eyeforpharma: Patient Policy

For patients and carers who support pharmaceutical companies to improve their model

By Blair Gottscho, Head of Operations, eyeforpharma. Updated 29th May 2019

The pharma industry exists because patients exist. So there is increasing recognition that understanding and communicating with patients is vital.

This patient focus has become commonplace over the past few years, and it’s easy to think that it’s a straightforward thing to do. But patient focus runs much deeper than that; it is not simply compassion. Our health economies are trying to reward what is most important, so pharma companies are shifting from providing volume (ie selling as many medicines as possible) to one of value (ie providing the greatest health possible).

As an organiser of industry events and published articles, we have a responsibility to ensure the patient voice is heard and understood. We also have an opportunity to magnify the patient voice so it can be received by many. So the involvement of patients in our conferences is essential.

To create this Patient Policy, we have consulted with patients to understand how to accommodate everyone at our events. It will develop over time, so feedback or suggestions are welcomed – please contact me at blair@eyeforpharma.com.

Free patient passes are available at every eyeforpharma event
Patients who wish to attend one of our conferences may now do so free of charge, subject to availability, on a first-come first-served basis. This invitation is for any patient without a commercial interest and is extended to non-profit patient organisations.

The number of passes available are at eyeforpharma’s discretion according to the needs of each specific event. If you would like to attend, please contact us as early as possible, in order that we can be sure to organize catering and access requirements you may have. Please ensure that you fully express your specific requirements to us. You can reach us through any of our event websites, or by writing to Blair Gottscho on blair@eyeforpharma.com.

To see upcoming eyeforpharma events, click here.

Patient speakers will appear at every event

We welcome patients who take the stage. We invite patients to offer advice to pharma companies, so that they may improve but we want to ensure that patients who do this are not left out of pocket.

Patients who join us onstage for a presentation or as part of a panel session will have their pre-agreed travel and accommodation expenses covered as well as a speaker honorarium. These expenses will be paid within 30 days of invoicing eyeforpharma, even if this is prior to the conference.

To quality, you must be:

  • Accepted in writing as a speaker or panellist
  • A patient, carer or a family member who has a useful message to share
  • Work only in a non-profit capacity or in a non-profit patient related organisation

We cannot pay expenses if you are a consultant or are employed in a pharmaceutical-related company.

We’d like to work with you on an individual basis to choose a travel and accommodation plan that is suitable for you. Generally, we would like to accommodate you in the same venue that the conference is taking place, and we almost always reserve a ‘room block’ to ensure there are enough of these rooms available in advance.

Note: We are normally required by a hotel to ‘release’ this room block approximately one month before the conference, so from that point it is not possible for us to guarantee a room, at which point – should the rooms run out – we shall try and find somewhere as close as possible, of the same or better standard, in consultation with you.

We only have a fixed number of positions for patient speakers for each event, so please contact either me or the organizer of one of our events as early as possible, expressing your interest and what you would like to present.

Patients are involved in the design of our events

At eyeforpharma, we believe our strength comes from the research we conduct in order to understand industry challenges and construct a conference agenda. Typically, we will make around 50-100 in-depth phone calls, as well as reviewing articles, legislation and new innovations, for each event.

A vital component of this research is, of course, working with patients directly, to shape and review our agendas. For most of our agendas we now work with a panel of patient consultants who will express their open opinions from the outset, and then review agendas once pieced together. Please get in touch if you would like to be part of a panel.

We strive to meet ‘Patients Included’ criteria

We aim to meet and surpass the Patients Included criteria at our conferences and will display the logo in the cases where we have achieved these criteria. Patients Included is a voluntary international standard which sets out the minimum expected requirements for patient involvement. Many of the items are already covered in the below, but you can learn more at https://patientsincluded.org.


Rewarding what matters
We are proud that we have the first and only industry Award Ceremony dedicated to the real value produced in the pharmaceutical industry – the value for patients and customer, contrasting with other award ceremonies which tend to celebrate ‘best sales rep’, ‘best digital campaign’ and ‘best product launch’ without acknowledging patient reaction. You can find more info about our awards here.

We have many projects planned for 2019-20, all designed to improve patient experiences. Many of these are still in their early development and have not yet been announced, however I’m excited and hopeful that their impact on patient communities will be strong.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly.

The eyeforpharma team