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From developing medicines for patients to developing medicines with patients

July 29, 2021

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At Takeda, we work together with patients, care partners and patient organizations to research, develop and distribute medicines for those in need of new treatment options. As part of our commitment to patients, we’ve created a cross-functional team, called P3, which focuses on three key areas: Patient Engagement (R&D), Patient Advocacy, and Patient Recruitment & Retention (R&D). P3 brings together internal and external resources to include the patient voice in all we do at Takeda. In part one of this mini-series, Jessica Scott, Head of Patient Engagement Office shares more about Takeda’s patient engagement approach in R&D.

Takeda’s Patient Engagement team collaborates as a Center of Excellence to connect Global Program Teams (GPTs) and project team with patients and care partners to gain firsthand insight into disease and treatment journey. By connecting our R&D scientists and researchers directly with the patients to better understand their lived experiences, Takeda and other companies progressing patient engagement activities are better positioned to be the bridge between R&D and patients, and bring us closer to those we serve.

Defining patient engagement at Takeda

In October 2018, Takeda defined patient engagement within our R&D organization to be a two-way dialogue directly with patients as care-partners that allows us to explore another perspective – the patient’s. Traditionally, the industry engaged health care professionals to understand patients’ needs, but we need to go beyond this second hand information if we want to bring truly transformative medicine to those who need it.

“Obtaining the patient perspective early on in the process helps us determine how we can best meet patient needs by navigating toward medicines that truly transform their experience,” said Jessica. “We’ve created a two-way dialogue with patients and their care givers, which helps us accomplish this goal.”

Guided by the Patient Focused Medicines Development’sBook of Good Practices,” Jessica and Takeda’s Patient Engagement Office (PEO) set out to shift the practice from developing medicines for patients to developing medicines with patients.

Putting our approach into action

Takeda works diligently to include the patient and care partner experience throughout the R&D process. Examples include:

  • As part of the clinical program for an investigational treatment for narcolepsy, we launched a Digital and Personalized Care Strategy to accelerate diagnosis, which gathers data to better understand the disease and, as a result, may help maximize treatment outcomes. Through this program, the patient voice has helped us identify four potential areas where we can make a difference – personalized, integrated digital interventions and services; coordination of care and patient-healthcare provider communication; algorithm-based prediction and prevention; and real-world evidence and outcome-based contracting. With these core areas of focus in mind, Takeda has created a design prototype of an application, tailored to the needs of patients with narcolepsy.
  • In 2019, one of Takeda’s GPTs collaborated with the PEO to co-create and implement a “radiation combination cancer therapy patient and care partner advisory board,” with the goal of gaining patient insights to infuse in the protocol design of the Phase 1b trial of a pipeline treatment for solid tumor cancers. As a result, Takeda’s GPT learned firsthand perspectives on potential clinical trial burdens, which informed Takeda’s approach to the study. Based on the advisors’ insights, Takeda re-evaluated inclusion and exclusion criteria, launched an online patient support portal, reassessed and consolidated the number of visits and procedures needed and built-in flexibility for discussions between investigator, clinicians and patients regarding their enrollment.

Clinical teams continue to refer back to the valuable insights from the Digital and Personalized Care Strategy as well as the advisory board. Now, we’re incorporating these learnings into our clinical development process at Takeda.

Building human connections for better health and brighter future

Takeda’s two-way dialogue approach to patient engagement goes beyond improving medicine development. It helps patients connect with the people who are behind the medicines Takeda develops, and also allows employees to see the impact of their work.

“It’s powerful for patients to know they’re being heard by someone who can actually make a difference,” said Jessica. “And beyond that, it’s incredibly inspiring for our colleagues to connect with the people for whom we’re creating a brighter future. It brings a stronger sense of purpose for the work we do at Takeda.”

Jessica continued: “I’m proud that Takeda is an industry leader in R&D patient engagement. As I look ahead to the next five years, I believe this two-way approach will be more generally accepted, and we’ll see more organizations adopting it because it works.”

Learn more about Takeda’s approach to patient needs.