Ronny Mosston is the Vice President of Patient Advocacy and Public Affairs at OvaScience, a global life sciences company dedicated to improving fertility for women around the world and a pioneer in the patient advocacy field. She serves on the Steering Committee for MassBio’s upcoming Patient Advocacy Summit, which will be held on October 27 in Cambridge. The Summit aims to improve how industry and patient organizations work together to accelerate scientific and drug development to improve the lives of patients.
Q: How does OvaScience ensure the patient is at the center of the work that you do?
From the inception of the company, our strategy was to meet with and learn from the patient and advocacy leaders and incorporate their priorities into all stages of the company. We continue to invite patients and leading advocates to share their experiences with the company and continue to engage at each milestone of our growth. This summer we launched a first-of-its-kind educational forum for the fertility community focused on the overlooked area of egg health. The unbranded site— www.egghealth.com—provides information and resources solely for the patients’ educational benefit.
Q: What is your advice for life sciences companies that want to engage in patient advocacy initiatives?
A strong commitment from the CEO and leadership team in the early stages and throughout the growth of a company is essential to building a sustainable, comprehensive and respected patient advocacy strategy. It is most effective when tied to corporate and functional goals and is valued as a top priority throughout the organization. There is an increasing trend from leading companies and regulatory bodies to include patient reported outcomes as a critical data point in all stages of the company’s development, including clinical trial design, recruitment and progression. Organizations that earn respect and support from the patient community map out short and long term internal and external opportunities to include the voice of the patient to accelerate the organization forward.
Q: Where do you see the patient advocacy field in the future?
My personal hope is that working in patient advocacy in industry is recognized and promoted as an exciting and important professional option for those seeking a career in life sciences. Companies at all stages of development have begun to invest in and value a career path in advocacy to align goals cross functionally with other critical, strategic functions. For those of us in the profession, it is our responsibility to serve as ambassadors and teachers to support the next generation of patient advocates.