The Journey Towards Patient Centricity: Part 3
The journey towards patient centricity has undoubtedly begun. The challenge now is to transition fully from the existing product and services model towards delivering what patients want, as well as how to develop the critical capabilities to enable this transformation.
In the 3rd part of this series, we speak to Pierre Morgon, Cegedim to hear his perspectives on why patient centricity is proving difficult, the barriers to be overcome and the critical stages in the evolutionary journey from product-centric to patient-centric pharma organizations.
eyeforpharma: Define patient centricity as you see it?
Pierre Morgon: To me patient centricity is about not losing sight of what the industry is here to deliver, which is innovative healthcare interventions that address medical needs. In many cases in the past, decision making was too much driven by short term financial targetsrather than by the pure medical dimension and this is inevitable when healthcare innovation is funded by the private sector and not by the public one. Patient centricity will see a rebalancing of that equation with greater weight being given to what is in the best interest of the patient as opposed to the healthcare shareholders.
eyeforpharma: Adding patient centricity to your vision statement is not enough. Rethinking the way business is done will require an holistic approach that encompasses everything from analytics and insights to strategy and patient experience, from operating model design and execution to governance and transformation management. Where do you see the main obstacles to achieving patient-centricity?
Pierre Morgon: The first obstacle is related to information management and accessing, storing and mining a huge amount of data that the industry is not used to handling. Also when it comes to real-world clinical data the industry is not very comfortable with this as it’s not as structured as clinical trial data. The second real world dimension is real world behavioral data and this is even worse from the vantage point of the industry as it’s poorly structured and again we are looking at massive volume of data. There’s a lack of readiness in the industry to embrace this. You’re entering into an area of perceived greater risk.
eyeforpharma: What do you see are the 3 or 4 critical stages in the progression from product-centric or physician-centric to patient-centric?
Pierre Morgon:The first step is already happening – the evolution of the regulatory framework. The authorities are already taking steps to create various subtypes of entry routes to the market and that has immediate consequences for the way the industry is building its value proposition. That is already triggering some evolution in its decision-making and resource allocation. Secondly, the patients themselves are becoming more demanding – there’s more access to broadband thanks to urbanization etc. - the way care is being procured is changing and that is already evolving the mandate given to Medical Affairs to handle the relationship with patient groups, as well as payers etc. The industry is already factoring that in.
The global societal aspiration is for personalized medicine. What the industry should aim at is organizing itself so that all its functions and the way it relates to stakeholders should be centered around delivering as customized a solution as possible.
eyeforpharma: Why is patient centricity so difficult to implement?
Pierre Morgon: Patient centricity as defined as truly personalized care is difficult because of the specificity and the amount of data that needs to be gathered and processed, from prevention to diagnosis, to treatment, to management of outcomes – all the way along the patient journey, the amount of information is vast. Secondly, the risk-averse culture of pharma is an inhibitor and a third decelerator is the absence of the right skills, processes and organizational structures that promote the smooth interfacing of functions – including data sharing - so that the goal of patient centricity can be reached.
eyeforpharma: What are some concrete initiatives you'd like to see that would advance the cause of patient centricity (e.g. holding a patient centric summit internally, developing a patient charter, appointing a Chief Patient Officer etc.)?
Pierre Morgon: I’d like to see a strengthening of the role of Medical Affairs as a function tasked with reinforcing patient centered information processes. I’d also like to see a greater amount of collaboration between the industry and patient bodies. With regard to the regulatory framework, it would be great if the industry didn’t feel like it was walking through a minefield every time it interfaced with a patient. The industry has been conditioned to live in a regulatory straitjacket from drug discovery all the way through to promotion of the product and it has gotten to the stage where the industry is now more conservative than the regulatory authorities. If the first step is not taken by the regulators to steer this debate in the right direction, I would be fearful that any change would occur at all, or at such a slow pace that it would eventually be detrimental to the patients’ access to novel medical interventions.
Since you're here...
... and value our content, you should sign-up to our newsletter. Sign up here