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Integrating patient-centricity along the commercialization path in multiple myeloma

Tim Anderson, General Manager; John Burke, Senior Vice President, Strategy; Victoria Clark, Strategy Director; Daniel North, Client Services Director; and Laura Housman, Managing Director, Avalere (part of Avalere Health) | 10/3/2023

While patient centricity is crucial in the commercialization journey of multiple myeloma therapies, challenges persist in defining and implementing it effectively. In this article, our experts explore the principles of patient centricity and offer recommendations for embedding it across the path of multiple myeloma products, enabling a clearer patient voice and improved outcomes overall.

Ed Gomez was a member of an elite special forces unit in the US Army. He served tours in Iraq and the Persian Gulf and worked alongside other soldiers, breathing toxins from nearby burn pits. It took four visits with different physicians over a series of months before he was finally diagnosed with a spine fracture caused by multiple myeloma. His journey to diagnosis is not dissimilar from other patients. Frustration, anxiety, misdiagnoses, and misinformation became the center of his universe. His road to recovery remains difficult as his fears of side effects outweigh the benefits of therapy.

Of all blood cancers, multiple myeloma is one of the most challenging, and Ed Gomez’s ongoing journey is only one example of the myriad difficulties patients face on the path to diagnosis and recovery. The good news is that the trend for the multiple myeloma survival rate is improving, thanks to pharmaceutical research and development. After decades of minimal progress, the number of drug approvals has significantly increased over the past 15 years.

As advances in multiple myeloma therapies continue to evolve and people live longer, the hope is that, in time, multiple myeloma will be seen as a chronic condition and patients will become more empowered to take an active role in clinical decision-making.

To shorten the time to commercialization and reduce the costs of therapies, companies will need to ensure patient centricity is embedded in the research, development, and marketing of therapies directed at multiple myeloma. However, that’s easier said than done.

While the healthcare industry agrees on the value of patient centricity, there are several factors that keep patient preferences at arm’s length. Defining “patient centricity,” for example, differs among stakeholders.

While physicians, nurse practitioners, and other members of the healthcare team link the term to maximizing outcomes and minimizing cost, patients believe the emphasis should focus on the quality of daily life, which is often most important to them. While the pharmaceutical industry sees the value of patient centricity, there remains uncertainty as to where it fits along a product’s commercialization journey. This could lead to missed opportunities for improving the value story, engaging patients and healthcare professionals, and improving lives and outcomes.

Throughout this article, we outline the principles of patient centricity and provide recommendations to embed it into a multiple myeloma product’s path to commercialization. Our goal is by providing these perspectives, the industry and the healthcare team may be able to hear the patient voice more clearly.


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