What Impact will COVID-19 & Stakeholder Collaboration Have on Patient Advocacy? See What the Speakers of our 2020 Patient Advocacy Summit Had to Say

Oct 13, 2020

By Laura Rudberg, Director of Events, MassBio

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of collaboration between life sciences companies, academia, local governments, and the patient community. To better understand what this means for patients now and into the future, we asked the speakers of our Patient Advocacy Summit how we can take this spirit of collaboration with us to future drug discovery and development and what impact will this have on patient advocacy / incorporating the patient voice into all aspects of life sciences operations. Here’s what they had to say:

“We have seen an unprecedented industry response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The work has galvanized intellectual capacity, mobilized the passion and purpose of our scientists and researchers, and allowed us to organize around the most important scientific challenge of our lifetimes. The pace of innovation and level of collaboration has been breathtaking. I believe it will transform our innovative companies and how we fight disease in the future.

“The patient voice is critical to medical discovery and access to scientific progress is a social justice issue. In order to most effectively develop the next generation of cures for patients, we must make equality in health care a top priority. If there’s ever been a time to reignite the conversation about access to care, it’s right now as we all face COVID-19.

“While the pandemic has undoubtedly been a challenging time for all of us, it has also been a clarifying time. The world is seeing what our industry is all about. We see the work happening around the clock in labs across the country as we race to end the pandemic. We see the dedication of our industry’s researchers and why science matters.”

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, President & CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a macrocosm of the challenges faced by the patient community, including isolation, medical uncertainty, lack of access to treatments, and more. It has required heightened patient participation and advocacy to help researchers and scientists understand the virus and how it is affecting the population. This crisis has highlighted the vitality of collaboration between industry, academia, governments, and patient advocates of all ages, and it is my hope these relationships continue to strengthen even once COVID-19 is a distant memory. Collaboration and integration of a diversity of patient voices into life sciences operations are integral for the industry to gain society’s trust and fulfill its goals of making the world a better place for patients!”

Taylor Kane, Founder and President, Remember the Girls

“COVID-19’s most obvious impact on patient engagement has been THE huge adoption of digital engagement from all parties. I’m hopeful this will lead to accelerated growth of online patient communities that leave fewer families ‘out of the loop’. This will give more people a sense of belonging and ways to share information and perhaps shorten time-to-diagnoses and enhance clinical trial recruitment. A more united patient community gives drug developers a clearer sense of the patient perspective to tailor their outreach and education programs.

“Furthermore, the huge pressure to innovate generally during this period has promoted a spirit of flexibility in all parties when it comes to drug development. It’s a great reminder to be on guard against fossilized processes that are actually a net detriment to the patient experience. We should preserve that spirit, remember how we made things happen fast in 2020, and always be thinking creatively about better ways to listen to, educate, enroll, and engage with our patient communities.”

Ramsey Johnson, Founder, OUTBio and VP, Operations, Phoenix Tissue Repair

Here’s what MassBio President & CEO Bob Coughlin has to say about the 2020 Patient Advocacy Summit:

To learn more about how the patient advocacy community is navigating this new era and what the future may hold, register to attend our Patient Advocacy Summit on November 12th.

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