Patient Advocacy Group and Health Charity Engagement
Understanding, communicating and lobbying on behalf of patient needs is the primary focus for Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs) and health charities. Therefore understanding PAG priorities and needs, then communicating basic product development and reimbursement process information, should be a key priority for companies developing products and solutions in the life science sector.
Knowing with whom, when and how to engage is a particular challenge, especially with regards to rare diseases or where there are several patient groups but no single, clear and coordinated plan to achieve their goals to support patients.
PAGs often have an in-depth understanding of patient pathways, treatment guidelines and local clinical practice as well as examples of good and poor practice. All of these become invaluable to the innovator company as they prepare to develop or market a new healthcare innovation. Indeed, PAG’s interpretation of the available data and how they think clinicians and payers will respond can uniquely influence the company’s approach, which may facilitate a new treatment’s optimal positioning, as well as ensuring that further data generation is tailored to support use in the relevant populations.
Understanding the funding route for a specific product in individual countries, and identifying the relevant PAGs and the appropriate time to engage with them, are crucial.