Putting Patients First: Why We Partner with Advocacy Groups

By Dr. Lutz Bonacker

August 24, 2017

At CSL Behring we have been working collaboratively with patient organizations for years, informed by our core value that patients come first. Our CEO Paul Perreault puts it this way: “If you take care of the patients, the business takes care of itself.” It has also been our experience that the sole commitment of every patient group with which we collaborate is to the health and well-being of their members.

Partnerships can lead to improved ways of meeting patients’ needs
Collaborations work best when they evolve organically. Each party brings its own individual perspective to the relationship, which can lead to the emergence of new, different and improved ways of meeting patients’ needs. Partnerships also enhance our ability to understand what patients want and need. It’s not about us telling patients what they need, but about patients telling us what they want.

Collaborations work best when they evolve organically.

Their feedback has led to improvements such as the design of easy, safe ways for patients and their physicians to administer a particular therapy. The resulting outcomes include better compliance with a treatment regimen, fewer complications, and convenience that leads to a better quality of life. Our R&D program continues to focus on these areas as we strive to help ease the dosing schedule, take away handling steps and extend the shelf life of many of our medicines.

Rare medical conditions pose special challenges
As experts in the rare disease space, we are well acquainted with the challenges people with rare medical conditions face. Many of them go years without having an accurate diagnosis or treatment. Bringing those treatments through development and onto the market, studying the benefits and risks each step along the way, and educating healthcare practitioners, payers, and prospective patients are some of the areas that are enhanced by productive collaborations.

The WFH partners with local patient associations and with governments to bring diagnosis, training and access to products to patients worldwide.

A good example is CSL Behring’s ongoing collaboration with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). The WFH partners with local patient associations and with governments to bring diagnosis, training and access to products to patients worldwide. In 2009, our company was the first to commit to a multi-year agreement to donate a sizeable volume of valuable hemophilia medication to countries that are part of the WFH’s Global Access Program.

We have found that it is also important to find the right balance between supporting worthy collaborations and investing commercial proceeds from the sale of products back into research and development of new and innovative therapies. The choices are not always clear-cut, except one; the patients always come first.

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Dr. Lutz Bonacker is CSL Behring’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Operations Europe.

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