admedicum is pleased to announce a blog series on topics in patient engagement relevant to those in the pharmaceutical industry. This is the third part of the series.
Part 3: Impact of Patient Engagement on Research and Portfolio Management
It is essential for the company’s goals and direction to fully understand patient needs early on from a patient’s point of view, identify potential benefits and provide appropriate solutions for diagnostic and therapeutic problems.
The patient view regarding treatment priorities and methods, or risk-benefit ratio, may differ significantly from the treating physician’s view. The company’s decision for investment in certain therapeutic areas and corresponding goals (e.g. curative, symptomatic, adjuvant), including fundraising and in- or out-licensing, should be strongly driven by a deep understanding of what is relevant to the patient.
Value enhancement of the product portfolio
Pharmaceutical entrepreneurs must be economically successful in the long term. They should also communicate this fact transparently. Only in this way can they generate added value for their investors, their employees, their customers, and the community.
Sufficient funding is needed to address the development of new diagnostic or therapeutic options. A product profile tailored to the needs of patients, and an evidence-based patient benefit, are essential in order to achieve a strategically favorable starting position, i.e. in pricing, market access, and reimbursement negotiations and for market penetration.
Portfolio decisions must, therefore, address the critical question of the extent to which the medical treatments represent a solution to a specific patient-relevant problem in the future. This is not only important for providing society with appropriate medicines, but also for business management. Patient-relevant evidence is becoming increasingly decisive for the pricing of a new treatment. It doesn’t suffice any longer to show clinically relevant p-values even versus a comparator. This is still unusual for some companies.
Patient engagement in research right from the start
It is thus highly advisable to include the patient’s perspective systematically, right from the start of research and development. Patient engagement in research can include patient involvement in many early stages such as health research and patient consultation as well as in the design of trials. A major disadvantage of not involving patients in research is that it is almost impossible to show a patient-relevant benefit later on if the basic product concept already bypasses the patient’s actual problems.
For example, many pharmaceutical development programs have previously focused exclusively on showing data superior to available treatment options. However, when those products reach HTA authorities like NICE (UK), GBA (Germany) or HAS (France) they regularly struggle to show how such superiority is actually relevant for patients in terms of quality of life and actual health-related outcomes. An analysis by the BPI; the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry found that, in 79.4% of cases, a judgment of no evidence of additional benefit was based on perceived deficiencies in the manufacturer’s dossier (Source).
We have two more upcoming blogs in The Impact of Patient Engagement in Pharmaceutical Companies series, check back soon.
We are excited to share more of what we have learned and gathered our experiences in the Patient Engagement Guide version 2.0. Read it here.