With this posting we are sharing a white paper and expansive global survey project regarding patient centricity and why it is so difficult to implement in our beloved pharmaceutical industry.

And I am also sharing a level of frustration. For the last ten years Inspired Health Strategies has been saying exactly this. While frustrating to see these concepts touted as new it is, nonetheless, gratifying to see this in writing from yet another source, a source that has industry support and financing.

Eyeforpharma deserves incredible credit for a steady drum beat regarding patient centricity over the years. I have spoken for them several times and see the consistency and fervency with which they are pushing the concept. The eyeforpharma support for the Aurora Project Survey does a great service and shines a bright light on our industry’s attitudes and concerns about becoming patient centric.

The white paper acknowledges the difficulties that any of us who has tried implementing patient centricity in any pharma company:

The difficulty to challenge the “fear that patient centricity and profitability are counterintuitive”
“The fear seems to be that greater focus on patient equates to lagging sales”
From Ramona Sequeira, President of Takeda Pharmaceutical Ltd, “ I think it is hard to correlate patient focus directly to revenues in a mathematical way, but by increasing things like trust, stakeholder engagement, and patient outcomes, I believe you are going to be increasing the sustainability of revenues over time”
Deborah Waterhouse, SVP and Business Unit Head US Primary Care, GSK echoes the challenge we have heard from our own clients – “Our goal and the goal of many companies is to put the patient at the center of everything we do. But reshaping a company to meet this end goal is hard work – excruciatingly hard – and there are many challenges and learnings along the way.”

Eyeforpharma introduces Adam Grant’s diagram from “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success” as a visual to explain how “the most successful influencers being “other” focused with a healthy dose of ambition”. Isn’t this just where our industry is? – trying to accept that we can still build business while not always talking about our brand. Sacrilegious!

This recent paper concludes with five points and action steps:

Greater engagement with patients. Use technology to scale education efforts
IHS adds – In addition to education, provide activities to change behavior based on insights
Better use of budget and resources – actually allocate budget to specific patient-focused efforts. Don’t get rid your sales reps, provide them with resources to improve value and outcomes
IHS adds – Capture insights before a project or IND is initiated. Continually capture insights to stay informed.
Harness both quantitative and qualitative measurement
IHS adds – measure everything all the time
Train the entire industry –JohnGerow, Service Team Strategy Partner of Ashfield, Consultant at JG Consulting, Inc is quoted saying “…training is not yet aligned…we train our reps to focus on the product”.
IHS firmly agrees and has conducted this training. Patient-focused thinking is a real change in thinking and can easily support product training.
Focus across all departments – .Gerow adds just what we have seen – “Internally, company leaders are up to speed on patient centricity, but their teams are not as advanced”
IHS adds – This is also part of the company’s cultural shift. Everyone has a responsibility to the patient although if you don’t touch the patient this is hard to digest. A constant drumbeat of examples of how everyone in the company has a role to support the patient helps people see this. This simply takes time and continual effort.
We know this is an effort that demands continual focus. We can only hope that large effort like the Aurora Project and partnership with Eyeforpharma can help the industry pick up the pace towards true patient centricity.


The Aurora Project Slide Share detailing the survey results –

Eyeforpharma access to complete white paper –