With 34 years of professional experience, 18 of which are in the medicines industry, Daniel De Schryver has also been involved in aspects of patient engagement for more than 14 years. As Patient Engagement & Advocacy Lead, EMEA at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, he works across multiple phases of the drug development continuum.

De Schryver says his interest in making the patient central to healthcare led him to become a BOGP reviewer. His honest opinion was that while the projects were of overall good quality, there were too many “once-off” or pilot projects submitted for review.

“It was sometimes hard to understand if this was going to be replicated. Some pilots are of course needed, but knowing that it is a start of a new way of doing things has more value,” he explains. “There should at least be a signal that the experiences gathered in the projects will be used in implementing upcoming activities.”

De Schryver also notes that he was largely happy with the process for review but felt that more detailed scoring that could be added to form a final total would make the process slightly easier. “Sometimes the projects are so different in type, that being able to specify more in detail on a variety of criteria could distinguish the final scores more than a one on 10 score,” he states.

His advice to future applicants is to endeavour to ensure the project is “sustainable or replicable”.

“We would want to see more starting of new ways of doing things, with new processes, rather than reading about a one-off event.  These projects are laying the basis of a healthcare environment.”