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In April 2016, Astellas hosted its second annual Patient Advocacy Summit—entitled Changing Tomorrow Together: Partnering to Improve Patients’ Lives – in Washington D.C. A cornerstone of our evolving stakeholder engagement program in the Americas, the event brought together nearly 150 participants, including 105 patient advocates representing more than 90 groups from the U.S. and Canada. Attendees represented a wide range of therapeutic areas (including various forms of cancer, urologic health, kidney health, transplants, heart disease, infectious disease, arthritis and rare diseases), as well as advocates with a broader focus on R&D and access to quality care.
Issues addressed included the importance of reflecting patient priorities in the development of quality measures and value assessment frameworks, and “best practice” insights from patient advocacy leaders. Astellas leadership members also shared some of the many ways we strive to deliver value in the medicines we develop, the services we provide and our presence in the communities where we work and live.
The summit helps Astellas build and strengthen relationships with advocates who share a passion for improving and saving the lives of patients.
The day prior to the summit, Astellas also convened the inaugural meeting of a new Patient Advocates Advisory Committee. Comprised of approximately a dozen cross-therapeutic advocacy leaders, the committee serves as a resource for Astellas to better understand the priorities and collaborative opportunities within the patient community, and to gain feedback on Astellas’ efforts to best reflect patient’s engagement and voices throughout our business.
Achieving “Even Better” Communication with Patients
Astellas defines Patient Focus as one of our five messages of the Astellas Way. To improve our implementation of patient focus, Astellas assesses its day-to-day efforts continuously and improves how it interacts with patients.
Astellas made changes in the U.S. such as establishing a system to give a quicker response to inquiries about its clinical trials to patients, and implementing a patient support survey to assess the responses of Astellas to patients, and to better understand patients’ perceptions about our customer services.
Furthermore, taking into consideration the levels of patients’ knowledge and understanding about health, Astellas revises the descriptions of important safety information together with the informed consent form. Moreover, Astellas strives to have better communications with patients by providing training to all staff who have the chance of coming into contact with patients, on themes such as the knowledge and understanding of health, the consideration of patients, and interpersonal skills.
These improvements that started in the U.S. will be adapted for other regions, helping to fulfill our VISION of turning innovative science into value for patients.