In a keynote address on patients’ access to medicines at the eyeforpharma Barcelona summit, CSL Behring CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault told fellow biotech industry leaders that access to life-saving medicines remains a global challenge that cannot be ignored.
“Our role in ensuring patients have access to these medicines is an imperative, not an afterthought. As an industry, we must be a reliable and engaged partner in understanding and overcoming barriers to access,” said Perreault.
Global barriers to patient access include regulatory delays of approving new therapies, reimbursement challenges, and supply disruptions. In addition, Perreault emphasized the importance of promoting early diagnosis and treatment of conditions to give patients the best opportunity to effectively manage their illnesses.
“Patients have taught us that our industry can deliver innovative medicines to the market and prove their value, but without timely and accurate diagnoses, we’ve failed,” he said.
Perreault noted it may take years, multiple visits to different doctors, and several misdiagnoses before a person with a rare disease is accurately diagnosed. He encouraged industry to engage patients and patient advocacy groups that are most familiar with specific conditions in order to promote better awareness and education.
CSL Behring closely collaborates with patient groups such as HAEi.
Perreault shared lessons learned throughout his career to ensure patient access to life-saving therapies:
- To start conversations about unmet needs and the value of medicines early, and to listen closely.
- To put “boots on the ground” in different countries to help navigate local laws and regulations.
- To strengthen Patient Focus at all levels of the organization, in all functions.
“Although CSL Behring has grown significantly, I never want us to lose connection with the people who rely on our medicines,” said Perreault. “I tell our people that they should work every day like a patient’s life depends on it because it usually does. I can’t think of a better motivator.”
(Source: CSL Behring)