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Our commitment to patients: advocacy partnerships that matter

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September 23, 2021

Takeda’s commitment to patients and caregivers means putting ourselves in their shoes to understand their experiences and aspirations. Patient organizations are closely connected with the needs of their communities; establishing and nurturing respectful relationships with these stakeholders is an essential part of advancing innovations in treatment. In part two of our mini-series, we spoke with Mary Uhlenhopp, head of Global Patient Advocacy; Fatima Scipione, head of Oncology Patient Advocacy and Engagement; and Laura Cline, vice president, U.S. Therapeutic Policy and Advocacy, to learn more about how they and their teams partner with advocates across the life cycle of our products.

Patients and their caregivers are becoming increasingly more involved in their care. Patient organizations are among the most trusted sources of information and support for patients and their care partners. They help make sure that people living with a disease are informed, empowered and supported on their journey. Our advocacy teams at the global, regional and national levels share a goal of empowering patients with the knowledge, skills and courage they need to effectively advocate for access to optimal care and health outcomes. Partnering with patient organizations yield important unfiltered insights that help our company meet patients’ needs and ensure appropriate access to innovation.

Broadening company perspectives

Takeda’s patient advocacy programs are grounded in our company values of Patient-Trust-Reputation-Business. By putting the patient first, we listen to and share their views with colleagues across the company. Across our diverse portfolio, we work with different advocacy organizations to understand the patient experience.

“We build relationships that allow us to understand what it’s like to live with a disease so we can take action to create solutions that represent the priorities, perspective and needs of patients,” said Fatima Scipione, head of Oncology Patient Advocacy and Engagement at Takeda. “For us in our Oncology Business Unit, we’re committed to being a responsible cancer community partner.”

Patient organizations raise disease awareness, speed diagnosis, provide emotional and financial support, describe treatment options and shape public policies. They also help to identify gaps in information, services and access. Through honest exchanges with these organizations, our company perspectives are broadened; development programs are enriched with patients’ insights; education programs provide more relevant information; and barriers to treatment access are addressed.

A trusted partner to the community

Trust is an essential element of patient advocacy at Takeda. “Our goal is to earn the trust of the communities we serve,” said Mary Uhlenhopp, Head of Global Patient Advocacy at Takeda. “It’s our responsibility to be sure we’re acting in patients’ best interests.” This means building on the initial work done by P3, Takeda’s cross-functional team which focuses on patient engagement, patient advocacy and patient recruitment & retention, to deliver additional patient-centric insights to internal stakeholders as medicines make their way through the pipeline and to the patients. Takeda’s Patient Advocacy teams act as the single point of contact for patient groups as their input is sought by an increasing number of our colleagues. “Our engagement ensures that our actions, across the entire company, continue to be guided by our values.”

Connecting our people with patients

Through P3, we bring patients and their journey closer to every part of our company. For example, Takeda’s scientists appreciate not only advocates’ perspectives on discovery-related challenges, but also their reminders about the importance and urgency of our researchers’ work in the laboratory. Advocates appreciate being engaged across the development and commercialization continuum, increasing the potential that Takeda’s medicines will reflect patients’ real needs.

“Takeda listens and we feel valued as a partner. That’s makes such a difference,” said Leonard A. Valentino, MD, President and CEO, National Hemophilia Foundation. “In the end, we share the same goal: Healthier lives for the people we serve.” 

Read more about Takeda’s approach to patient needs.