A: WHILE SOME COMPANIES MAY WORRY that engaging patients in the R&D process will complicate or delay the work, patient engagement makes research better. Companies won’t know what patients want unless they ask. I think it is important for companies to approach patient-centricity by understanding the science of patient input in general (for example, by learning about sources of patient data and ways to measure progress), and then by integrating this science based on the company’s own vantage point and therapeutic areas. Many companies are taking deep dives with the patient advocacy community to educate staff internally, which helps the researchers do their jobs and the company to chart its future course. This exchange of ideas and information is vital to the future of what the science of patient input will be and should be.
Margaret is the executive director of FasterCures, a Washington, D.C.-based center of the Milken Institute, driven to save lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system.