The Power Of Partnership In Patient Advocacy Engagement

By prioritizing the patients’ interests, pharmaceutical manufacturers can create pathways to explore meaningful partnership opportunities

BY: Joanna Horn

PUBLISHED: 3/8/2024

In today’s dynamic healthcare landscape, partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy organizations play an important role in driving positive change. A partnership between these groups enhance patient outcomes, drive innovation and improve the understanding of unmet patient needs to ultimately foster a more patient-centric healthcare system. 

When pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy groups partner, they are able to raise disease awareness, support policy and regulatory initiatives, help clinical trial recruitment, provide education and facilitate access to innovative treatments. 

The most impactful collaborations between pharma companies and patient advocacy organizations are ones built on a foundation of trust, respect and shared commitment. Advocacy groups want patients to understand that they are invested in more than the bottom line, therefore, drug companies must demonstrate their commitment to the patient. 

By prioritizing the patients’ interests, pharmaceutical manufacturers can create pathways to explore meaningful partnership opportunities.


Patient advocacy through patient-centric experiences 

In order to create a patient-centric approach, pharmaceutical companies must incorporate their patients' needs in the early stages of the drug development process. Partnering with patient and health advocacy organizations will help them understand the patient’s perspectives, which might take form through patient focus groups, including educational workshops and a series of surveys.

Many pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer and Horizon (now part of Amgen) have patient advocacy programs that collaborate with healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers and patient groups to understand and help address needs from disease education to treatment options. 

Yet there are many who still lack the resources or expertise to truly embrace patient advocacy, resulting in missed opportunities to ensure the patient’s voice is understood across every part of the company. 

How can organizations without internal expertise explore patient advocacy to ensure they are building the relationships with organizations to help address the unmet needs of the patients they serve?

At MERGE, we propose that our life science clients consider the value of engaging health advocacy organizations that are best aligned with their core values and stated corporate purpose. These advocates are a crucial piece of the patient care continuum. By engaging with a patient advocacy program, companies can listen, learn and work together to meet patients needs and build relationships that benefit all.

The MERGE Public Relations and Communications team helps our clients:

- Identify and prioritize patient advocacy groups that align with the organization’s values and therapeutic focus. 
- Initiate and build relationships. 
- Create programs and content that will raise awareness of available treatment options and patient support services that are available.

As a full-service omnichannel marketing agency, MERGE brings together storytelling and technology to promote health, wealth and happiness. Our life science experts with therapeutic expertise across oncology, neurology, cardiovascular, rare disease and more work alongside out-of-category innovators with deep digital experience to create engaging programs that connect our clients with the patients and communities they serve. 

Ready to enhance your patient advocacy engagement efforts? Connect with the experts at MERGE, and let’s talk shop with storytelling!