Soren Eik Skovlund, Chief Patient Officer, Drugstars and Founder of talks about the value of co-creation in patient engagement and the shift happening in healthcare delivery:

It is so important that we in the healthcare industry and the healthcare system, work together across silos and stakeholder groups to identify how we can best help patients.

I have worked in the therapeutic area of diabetes for many years and have seen the importance of involving different perspectives in medicines development. It is vital that payers in the healthcare system hear directly from patients about why it is necessary to involve patients in decision-making. It is essential that all stakeholders have an opportunity to listen and educate each other so that we can co-create a shift in healthcare delivery.

The main challenge now is to ensure that all the different stakeholders from across the medicines development landscape buy into the same patient engagement framework. It is crucial that we have a framework that everyone agrees to work from, where the patient experience and the patient role is recognised as equally important to other aspects.

To some degree there is a momentum now within the healthcare sector to act on patient engagement, to prove that by involving patients more we will deliver better real world outcomes for patients. We have that momentum and we have an awareness that it needs to happen.

What stakeholders want and need is concrete guidance and robust examples of patient engagement to help them move from theory to actual practice of meaningful engagement. PFMD plays a synergising role by providing a forum to share good practice.  SYNaPsE, the PFMD global patient engagement mapping and networking tool, allows us to share initiatives and facilitates connections so we can learn from each other in our efforts towards more effective patient engagement.

I work with a lot of different patient associations to see how they can be supported to have a stronger impact. Patients need to be invited to the table but they also need to have adequate resources and the experience to use that opportunity to influence medicines development in the most effective way.It is essential that we help to build up the patient community, to develop their capacity, their voice and their strategies so that they can participate as valuable and valued partners.

My ultimate goal and vision for meaningful patient engagement is for governments, international health organisations, payers and the health industry to acknowledge that patient experience must always be a part of the treatment model we apply.

PFMD welcomes membership from institutions, organisations and enterprises that support a better future for patients. Join us and help shape the patient engagement landscape.