Powerful Actions for Patients
By Eric Racine, Vice President and Head, US Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy
When you bring the right group of people together to focus on patients, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.
Why it matters
The challenges facing patients today are too big for any one company or organization to solve on its own. It truly “takes a village.”
We all want to play our part helping patients. By focusing on first-in-class and best-in-class medicines and vaccines, Sanofi is chasing the miracles of science to improve peoples’ lives. Advocacy groups are doing their part too. Having worked with advocacy groups all over the world – U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America – I have tremendous respect and admiration for the vital work they do on behalf of patients and families. These organizations are tireless in their motivation and service to others. Quite often, those doing advocacy work are living with the same disease as the people they are supporting.
Beyond each of us playing our main roles, we also have to work together to solve difficult challenges. For example, increased efforts are needed throughout the U.S. healthcare ecosystem to resolve patient access barriers to transformative therapies. I am very fortunate to work at a company where every day I am able to witness this incredible period of scientific innovation. I have also worked in patient care in Detroit, Michigan, where I witnessed patients struggling to navigate access to care and medicines, and people lacking access to care due to disparities and inequities. For transformative science to deliver on the hope it brings to peoples’ lives, patients must have access when needed, no matter their circumstances.
With this in mind, Sanofi recently welcomed more than 90 U.S. advocacy groups to the Patient Advocacy Council in Washington, D.C. It was incredible to spend time exchanging ideas across the breadth, diversity, and experience of U.S. advocacy leaders representing multiple therapeutic areas, together with top management and key functions throughout all of Sanofi. We listened, learned, and most importantly, identified tangible actions to help those that matter most – patients.
The big picture
By focusing on key pain points throughout the innovation lifecycle, we collectively came up with several concrete actions that will help make a difference for patients:
- A bold approach to pre-competitive R&D collaborations with patients and advocates to speed the pace of development.
- Health equity solutions already happening today, that can be accelerated by connecting people, exchanging approaches, and sharing best practices.
- An increased focus on reducing patients’ out-of-pocket costs and policies to support utilization of community health workers and patient navigators.
- Generating evidence on what matters most to patients for inclusion in measuring the value of new treatments.
When you bring U.S. advocacy leaders together across multiple therapeutic areas, there is so much knowledge to be shared about the barriers and challenges impacting healthcare, and the unmet needs of patients. But when you go beyond this and focus on the “actions” we can take, that’s when the power of partnership and collaboration really shines through. From early on in drug development to final approval and use of our medicines and vaccines, patients are at the forefront in all that we do. Finding better solutions to core problems facing patients is what our annual Sanofi Patient Advocacy Council is all about. And by working together, we can all take action and be part of something bigger – bringing life-changing medicines and life-saving vaccine prevention to people everywhere.
To learn more about Sanofi’s approach to patient advocacy and our work within the advocacy community, click here.