"We’ve had an incredible response so far to the Patient Partnership Index 2020 – a new initiative between ourselves and PharmaTimes that recognises life science companies for the quality of their patient partnerships in communications and advocacy.

I’ve been so heartened by how industry has embraced the aims of the Index, signifying how much desire there is to lead quality communications and advocacy programmes with patients at their heart. This has always been our vision at OVID Health, so I was delighted to ask David Peacock, MSD UK’s MD, to share his thoughts on why companies should enter the Index."

Jenny Ousbey, Founder, OVID Health

The modern-day founder of MSD, George W. Merck, asserted our company’s hallmark principle that patients come first back in 1950 when he said “We try to remember that medicine is for the patient. We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear.”

Our company exists for the service of patients. Our goal is to save and improve lives, but we know we can’t do it alone. I believe strong relationships with patient groups, the NHS and other healthcare collaborations are essential and, given these unprecedented times, they have never been more important.

Patient groups play a vital role. They represent the voice and best interests of patients to government, the NHS, those that deliver care and to us, the research focused life-sciences industry. Their advocacy and insights are critical to shaping how our company develops and delivers our innovative medicines and vaccines. But, more than this, they also inspire us to overcome challenges and empathise with the patients we strive to help.

I want to acknowledge the ongoing steadfast support patient groups in the UK have continued to give during these challenging times and to show our support, I am proud that we will be launching a dedicated COVID-19 grants programme for UK based health charities in recognition of this work. This is in addition to our already existing grants programme which supports the work of patient organisations in some of our key therapy areas.

We need to continue to unlock the potential we have in our existing relationships and being bold in identifying where future work can and needs to be done, whether that be in responding to the current pandemic, preparing for the next, or addressing the myriad of other health challenges we all face including Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Anti-microbial Resistance, and many more.

I warmly welcome the Patient Partnership Index, which will help share best practice and examples of what has worked well. It will be through these learnings that our causes will be advanced.

At MSD we are committed to continuing to do our part to advance global health, today, during this crisis, and in the months and years to come. Continued relationships and collaborations will ensure we will achieve this.

David Peacock, Managing Director, MSD UK & Ireland