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It's high time to invest in educating patients about R&D

Guest commentary: Meeting the need for patient input in R&D will require investment in patient education

With clinical studies being postponed or interrupted amid a global pandemic, it might be tempting to press pause on patient engagement. That would be a mistake.

Instead, drug sponsors should seize the opportunity to invest in building capacity for patients to engage in R&D, so when the pandemic ebbs and the R&D engine re-engages, companies’ limited research dollars can go further.

In the likely scenario that pandemic-related delays drive up costs and delay product revenues, companies will want to call on patients to help with identifying the most pressing unmet needs, and designing studies that won’t stall or outright fail because patients decline to enroll or drop out.

If that call came today, too few patients and care partners would be willing and able to answer.

How do we know? Because long before COVID-19 upended biopharmaceutical R&D, the patient engagement movement already had reached a crucial tipping point: the demand for patient input into R&D has come close to eclipsing the patient community’s capacity to

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