– Hosts Annual Patients in Focus Week
As part of activities to improve patients access to quality healthcare, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has reinstated its commitment to include patients perspectives into the development of all its products, to enhance patients best outcomes.
The biopharmaceutical company made this remarks during its second annual commemoration of Patients in Focus Week, a global event dedicated to accelerate patients’ place in healthcare, as well as recognise patients advocacy efforts .
Speaking during a virtual summit organised by Pfizer to celebrate the global event, West Africa Country Manager, Pfizer, Pharm. Olayinka Subair, revealed the global pharmaceutical company’s goal of holding the week-long programme, which was to learn more about incorporating patients’ voices into their daily operations, towards striving to become the most patient-centric organisation.
According to him: “Pfizer’s #PatientsInFocus, a global, week-long activation of our focus on patient centricity. This summit is helping us to learn from our patient advocacy partners to understand how we can better incorporate patient voices into our work every day. Pfizer could not realize its purpose without the pivotal role played by patients, caregivers, and advocates — whether engaging in our Research & Development efforts, offering consult on our clinical trial design, or partnering with us to develop tools, resources, and easy-to-understand materials for our patients.
“This time and focus will support our work as we continue to strive to be the most patient-centric company, understanding and embedding the patient perspective in all we do. Further, Pfizer will be able to develop more innovative medicines and breakthroughs when we engage with patients and patient advocacy groups to understand the needs of all patients.
“Patients in Focus spurs inspiration, energy, and innovation by showcasing examples of new ways to include patients at every step of Pfizer’s work and is an opportunity for us to collectively envision how we can continue to best serve the evolving needs of patients in the years to come”.
The summit also featured an interactive panel discussion with patient advocates in Oncology, Rare Diseases and Immunisation, where they deliberated on the topic: ‘Promoting Health Equity As a Patient Advocate’; as they took turn to speak about impacts of their interventions on patients.
In her contribution, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer, Sally Susman, emphasised the essence of collaborating with patients, caregivers and advocates, which is to develop breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. She added that Patients in Focus week will continue to build empathy and show colleagues how to focus on patient advocacy year-round and in everything they do.
Still on the positive impacts of the week on patients, Vice-President, Global Access Financing Michelle Akande said “Patients in Focus allows us to highlight examples of successful patient engagement and partnerships and learn from them, demonstrating not only how Pfizer has made a difference in patients’ lives but how patient groups provide insights that guide our work. By sharing real patient and caregiver experiences, Patients in Focus will build empathy for and allow colleagues to better understand patient journeys and how we can work with patients to address unmet needs.
“ Patients in Focus allows us to showcase bi-directional advocacy relationships and partnerships that build trust and increase awareness of the value and benefit of partnering with patients across all functions”.
For the Executive Director, Rare Disease Ghana Initiative, Samuel Wiafe, his organisation’s partnership with Pfizer has helped a great deal in addressing gaps in the management of rare disease from increased knowledge and awareness to early diagnosis and prevention to the best-to-best practice treatment, care to community engagement to access to best treatments and comprehensive research.
Speaking in the same vein, Medical Director, Leah Foundation,Dr Gregory Oyinloye, noted how his collaboration with Pfizer has assisted him and his team in closing the care gap with cancer treatment, as they were able to offer consultation and assessment, counselling, awareness and sensitisations campaign through road walks, radio jingles in the North Central axis of Nigeria.
The Programmes Lead, Vaccine Network for Disease Control, Chika Nwankwo, also added her voice to the discussion, narrating how Pfizer has worked with her company in developing friendly vaccine awareness content towards building communities acceptance for vaccines.
She said “Vaccine Network for Disease Control and Pfizer have a long standing relationship of collaborating to address pertinent issues in sensitizing communities through edutainment. This approach of community awareness drive has since been adopted by many health outreaches and has achieved positive results in transforming community behaviors to vaccines and other health services in Nigeria.”