Ground-Breaking Training for Patients Goes Ahead in Barcelona

April 8, 2015
Philip Ward

Philip Ward is ACT's European editor, phone +44 1244 538583, philipward1@btconnect.com

Applied Clinical Trials

In a crucial part of the European Patients’ Academy (EUPATI) strategy, 47 patients and patient representatives from across Europe are meeting this week in Barcelona, Spain, to continue their 13-month online training course to become expert patients in the medicines development process.

In a crucial part of the European Patients’ Academy (EUPATI) strategy, 47 patients and patient representatives from across Europe are meeting this week in Barcelona, Spain, to continue their 13-month online training course to become expert patients in the medicines development process.

According to EUPATI Director Jan Geissler of Germany, a chronic myeloid leukemia patient and engaged patient advocate, “The EUPATI Expert Patient Training Course is one of the very first tangible results of our project. At this first face-to-face meeting of our course, we are looking forward to learning as much from our students as what we will be teaching to them.”

The concept is to equip patient advocates with information and tools to understand how the medicines development process works, and motivate them to become more involved in it to make sure research is truly centered around their needs. This five-day meeting is the first of two to be held this year.

The themes under discussion will include the process of development of new medicines and research from the bench to post-marketing, personalized and predictive medicines, and the safety and risk:benefit ratio of drugs. Some six months from now, these same 47 students will be returning to talk about and learn more on pharmacoeconomics, health economics, designing clinical trials, and the roles of patients in that design.

“This will enable them to work on designing clinical studies, give counsel and feedback to existing protocols from academic and commercial sponsors, as well as to regulatory authorities nationally and at the European Medicines Agency in London. This all will raise the bar of what a patient advocate is and what a patient advocate can be,” wrote EUPATI in a  statement.
 
Although we have been working with the students online for 6 months and ironing out details and concerns as we go along, this is the first time both we as a project and they as the students will be interacting directly, explained Per Spindler, Director at Biopeople, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

EUPATI aims to engage with more than 100,000 Europeans via its Internet Library, which will come online towards the end of 2015 and will be available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish and Russian.

For full details about the participants in the training program, click here.