Pharma, comms and patient group leaders join judging panel for Patient Partnership Index 2021

Senior leaders from UK and European pharma have come together to judge the Patient Partnership Index 2021. Now in its second year, the Index provides companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry the opportunity to showcase partnerships with patient organisations in communications and advocacy over the past year, including those in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the Index has opened to above country campaigns, allowing projects from around the world to celebrate their impact and share their insights. Entries are awarded GOLD, SILVER and FINALIST standards by the judging panel, against a metric developed by healthcare specialist communications agency and co-creators of the Index, OVID Health.

As the organisations behind the initiative, OVID founder and Managing Director, Jenny Ousbey, and Editor for PharmaTimes, Selina McKee, will be returning in their role as Index judges. Joining them on the judging panel this year are:

Andy Powrie-Smith – Executive Director of Communications & Partnerships, EFPIA

Sarah Woolnough– CEO of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation

Elliot Dunster– Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Devolved Nations, ABPI

Companies can enter patient partnerships to the Patient Partnership Index using the online form here. The deadline for entries is Friday 14thMay. Learn more about the initiative through the Index website, or contact the team at

Speaking about their role on the judging panel for the Patient Partnership Index, Andy Powrie-Smith said: “I am delighted to be joining the Patient Partnership Index judging panel. This is the first year the Index is opening to above-country campaigns, allowing for a tremendous variety of new partnerships to be showcased and their achievements celebrated.

EFPIA values the contribution these collaborations make in finding multi-stakeholder solutions to healthcare challenges, keeping patients at the heart of everything we do. What we learn from the Index will enrich and enlighten how companies work with patient organisations to build meaningful, effective relationships.”

Sarah Woolnough, a respected senior leader from the patient advocacy sector, said:“I’m excited to join The Patient Partnership Index as part of its expert judging panel this year. COVID-19 has dominated the work of health charities recently, but the issues we were already campaigning on for our patients haven’t gone away – and many have been made worse by the pandemic.

We have worked tirelessly to balance these competing responsibilities and pharma companies have a clear and important role in working with us to help patients, particularly now when charity resources are so stretched. I look forward to sharing the very best examples so partnerships can continue to improve.

Elliot Dunster, Executive Director at the ABPI, said: “It’s a great pleasure to represent the ABPI on the Patient Partnership Index judging panel in its second year. The work pharmaceutical companies do with patient groups can have a tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of patients and on public health. Sharing and supporting best practice can ensure partnerships between pharma and patient groups are collaborative, transparent and lead to meaningful change.”

Jenny Ousbey, Managing Director of OVID Health which developed the Index, said: “Our judges were incredibly impressed by the quality of entries in 2020, showcasing the diverse and valuable partnerships taking place between pharma companies and patient groups. 

With the success of last year’s Index, in 2021 we want to explore the important collaborations that have been happening during the pandemic in patient communications and advocacy, at a time when these are more vital than ever. In harmonising the voices and insights from healthcare communications, patient organisations and the pharma industry, we can lead the way in putting patient outcomes front and centre of all communications strategies.”

Last year’s Index saw the judges and senior leaders from pharma and patient organisations discuss the lessons of the Index at the Patient Partnership Conference, attended by figures from across industry. OVID Health also published the Patient Partnership Insights Report, providing key ideas and examples based on the learnings from the Index in 2020.