Partnering for Patients
At Astellas, we work both in the Americas and around the world to make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work. Our focus is squarely on patients. Our Stakeholder Engagement team serves as a conduit between Astellas and patient advocacy organizations to collectively help improve patient care and address patients’ unmet needs head-on.
We partner with the following stakeholders:
- Patients and patient advocacy organizations
- Professional organizations
- Astellas employees
Oftentimes, the image of a typical patient is based on insights garnered from providers rather than from a real-life perspective of patients or caregivers. Stakeholder Engagement understands this, and that’s why we’ve worked to have Astellas integrate patient perspective panels throughout the company’s clinical development continuum. It is also why we have worked with the Astellas Marketing Strategy team to help create the Early-Stage Pipeline “Playbook” to formalize the way Astellas builds both the patient and caregiver perspective into our clinical trials.
Astellas recognizes the crucial role that patient groups and healthcare providers play in enhancing and extending the lives of patients. We also acknowledge the power of patients to act on their own behalf — and on behalf of other patients and caregivers as well.
By supporting patient organizations and groups that advocate for improved patient care, we work to strengthen the power patients have to influence positive changes in healthcare. In all the support and funding we provide, we work diligently to maintain the highest levels of transparency and integrity.
Programs to Connect Stakeholders
How do we know what patients are going through if we don’t ask? Our Stakeholder Engagement team has opened the discussion with groups who represent patients — and with patients themselves. Patients and their caregiver’s voices are a driving force in Astellas’ future. Here are some of the ways in which our Stakeholder Engagement team is helping to build two-way communication with the patient community:
- The Astellas Patient Advocates Advisory Committee is a confidential sounding board for seeking and evaluating patient feedback regarding healthcare needs and services, which strengthens our ability to meet the needs of patients through:
- Development of the Early-Stage Development Playbook by the Marketing Strategy team
- Identifying gaps in patient education, the industry's role in providing disease education and product information, and ways to enhance shared decision making by the Medical Affairs Americas team
- Astellas pipeline and pharma committee update by the Development team
- Desirability and feasibility of engaging with online patient communities by the Real World Informatics team
Our annual Patient Advocacy Summit gathers 150 patient advocacy leaders to discuss some of the pressing issues confronting medical innovation and patient access to quality care.
- On March 30, 2017 in Washington, DC, we hosted our third annual patient advocacy summit, called “Change Together: Partnering to Improve Patients’ Lives.” The summit brought together more than 150 attendees that included some of the most influential names in patient advocacy and healthcare, along with Astellas leadership to discuss the most prevalent issues in both medical innovation and patient access to quality care in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
- Stakeholder Engagement built an interactive website, ChangeTogether (www.changetogether.com), to stimulate dialogue and create opportunities to share patient-focused resources and information, inspiration and ideas across the advocacy community. The site continues to grow; more than 30 advocacy organizations are already using the site to contribute their best practices and provide patient-focused resources. Visit this website to learn more about Astellas’ commitment to patient advocacy organizations.
- Astellas hosts patient perspective panels, which offer an informal opportunity for research teams to meet face-to-face with actual patients and truly understand what it means to live with a disease, as well as how symptoms and side effects impact patients and put limitations on their quality of life. These panel discussions challenge our research teams’ assumptions and can provide inspiration throughout the process of developing a new drug therapy.
The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize
We sought to launch a program that could help increase global awareness of Astellas and its reputation as an oncology innovator — while also benefiting our patients around the world. In 2016, Astellas launched the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, an international competition designed to acknowledge and support non-medical innovations to change cancer care.
We partnered with a credible celebrity spokesperson to reach a broader audience: Robert Herjavec, technology entrepreneur, star of Shark Tank and a cancer caregiver.
Astellas received 118 entries from 14 countries for the C3 Prize. Ultimately, we provided three winners with tiered unrestricted grants and membership to MATTER (a health technology incubator).
Supporting Transplant Community
Transplant care is foundational to Astellas. Astellas employees spent a week supporting athletes at the Canadian Transplant Games in August 2016 — and along the way, found new opportunities to connect their daily work focusing on patient support to the community around them.
Employees cheered on participants of a five-kilometer cycling race through Toronto’s Sunnybrook Park. They jumped in feet — and hands — first, running games like Twister for kids during a family games day on Olympic Island. Our volunteers even helped map out the route of an adult and children’s run, directing athletes and keeping time at the finish line.
“This event really demonstrated to me that anything is possible after donating an organ or receiving a transplant. A big thank you to the Games organizers and Astellas for providing us with the opportunity to volunteer!”
— Lisa Li, medical sales liaison, Medical Affairs,
Astellas Pharma Canada
Also in August, we worked with the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) to launch Fit for Life!, a global program to help transplant recipients live full and active lives through ongoing physical activity and participation in organized sports.
As part of the program, Astellas led the charge to triple the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for online organ donor registrations.
XPAP data is as of March 16, 2017.