Excellence in Medical Affairs – Transformation

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Forward with Patients: Co-developing Galapagos’ Patient Partnership Vision and Strategic Direction with the Patient Community

by Weber Shandwick for Galapagos

Summary of work

In 2020, Galapagos sought to define the company’s vision and road map towards earlier, more structured and systematic patient engagement. The first step was to formalise, in its own Patient Partnership Charter, this long-term ambition to partner with the patient community as well as the commitments and the principles driving this collaboration. From the get-go, it was decided that the company would lead by example and co-develop it with the patient community, from scratch.

The project launched in autumn 2020, supported by Weber Shandwick. About a year and a half later we looked back at what we helped Galapagos achieve:

  • Developing a consolidated document capturing the company’s approach to patient partnerships, aligned with expectations of the patient community
  • Building internal knowledge and capabilities to embed the patient voice in all company’s activities, including through creation of a patient engagement champions network, development of internal tools, establishment of internal educational programmes to support and guide patient engagement, and set-up of a permanent Patient Engagement Council
  • Working towards positioning Galapagos as a purposeful partner of the patient community, including through co-creation of the Charter with three independent patient advisors and seven patient organisations, but also through the planning of external dissemination efforts.

Judges’ comments

Forward with Patients was a beautifully written submission. It was an important initiative to enhance org-level patient engagement, addressing the highly topical area of patient involvement. The judges look forward to seeing this one develop.