This article featured in Cancer World, explores how Ananda Plate, Chief Executive of Myeloma Patients Europe, makes the case for changing the way patients interact with industry in favour of a model developed by the HIV/AIDS community.
The traditional pharma advisory boards she refers to are meetings convened by companies, typically at the instigation of marketing departments, to help them with issues that crop up in developing a product, generating data, and creating educational and promotional materials.
The new approach she advocates – community advisory boards, organised and driven by patient advocates – operate in the reverse direction. Their function remains to enable advocates to offer expert advice to companies. But their aim is to assist companies in their efforts to most effectively meet the needs of the patient community. It is the advocates who choose the topics on the agenda, and it is they who invite companies to send representatives with the expertise and authority to discuss how both sides can work better together to help achieve shared goals.