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The History of Patients as Partners
Five years ago, Greg Simon, who was the Head of Policy at Pfizer at the time and is now CEO of Poliwogg, asked our DPharm audience when was the last time you thanked your patients for being in a clinical trial. No one raised their hand. My immediate thought was that there was an urgent need for a conference on customer service for patients in clinical trials.
We began to research the topic within the pharmaceutical industry and received enlightening feedback: we can’t look at patients as customers, we can’t directly communicate with patients, there are privacy laws, we don’t directly work with patients, and more. We learned that often people who have direct contact with patients are not necessarily trained to work with patients to empathize with their condition and life style.
What To Do?
We knew that something drastically had to change and a paradigm shift in how the industry views and works with patients was paramount. We also realized that as researchers, we needed to start with ourselves. We needed to make that paradigm shift in who and how we do our research. With that, five years ago, for the first time we began to research directly with patients. Getting their feedback changed the way we produce our conferences and, more importantly, how we can affect positive change for patients through our conferences.
What Patient Research Taught Us
Patients taught us empathy with their disease, but also with their lifestyle and their struggles in finding and experiencing a clinical trial. In particular, we learned the vital need to:
- Understand and incorporate the patient’s voice in designing clinical trials and developing a clinical endpoint
- Vastly improve the patient’s entire experience in a clinical trial
The result was the first conference in how to truly view patients as partners. To fast forward, we presented the 3rd Annual Patients as Partners conference in March 2016 in Philadelphia and now delighted to present the conference in London February 6-7, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conference Forum
Patients as Partners