In a keynote address on patients’ access to medicines at the eyeforpharma Barcelona summit, CSL Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Paul Perreault told fellow biotech industry leaders that access to life-saving medicines remains a global challenge that cannot be ignored.
“Our role in ensuring patients have access to these medicines is an imperative, not an afterthought. As an industry, we must be a reliable and engaged partner in understanding and overcoming barriers to access,” said Perreault.
Global barriers to patient access include regulatory delays of approving new therapies, reimbursement challenges and supply disruptions. In addition, Perreault emphasized the importance of promoting early diagnosis and treatment of conditions to give patients the best opportunity to effectively manage their illnesses.
“Patients have taught us that our industry can deliver innovative medicines to the market and prove their value, but without timely and accurate diagnoses, we’ve failed,” he said.
Perreault noted it may take years, multiple visits to different doctors, and several misdiagnoses before a person with a rare disease is accurately diagnosed. He encouraged industry to engage patients and patient advocacy groups that are most familiar with specific conditions in order to promote better awareness and education.
CSL Behring closely collaborates with patient groups such as the European Haemophilia Consortium, International Patient Organization for Primary Immunodeficiencies, Hereditary Angioedema International, and the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, among others.
“We’re incredibly proud to have recently opened Africa’s first Primary Immunodeficiency diagnostic and research network in partnership with the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, with whom we have collaborated for years in multiple parts of the world,” said Perreault.
Perreault shared lessons learned throughout his career to ensure patient access to life-saving therapies:
- To start conversations about unmet needs and the value of medicines early, and to listen closely.
- To put “boots on the ground” in different countries to help navigate local laws and regulations.
- To strengthen Patient Focus at all levels of the organization, in all functions.
“Although CSL Behring has grown significantly, I never want us to lose connection with the people who rely on our medicines,” said Perreault. “I tell our people that they should work every day like a patient’s life depends on it because it usually does. I can’t think of a better motivator.”
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients’ needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn.
CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs nearly 20,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 60 countries. For more information visit www.CSLBehring.com and follow us on www.Twitter.com/CSLBehring.