Long-term thinking: a business plan and a foundation
Medicines R&D is a complex process that is difficult to understand for the majority of patients and the general public. In order to bridge that gap, the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) developed an in-depth training course, an online toolbox and a network of national platforms that can equip people to better understand and make decisions about their treatments. This in turn helps to put patients’ needs at the heart of drug development.
EUPATI was designed to trigger a major rethink in the way patients and the public understand the medicines development process and their own involvement therein. Armed with a deeper understanding, patient experts and advocates are empowered to work effectively with regulators and other relevant authorities, healthcare professionals, academic researchers and industry to influence the medicines development process for the benefit of patients.
The EFOEUPATI project has ensured that that the impact of EUPATI will be sustained and strengthened by putting in place a business model for its medium- to long-term future. As part of the business model, EFOEUPATI identified and implemented new funding streams. A mixed business model comprises different interconnected funding streams which will sustain core EUPATI activities while also allowing its scope to expand and reach even more patients and stakeholders.
During the EFOEUPATI project, the partners carried out a number of activities to validate the business model and helped to refine and finalise the sustainability plan. The independent non-profit EUPATI Foundation was established in the Netherlands, and stands ready to serve the growing societal demand for gold standard patient education across the world.
New web portals
New EUPATI Patient Education and Engagement Portals were designed and launched to host relevant information and resources for patients and other stakeholders to ensure meaningful and value-adding patient engagement in medicines R&D. The EUPATI main portal provides information and guidance about the training and education, the EUPATI Online Toolbox offers a large library of resources in multiple languages to the general public and the EUPATI Collaborate Portal provides opportunities for collaboration with EUPATI and its network.
National and regional networks boosted
The EUPATI National Platform (ENP) Network was strengthened, and regional groupings for ENPs were established in order to provide a support infrastructure for the network members and supercharge the power of their initiatives while enabling cultural connections. Communication tools were developed, training was made available, and best practices and guides were disseminated among the members. A communication toolkit and common ENP messages package was developed and shared widely within the network, with each tool adaptable to individual country contexts.
EUPATI is globally recognised as a dependable and neutral knowledge hub that provides trusted, state-of-the-art, user-friendly educational resources that allows regular people to work towards better outcomes for patients alongside researchers, regulators, industry representatives and policymakers.
The training programme is being transformed into an online, on-demand, modular course that will allow learners to work at their own pace and select modules that meet their individual needs. The EUPATI Open Classroom will ensure that more patients, patient representatives and other stakeholders are trained in medicines R&D. Meanwhile a EUPATI ‘matchmaking’ service will be deployed to help bring research and development projects together with trained patient experts.