Behavioural matters: pharma could learn its way out of its ‘slump’ by working more closely with patients

I thought this short piece by David Shaywitz in US Forbes Magazine was terrific.

David examines three problems identified by the pharmaceutical industry as holding them back, and proposes solutions to each.  The first seems to follow on neatly from my blog on Saturday which looked at the venture philanthropy tactics being pursued by charities to fill the translational gap in medicines development.  He effectively suggests that this part of the landscape should be left to charities who have a better motivation to pursue it, and pursue it well.

In the second, he says that industry should re-focus its thinking and spending so that it’s not just investing in the science but putting effort into helping patients get more value from their medicines.  That means, as he says, more upstream involvement of patients in product development to ensure its outcome better reflects patient experience and the choices and behaviours they will make when managing their condition.

The third is about regulation and red tape…..  I quite liked his arguments about how the cautious behaviours of pharma are caused by an inflated perception of risk and obstacle.  I had the same thought in my car the other day.  It has those little beepers that tell you how close you are to things when reversing or parking.  I listen to those things far more than I should and my parking skills have taken a real nose-dive.  Anyone know how to turn them off?

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