Patient centricity? Pharma’s there, expert says. It’s regulators who need to catch up

Doctor with patient
Treato CEO Ido Hadari says patient centricity has become "a pillar in every life sciences and healthcare company out there."

YEHUD, ISRAEL—Compare pharma's ideas about patient centricity today with their ideas a few years back, and “it would probably be like landing on different planets,” according to Ido Hadari, CEO of data analytics company Treato. Regulators, though? The way he sees it, they haven't landed yet.

Patient centricity for pharma “was a novel, futuristic concept three years ago," Hadari said. But today, it’s “a pillar in every life science and healthcare company out there,” Hadari said in an interview at the company's Israeli headquarters.

And he would know. Treato uses a variety of platforms to source digital patient discussions and insights on meds and healthcare, and the increase in demand for those insights has been huge, he says.

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That’s not to say all drugmakers are in the same place when it comes to how much—or how well—they’re implementing that type of data, however. “The trend is very, very broad,” Hadari said as Israel was preparing to showcase its biotech industry at the MIXiii BIOMED Conference, to take place in May in Tel Aviv.

“You get companies that are further along, they’ve adopted this earlier, they have formed very clear and coherent and focused strategies or informed their existing strategies and have already started executing,” he said. They're incorporating the consumer experience into marketing, sure—but they're also using it in areas such as sales, pharmacovigilance and drug safety, R&D and medical affairs.

And you also get companies “starting to understand how this is going to change their business, but they’re a few steps behind,” he added.

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Regulators, though, have “made some nice steps, but my personal perspective is it’s not enough,” Hadari said. Though “the trend line is positive,” regulators “need to move faster in acknowledging the central role of patients and consumers in healthcare today and harnessing that power to produce better, safer, more effective solutions for patients.”

The approach to safety “just has to be adjusted to the new world,” he continued, pointing out that “all the safety information about every single product out there doesn’t just exist in the traditional way. It’s weaved into billions of patient and caregiver experiences and being shared online,” where he says it’s often more colorful and granular.

As he figures, though, change is coming, and soon. “I would assume in the coming 5 years” the thinking around assessing drug safety will shift, he predicted.