient-centric, you're always on the right side, friend. It's like being pro-ice-cream.

Really: Any pharma marketer, drug developer or payer-side exec — hell, any mopper of hospital floors or booker of MRI reservations — who's not compulsively, hysterically patient-centric is in the wrong line of work. If you are, maybe go write poems instead? You can get away with self-absorption and audience-abnegation as a poet. You cannot in healthcare.

So let's agree to banish “patient-centric” from our descriptive toolkit. As communicators, we're better than that. We've got other horns to toot.

That is all. “Beyond the pill,” consider yourself on notice.

Pharma Guy's insight:

“It’s no coincidence that the rise of the term ‘patient-centric’ has been paralleled by the decline in public perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry,” says that Michael McLinden, chief strategy officer at Mc|K Healthcare. “Too many patient-centric programs turn out to be thinly veiled promotional efforts, and that has contrib-uted to their cynicism and disillusion with our business.” 

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Pharma's New RockStars: Patients

Pharma's New RockStars: Patients | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Any good research-based pharma company is built on the foundations of strong science and relationships with healthcare providers. As such, as we have seen significant interaction between these groups, with medical doctors either advising companies or taking on roles internally (noting that this should be in a transparent way).

If we now consider that as a model for the evolution of patient-centricity, I believe we are seeing the same transformation. The way in which social media democratised access to health information gave the patient a voice – and a new way for the pharma industry to listen to it. Next, proactive patients went a stage further, using social media to empower themselves as epatients, or Patient Opinion Leaders, sitting alongside more traditional medical Key Opinion Leaders. The industry started listening to them.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Pharma is not only "listening" to patients, they are "using" patients in drug ads and other kinds of promotion such as PhRMA's Hope campaign, which features a "rockstar" 5-yo with diabetes. For more on that, see 

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

#Pharma's "Patient Centricity" Pays Off: Patient Groups Mum on Drug Costs

#Pharma's "Patient Centricity" Pays Off: Patient Groups Mum on Drug Costs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Drug companies provide so much of the funding for major patient groups that many critics say they've stifled a key voice in the policy debate over soaring drug prices, especially over those for cancer.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for example, gets $50 million a year from drugmakers, which comes to about 16% of their funding. The National Patient Advocate Foundation receives 60% of its $2 million budget from the pharmaceutical industry, while the Colon Cancer Alliance gets 15% of its $1.2 million budget.  Several other groups get up to 20% of their revenue from drug companies.

"It is worrisome because it is a conflict of interest even if you can’t prove it changes their position," says Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and professor who chairs the University of Pennsylvania's department of medical ethics and health policy. "The patient voice carries a disproportionate amount of weight."

One reason for the apparent lack of interest in drug costs is that patient groups are focused on developing drugs to cure their respective diseases. They care far less about costs because the patients  want and need the drugs, often to survive. So they join with drugmakers in pushing to have them developed without as much concern over the costs.

Drugmakers have a natural alliance with patient groups, which helps explain their alliance, says Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group.

“Patient groups and biopharmaceutical companies share the same goal of improving patient access to innovative therapies and ensuring the continued development of new treatments and cures," Zirkelbach said in an emailed statement.

Pat Mastors, co-founder of the Patient Voice Institute, is trying to get patients more involved in health care policy, including on drug prices, but lacks the resources of those that do take drug money.

"We have to create public pressure to change the incentives ...for drugmakers to set prices that don't cripple people with debt," says Mastors, a former TV news anchor who has two family members with cancer. "It's hard if others are taking a lot of money from pharma to know where the allies are to build momentum."

Pharma Guy's insight:

Meanwhile, read "Pharma Does Not Feel the Pain of Orphan Patients"; "When drug companies fail to respond to cost concerns, patient groups feel abandoned by their pharma partners."

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

FDA Wants to Attend External PFDD Meetings Organized by Patients

The Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) initiative is part of FDA commitments under the fifth authorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V). The PFDD initiative aims to more systematically obtain the patient perspective on specific diseases and their treatments.

The patient perspective is critical in helping FDA understand the context in which regulatory decisions are made for new drugs. PFDD meetings give FDA an important opportunity to hear directly from patients, patient advocates, and caretakers about the symptoms that matter most to them, the impact the disease has on patients’ daily lives, and patients’ experiences with currently available treatments. This input can inform FDA’s decisions and oversight both during drug development and during our review of a marketing application.

FDA recognizes that there are many more disease areas than can be addressed in the planned FDA meetings under PDUFA V. There has been growing external interest in expanding efforts to gather patient input in support of drug development and evaluation.

To help expand the benefits of FDA’s PFDD initiative, FDA welcomes patient organizations to identify and organize patient-focused collaborations to generate public input on other disease areas, using the process established through Patient-Focused Drug Development as a model.

FDA may consider in-person attendance for meetings held in the DC Metro area. FDA may also be willing to provide specific recommendations on the planning of the meeting and the development of any meeting outputs. FDA will determine its level of involvement on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a number of factors, including any identified need for a better understanding of patient perspective, recent interactions with patient stakeholders, proposed meeting details, and FDA staff capacity. 

Pharma Guy's insight:

It may be a good idea for pharma companies to help patient organizations they work with to organize such meetings.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Pharma Guy!

Is "Patient-Centric" Just Another Pharma Marketing Buzzword?

Is "Patient-Centric" Just Another Pharma Marketing Buzzword? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

[According to Zoe Dunn], There are certain catchphrases that float around the pharmaceutical marketing community that become the “term du jour.” NPP (non-personal promotion) is one that immediately comes to mind. It's typically defined as anything delivered to the physician that doesn't go through the rep. But really, don't we want all of our communications to be personal?

My recent favorite [says Zoe]: When brands and companies say their focus is on being “patient-centric.” But what does that really mean? That you're no longer going to sell to physicians, but rather to patients? Or that you're going to make patients' needs the priority over healthcare professionals' needs? Or that your focus is no longer going to be on what your brand's needs are (to sell more product) but rather what patients' needs are (to get well)? For argument's sake, let's just go with the latter.

What do you think would happen if every pharmaceutical company suddenly decided to shift their top priority from selling product to patients to something like “helping patients (in their key therapeutic category) be healthier”?

If “patient-centric” continues to be focused on meeting the brand's needs to sell more product, we will continue to fool ourselves that we are delivering what the patient needs. We need clarity around our focus and better understanding of patient needs, even when they diverge from what we are tasked to deliver. We need creativity and innovation to bridge the gap between what pharma wants to achieve and the needs of the patients it serves.

Pharma Guy's insight:

"Patient-Centric" may be a buzzword for pharma marketers, but on the R&D side of the business it's a reality as many companies begin to name Chief Patient Officers whose main function is to enlist patients in clinical trials and improving outcomes (listen to Anne C. Beal, M.D., MPH, Chief Patient Officer, Sanofi, talks about patient centricity and Sanofi's commitment to engaging patients and improving outcomes; Also, you might enjoy reading this: "Patient Centricity Should Be the Rule, Not Exception, in Pharma Drug Trials"; 

No comment yet.