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DIA 2018 GLOBAL ANNUAL MEETING: Towards Meaningful Patient Engagement

The DIA (Drug Information Association) 2018 Global Annual Meeting took place in June in Boston and gathered over 6,000 professionals in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device communities from more than 50 countries.

The event was designated ‘Patients Included’ and “patient engagement” was one of the 12 themes of the meeting, including the session on Global Perspectives on Patient Engagement that our colleague Mathieu Boudes, PARADIGM Coordinator, had the honour of chairing.

This specific session was very useful to learn more about the current state of patient engagement, and to shine some light on the drivers and barriers from regions of the world that are, to date, less present on the patient engagement map. In addition, the panellists explored the back-drop to patient engagement in medicines R&D, finding that, unsurprisingly, there are commonalities as to how to provide the best medicines to the patients who need them.

The panel agreed a pre-requisite is an understanding of the needs and aspirations of patient communities. Interestingly, due to differences in the maturity of patient engagement in some regions of the world, the focus sometimes differs from more political advocacy actions, to patient experience to co-design of clinical trials and strong involvement in medicines development. Cultural barriers for not engaging patients were also discussed, but the debate also showed significant progress in valuing and integrating the patient community’s voice thanks to the continuous and ongoing efforts of patient organisations in recent decades.

In short, this and other lively and productive discussions illustrated that while progress still needs to be made, efforts by the patient community and recognition from stakeholders have helped to advance towards sustainable, meaningful, ethical and systematic patient engagement.

What’s next?

The next major meeting organised by the DIA will be the Euro Meeting in Vienna in February next year, where, notably, one of the sessions will be about “Patient engagement as a strategic imperative in therapeutic innovation - let’s look at current thinking on ‘return on engagement’”. The European Patients’ Forum, through its Secretary General Nicola Bedlington, is working with DIA as part of the Programme Committee to embed a strong patient’s voice throughout the entire meeting.

More information

To read the full report of the event please click here.

Contact person: Mathieu Boudes, PARADIGM Coordinator