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Matthew May | Program Coordinator | EUPATI | Insights Care

With its long expertise in the healthcare field and recognition as an objective education provider, EUPATI (The European Patients Academy on Therapeutic Innovation) is a valuable resource for anyone looking to do Patient Engagement. It can be done through its publicly available tools or by collaborating to find a solution to the clients’ specific needs.

The patient community has dreamt to empower patients to be an active partner in medicines research and development (R&D) for some time. In some disease areas, the patient community has been involved in R&D for a decade or two, which needed an advanced and systematic approach. EUPATI seamlessly implements a structured program that trains patients and patient advocates on how drug development works and how all the regulatory processes around it. It also educates the stakeholders to engage patients on how to do so in an effective and systematic way.

Illustrious Course

The EUPATI Expert Training Course is an exciting and unique opportunity offering patients and patient advocates the expert-level training in medicines research and development. It is a mixture of independent e-learning coursework and face-to-face training events spread over a 14-month period.

EUPATI provides support through the toolbox and guidance documents for all stakeholders to enable effective engagement of patients. It will be releasing training for industry in 2019 and for other stakeholders in the future. The academy believes that for effective patient engagement, it is necessary to ensure that all involved stakeholders have the capacity to implement systematic patient engagement.

EUPATI was established in the first instance to increase capacity within the patient community by developing training and information material dedicated to increasing the knowledge of patient advocates so they can operate at an expert level. This gave rise towards the contribution to the establishment of frameworks under which patients can successfully and ethically work with other stakeholders to ensure the optimum development of medicines and access to healthcare.

Words of Gratified Clients

EUPATI’s strength lies in its construction as a public-private partnership and as a collaborative multi-stakeholder consortium of patient organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and not-for-profit organizations hosted at the European Patients’ Forum. EUPATI’s products are not only designed by multi-stakeholder teams but also delivered by them. This ensures that the company can offer the first-hand experience of patient engagement for both the ‘sides’ of engagement. Being a customer-centric company, EUPATI has made many clients satisfied with its services and solutions and below are few of them.

  • EUPATI has been a game-changer in the empowerment of patients because we can see people trained by EUPATI almost everywhere, be it in regulatory committees, industry-led research projects and clinical trials, academic projects or ethics committees.”-Jan Geissler, Patvocates & LeukaNET.
  • The expert training course is certainly a unique asset and achievement with almost 150 patient experts trained and more on the way. They are the ones who can really actively participate in all the decision points with the industry, regulators and HTAs [health technology assessment bodies]. Beyond that, I think the toolbox on medicines R&D, the material that is available on the website and now used by more than 1.2 million people worldwide, is a huge achievement and allows everyone around the world to use the high quality-controlled material.”- Matthias Gottwald, Bayer Pharma

Elevating Employee’s Growth by Rendering Diverse Opportunities

EUPATI provides a unique opportunity to the individuals involved on behalf of their organizations in the public-private partnership to form relationships with other experts across their own and other stakeholder groups. This melting pot of personalities, perspectives, and expertise not only gives EUPATI its strength, expertise, and authority but also empowers and develops its members to drive effective co-creation and engagement within their own organizations.  This would also encourage its employees with a strong network that provides endless continuous professional development.

The professionals at EUPATI work together to bring its pieces of the medicines R&D puzzle together to ensure that EUPATI trained patients have the necessary broad-spectrum knowledge to represent their communities.

EUPATI strongly believes that- “The essence of Patient Engagement is about co-creation and partnership. Therefore, Patient Engagement Solution Providers need to walk-the-walk themselves, designing their solutions as a partnership between patient experts and others. This ensures that the solutions put in place meet both the needs of the companies and the communities with which they are engaged, ensuring expectations are met for all, and effective medicines development occurs to bring made-for-purpose medicinal products to market in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective way”.

Upcoming Plans

Today, patient engagement is being recognized across the industry as being a necessary component of modern medicines development. EUPATI initially developed the capacity in the patient community in Europe to build the community of patient advocates that are able to engage at an expert level.  With this approach, pharmaceutical companies and patient organizations are recognizing their lack of infrastructure and capacity to implement systematic patient engagement throughout the life-cycle of medicines R&D.

EUPATI has set a framework for patient engagement with four stakeholders i.e. pharmaceutical industry, ethics committees, regulatory authorities, and health technology assessment bodies in 2016. Since publishing them in Frontiers in Medicine in 2018, EUPATI will be rolling out training programs aimed at these stakeholders ensuring that the things will be executed flawlessly.