From bench to bedside – and back

Today’s post is from Susan Forda, Vice-President of Global Regulatory Affairs International at Lilly

Because of the understanding of their own disease, patients can provide access to knowledge that no one else does. These insights can inform and help us to better fine tune our research and development towards patient needs which in return, drives value based outcomes to patients.

Ensuring patient access to new drugs has always been the priority for us involved in the medicine field. To achieve this goal, getting enhanced input and feedback from patients on how to make their lives better is key. This year I had the honour of co-chairing the highly anticipated DIA EuroMeeting, the largest life science event in Europe. The conference theme “From bench to bedside – and back” explored how patient feedback plays a vital role in drug development.

The city of Glasgow, voted as “the friendliest city in the world” hosted the 29th DIA Euromeeting and this collaborative mind-set was very fitting for the topic that I spoke on during the conference: clinical trial transparency. Patients should have access to meaningful information about their medicines while at the same time, have their personal information safeguarded and our ability to innovate protected. Lilly remains committed to partnering with all relevant stakeholders to find the appropriate balance between these three imperatives.

I presented during a session that resulted in an interesting debate about the resources used for transparency requirements and the benefits brought to society. Lilly has a history of commitment to transparency of our clinical studies. In 2004, we became the first company to voluntarily disclose the initiation of our clinical studies and post study results in a publicly available registry. We believe that in order to advance and accelerate the development of new medicines, we need to have open conversations with patients, caregivers, researchers and innovators.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this conference, meeting with colleagues, witnessing and participating in robust discussions about regulatory hot topics such as the use of real-word evidence by regulators. Indeed, the aim of this conference is to bring together professionals to share insights and drive action in drug development to advance innovation. As long as we remember what we are really looking for here - how to improve good outcomes for patients who are waiting for a new medicine - then we can all be aligned and confident we have achieved a fruitful outcome for patients.

To know more about the conference, listen to my podcast.