Walking the Talk

By Chris Smith

Developing clear and consistent messages is a science.

That’s why we looked at the language used by top biotech companies to describe their mission and performance. We checked reading grade level, sentence length, key words and more.

By a wide margin, “patients” was the most frequently used word in company websites, shareholder letters and news releases. Serving patients is the purpose of our industry, and we like to talk about it.

But is it lip service? Could we do it better? We were surprised to learn that only 1 in 5 biopharmaceutical companies has staff dedicated to patient advocacy, according to research conducted by BioNJ and presented at a patient advocacy conference this summer.

We applaud companies that have embraced patient advocacy as a strategic corporate function. It makes good business sense, especially given the focus on personalized medicine and rare disorders – two areas where informed patients are critical to success.

Advocacy is not marketing. It is where the patient community and the company meet. Advocacy is the face a company presents to patients. It is also the voice of patients resounding within company walls, humanizing their disease.

Patient organizations play a key role throughout the drug development process, from providing insight on clinical trial design to speeding recruitment and educating about diseases and their treatment.

Based on our experience, one key to successful patient advocacy is engaging the community early. If you’d like to strengthen your patient advocacy programs, please give us a call or drop us a note. We’ll help you walk the talk.