Patient engagement brings dramatic changes to the healthcare system

by | 19 Jan 2016

Dr. Lode Dewulf, VP and Chief Patient Affairs Officer at UCB, discusses the series of changes that need to happen in the healthcare system, linked to patient engagement.
Dr. Dewulf argues that in the case of chronic diseases, patients themselves have a strong influence on the outcome of their diseases, and are therefore in a very responsible position, saying If I don’t change my diet, if I don’t change my habits of working, of life, of sports, then even the best doctor and the best medicine will not have a big impact on how my health evolves over the years.” However, this level of responsibility is not reflected in traditional interactions with medical professionals, as “most of the medicine establishment is still organised around a very quick 10 minutes visit in which…[the] doctor decides [what] you go home and do.” Additionally, in general the needs of patients are not being fully considered “by people developing medicines and in many cases, by the whole treatment system. It’s all still very medically driven: what the doctor thinks is right, is given to the patient.”
All this is changing dramatically. In the videos below, Dr. Dewulf discusses solutions, what needs to dramatically change in the healthcare system and why he believes PFMD is the “only group to build harmonised ways to consistently talk to patients across countries, at a global scale”.
Watch the full interviews below:

  1. In the first video, Dr. Dewulf explains why we need to stop creating medicines for the average patient: “..when you are actually able to expand the range of people who benefit from whatever it is that you are developing, you will have more impact.”

2. “Patients want to see a certain outcome.”

3. Why we need “harmonised ways to consistently talk to patients across countries, at a global scale”:

About PFMD: The Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD) group, established in 2015, is an independent multinational coalition, managed in collaboration with The Synergist. Its goal is to bring together initiatives and best practices that integrate the voice of the patient throughout the lifecycle of medicines development, thereby speeding up the creation and implementation of an effective, globally standardized framework. Find out more about the initiative:


Get the latest information on Patient Focused Medicines Development and stay connected with our activities.