Strategic Patient Engagement as a Game Changer for Your Product Success

Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of patient engagement is to develop a patient-centric product strategy and value proposition for health authorities based on patient experience data. In this brief FAQ, our Patient Engagement experts address some of the most popular questions about how to make patient engagement the core of a product development and commercialization strategy.

Published on:
March 13, 2024
Written by:
Annabel de Maria, Giulia Pierini

What is a patient-centric product strategy?

A patient-centric product strategy organically embeds the patient perspective both pre- and post-launch. Developing a patient-centric strategy means consistently engaging with patients and patient associations to:

  • capture and insert the patient perspective within each phase of product development.
  • support cross-functional efforts towards product approval, market access, and post-launch plans, using patient insights to showcase the patient perspective in front of authorities.
  • align company goals with patient needs.

What are the benefits of developing a patient-centric strategy for my product?

In the pre-launch phase, a patient-centric strategy allows you to create a continuity of patient engagement across all stages of product development and elevate the clinical, regulatory, and market access pre-launch strategy with patient input.

In the post-launch phase, a robust strategy created in partnership with patients and patient associations lets you develop effective tactics, meet true patient needs, align with your product proposition, and enable better presentation, diagnostic, prescription, and adherence rates.

How does a patient-centric strategy differ from conducting specific activities with patients/patient associations at the different phases of product development?

You must understand that working with patients and patient associations is a great tactic, but that does not automatically translate to a patient-centric strategy.

For example, interacting with patients in the clinical phase to verify the acceptability of a clinical trial protocol or to co-create an informed consent are fundamental activities. But they do not contribute to the creation of a strategy per se.

To create a patient-centric strategy, you:

  • continuously engage with patients, going deeper into their needs, preferences, symptomatology, and impacts on quality of life, and strive to understand their preferences for and opinions about a new treatment.
  • align the data with company goals, treatment potential, and product pre- and post-launch strategies.
  • leverage this alignment in cross-functional communication with stakeholders to showcase the improvements the product is expected to bring on the standard of care.

What are the benefits of developing and commercializing my product with a patient-centric strategy when it comes to conversations with health authorities?

Regulators and payers want companies to include the patient perspective in product development, and they have already developed guidance on how to do so. Showcasing a treatment’s patient-centric value proposition, based on data collected early in clinical development, to illustrate clinical benefit is a revolutionary approach that health authorities are embracing, supporting treatment approval and access.

How is a product developed with a patient-centric strategy mutually beneficial for patients and the industry?

Patients can access tailored treatments, developed and communicated in alignment with their needs, while companies can develop goals and objectives aligned with the patient’s perspective. This cascades into speaking a common language that should merge patients, companies, regulators, payers, and healthcare providers (HCPs), and improves the likelihood of treatment approval, market access, and HCP utilization while creating better synergies between HCPs and patients.

Can you provide an example of a patient-centric strategy?

A multinational pharmaceutical company, active in many different therapeutic areas, had a wealth of patient data that they wanted to convert into long-term strategic insights that support their product plans and company goals. We worked with the client to strategically embed the patient perspective in their value dossiers for this product by creating a patient-centric value proposition and value story, changing the way the client approached health authorities. Read the case study.

Where should I start if I want to develop a robust patient-centric strategy?

You need to engage cross-functionally, bringing together strategic vision, cross-functional knowledge about the requirements of regulators, payers, and HCPs, knowledge on how to interact with patients, and methodological expertise.

Expert answers provided by Annabel de Maria, Chief Patient Officer at Alira Health, and Giulia Pierini, Principal, Patient Engagement, at Alira Health.

Annabel de Maria Bosch - Chief Patient Officer Giulia Pierini

Our Patient Engagement practice offers comprehensive analysis and strategic planning to ensure that your products and services prioritize the needs and experiences of patients. Our approach is extremely personalized, combining patient engagement knowledge and consulting experience with data-driven methodologies.

We have a robust track record in designing and implementing patient engagement strategies across all product development stages, and our team includes experts with diverse backgrounds that ensure a 360-degree view of your project: scientists, engineers, designers, and medical specialists.

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