Improving Patients' Lives

Week in Review: Working Together to Provide Patients Better, More Effective Care

11.08.13 | By Karl Uhlendorf

The phrase “strength in numbers” often rings true for the biopharmaceutical industry. This week we were reminded that when it comes to furthering innovation, collaboration is essential to creating a path forward and finding ways to improve patients’ lives.

Partnering with the Genetic Alliance,  we announced on Monday the launch of the Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative. This program will explore a new approach to crowd-sourcing patients’ and caregivers’ feedback as an extension to the drug development efforts in the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V). Working with advocacy groups from various disease communities, such as sickle cell, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and irritable bowel syndrome, the Genetic Alliance hopes to collect patients’ perspectives based on the severity of their condition and their unmet medical needs. We are thrilled to support this exciting and promising initiative.

Meeting patient needs was a central theme throughout a roundtable discussion our President and CEO John Castellani participated in last week. Held by NEHI and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI), the multi-stakeholder discussion explored the various ways comparative effective research (CER) and new models of patient-centered clinical research have evolved. A common theme during this collaborative conversation: Patients must be at the center of everything we do. From designing clinical trials to implementing new research methods, a clear focus on patient needs will help foster innovation and improve care.

Improving care and making significant progress for patients was the main concept behind our “Conversations” question this week, where we asked speakers and panelists from our recent Alzheimer’s forum to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges related to the disease. A shared opinion among many of our experts was the need for continued cooperation among key stakeholders by better leveraging public/private partnerships to facilitate research breakthroughs, improve care for Alzheimer’s patients and find ways to combat and prevent the disease. You can watch the video responses from participants here.

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., a guest blogger this week, also discussed the importance of working together to improve patient care. At the 9th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference in Boston, Kucherlapati highlighted the commitment of drug developers to focus on targeted therapies for patients, which has become increasingly more common in recent years. Kucherlapati noted that through open and informed communication with patients and others, we could better understand the successes and failures of personalized medicines and further R&D. Our own Bill Chin, Executive Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, spoke at the conference, providing PhRMA’s views on how personalized medicine is transforming patient care as we know it.

Check in with The Catalyst each week to learn more about collaboration and public and private partnerships within the biopharmaceutical industry and how the entire health care ecosystem is working together to fight the nation’s most debilitating diseases and improve the lives of patients.

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