“Can I have a few moments of your time?”

Around 2009, pharmaceutical companies began realizing the benefits of patient involvement in research, but legal barriers minimized engagement. At this time, pharmaceutical companies did not have official patient-engagement branches, so outreach was often limited to patients they could access online (bloggers, social media influencers).

Since the immunology sectors of pharmaceutical companies had not yet formed patient engagement departments, conversations typically were not structured, casual phone conversations where patient advocates happily shared their opinions for no fee. By 2012, several companies began enlisting patient advocates to participate in advisory panels, in exchange for payment, but developed departments specializing in patient engagement in rheumatology did not become standard practice until a few years later.

CoPI: Advisory panels

Context: Research & Development