Patients Focused Medicine Development (PFMD) is an open, global and collaborative coalition of patient organisations and advocates, pharma and life sciences industry, HTA bodies, national advisory organisations and regulators. Their aim is to drive meaningful patient engagement by co-creating a standardised and globally adopted framework for patient engagement, so that patients' needs and priorities are at the core of medicines development and lifecycle. PFMD was established in 2015 and currently counts 24 members. Their 'Pledge to Patients' campaign encourages members of the medical community to commit to measurable actions to improve patient engagement.
Patients Focused Medicine Development (PFMD) is an open, global and collaborative coalition of patient organisations and advocates, pharma and life sciences industry, HTA bodies, national advisory organisations and regulators. Their aim is to drive meaningful patient engagement by co-creating a standardised and globally adopted framework for patient engagement, so that patients’ needs and priorities are at the core of medicines development and lifecycle. PFMD was established in 2015 and currently counts 24 members. Their ‘Pledge to Patients’ campaign encourages members of the medical community to commit to measurable actions to improve patient engagement.
The Pledge to Patients: a powerful cultural accelerator
By Lode Dewulf, Patient Affairs Consultant, Corvalus
How can we transform the way in which we engage and partner with patients globally in the whole medicines development lifecycle so that medicines are made with patients, not just for patients? How can we ensure that patient needs and priorities drive the actions of all stakeholders in medicines development? Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD) was established in 2015 as an independent global coalition of health stakeholders to do just that, by synergising disparate but complementary efforts to integrate the voice of the patient across the lifecycle of medicines.
Making medicines that patients need and want requires a commitment to better patient engagement. It requires a commitment to listen to patients, to co-create strategies and solutions with patients and to communicate openly and clearly with patients in a timely manner. Seeking to work with patients, therefore, means committing to these three guiding principles, through a Pledge to Patients.
Improving the way we engage and partner with patients to deliver more meaningful patient engagement in medicines development requires a cultural shift and a move towards more innovative and inclusive working. PFMD’s Pledge to Patients is a unique and powerful individual and cultural accelerator in our journey toward a healthcare system that is more patient-centred in the way it develops and delivers care and solutions that patients want and need.
What makes the Pledge to Patients different?
There are three unique elements of the Pledge to Patients that contribute to its value and impact. These are its: (1) scope and reach; (2) motivational value and (3) educational value.”
Firstly, the Pledge to Patients has been designed to be inclusive and wide-reaching. It empowers all individuals as well as all organisations active in healthcare. This reflects the founding and guiding philosophy of PFMD: empowering and partnering with all stakeholders at all levels, to co-create a better future for people and families living with medical issues.
Secondly, the Pledge to Patients directly taps into all three dimensions of what motivates people: purpose, autonomy and mastery.1 It allows individuals at all levels in an organisation to capture and share how they, in their own role, will contribute to the goal of serving patients better. This expression of purpose is a very powerful motivator for the individual and others. As every individual can verbalise their opinions according to their own circumstances, values and ability, the Pledge to Patients provides autonomy, another strong motivator. The Pledge to Patients also builds personal mastery in complementary ways through setting and sharing objectives. Only by setting objectives can one achieve them and demonstrate mastery. In addition, sharing and being able to learn from pledge objectives set by others, provides a clear benchmark example so that everyone can get a better understanding of what is possible in a given role or setting.
Thirdly, the Pledge to Patients leverages different levels of learning: intellectual, related and experience based. Sharing concrete examples of pledges increases the intellectual learning of what it really means to move to a ‘Made With Patients’ way of working. Being able to specifically learn from objectives set by people in similar roles and positions makes the Pledge to Patients more relatable increasing its relevance and impact. Furthermore, setting a personal objective and then achieving it (or not; both provide valuable insights) the learning also happens at the most impactful level, which is a personal experience.
Connecting a community of health stakeholders
We’ve described the features of the Pledge to Patients that make it a powerful cultural accelerator to change the way we partner with patients – but now we need to use it. With every individual or organisational Pledge to Patients, we are building and connecting a community of health stakeholders with a shared aim – to improve patient engagement and put patients at the heart of medicines development and lifecycle.
Only one thing remains: log on, sign the Pledge to Patients and set your own objectives.
1. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation. TEDGlobal 2009. Available at https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation (accessed 3 June 2017).
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