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The power of advocacy: coming together for the patient

Written by Fran Kochman

When it comes to patient care, information sharing is vital – between the patient and doctor, and among multiple members of the care team. But did you ever think that information sharing is equally important during the research process, long before a new medical therapy reaches patients?

In honor of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, GSK was invited to participate in an important congressional briefing on asthma about the interrelated research efforts affecting drug discovery and patient care.  Alongside patient advocates and esteemed researchers from government and university settings, our own Dr. Cathy Bonnucelli, US medical affairs therapeutic area head for respiratory, represented the clinical research perspective, while fellow panelists shared insights from basic research, population health and patient advocacy.

Together, the panel demonstrated how each of these key players helps to evolve medical research to better meet the needs of patients. Dr. Kirk Druey of the National Institutes of Health discussed how basic research identified multiple types of asthma and distinct patient types, enabling the creation of targeted precision medicines. Dr. Bonnucelli shared the long journey of translating those discoveries into medicines approved by FDA for patient use.

Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. Michael Cabana of the University of California San Francisco shared perspectives on how to track and support asthma care in the community and care institutions – ensuring patients can access, understand and effectively use the medicines available to them.

From scientists and researchers representing government, academia and industry, to patients and their families, sharing information and expertise is key to achieving better patient care and outcomes.  From the first glimmers of discovery in a lab, to the policies and regulations that support this type of research, to the way we engage patients and gather their feedback, and ultimately, the ways in which we support patients and help them access the treatments and care they need – this is the power of advocacy.

Director of Advocacy and Alliance Development

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