We need partnerships between pharma and patient groups to thrive more than ever

We’re in need of cooperation, a shared perspective on how we can do things differently, a fresh resolve to make resources work even harder for those who need it most. We need this for patients throughout the UK, many have had their treatment, diagnosis and lives disrupted – some irreparably. We need to bring together the two forces operating at scale right now to counter the effects of Covid-19.

First, there are the patient groups, tirelessly working to provide their communities with information, support and funds to safely get them through this difficult time. Second, are the pharmaceutical companies working at pace to develop potential vaccines, seconding staff and lab facilities to the frontline effort to ensure the UK’s exit strategy has a meaningful impact on lives. At the same time securing continuity of supply and getting the medicines to where they need to be.

And we have seen companies and patient organisations come together to support patients with additional support in frontline clinical care in the community, increasing resources on information lines, creating new resources and continuing to collaborate on new products that can transform patient’s lives and livelihoods.

All of this inspirational activity could not provide a better impetus for the launch of this year’s inaugural Patient Partnership Index. The Index is the culmination of thoughtful discussion and research, with a sole goal in mind: to improve patient outcomes through high quality patient-pharmaceutical partnerships in communications, advocacy and market access.

The concept of patient-centricity is mainstream now in research and development, including in clinical trials and patient support programmes. But the Index looks beyond ‘centricity’ in R&D and into partnerships of equals for three reasons: One, because ‘centricity’ can be passive; two, it is traditionally tied to R&D; and three, because top quality communications between companies and patient groups is about collaborating as equals.

Charities and pharmaceutical companies, large and small, are ambitious but can be nervous about developing innovative, impactful and compliant advocacy partnerships. This Index will celebrate the best initiatives and be an opportunity to share insight on best practice via the Index’s website.

The Index is ultimately here to recognise companies (big and small) who internalise the mantra if it matters to patients then it matters to us as a commercial, corporate and communications imperative.  At the heart of this is a simple idea – that a pharmaceutical company operating with patients at the centre, will also develop innovative products, systems, treatments and medicines that truly transform patients’ lives. Living healthy lives and transforming healthcare matters to pharmaceutical companies and patient organisations. Our Patient Partnership Index will shine a light on best practice in working together to produce better outcomes for patients. We want you to join us on this journey.