The healthcare industry is in flux. Patients and caregivers are playing an increasingly active role in healthcare decisions, and communities are finding their voice with policymakers and the media. In addition, the growing focus on cost and outcomes/quality is universal and will be persistent. This new landscape of “value-driven” healthcare and patient empowerment is motivating the significant—and essential—growth of open communication with patients.
Advocacy is one key way to truly engage with the people and communities your products serve.
When you partner with an advocacy group, you become part of real-time information sharing among people who are taking a more active role in their own healthcare, as well as advocating for others who may not be able to do it for themselves.
Advocacy provides benefits that reach deeper than marketing efforts alone.
Partnering with communities helps add credibility, broadens the reach of your messaging, and supports efforts to achieve franchise and corporate goals.
Industry is almost universally adopting a more patient-focused approach and recognizing the value of advocacy as a strategy and discipline. In fact, the majority of pharma companies either have, or are considering, advocacy programming.
At the same time, advocacy groups in many areas are becoming more sophisticated and have increased expectations of relationships with industry. There is a shift from “quid pro quo” relationships to true partnership—with input and collaboration from the beginning of each initiative. And advocates expect their communities’ priorities to be addressed in more meaningful ways than just charitables or volunteer programs.
The internal challenges can be significant, too. There are many different types of advocacy, not all of which are right for every company. Best practices are scarce, which means that advocacy leads face significant internal demands with little guidance about how to choose the right initiatives, partners, and metrics. To top it off, more agencies every day are offering a wide variety of advocacy services with limited differentiation. It’s hard to know where to turn to get the right support.
Discovery USA Advocacy Has a Unique Approach—and It Works
We believe in helping industry live its visions of improving the lives of the patients and communities they serve in ways that go beyond product development and delivery. Entire communities can benefit from initiatives that raise awareness, expand access, address disparities, and support improved standards of care.
Why The Right Partner Matters
The Discovery USA advocacy team has been at the forefront of development in the healthcare advocacy field since 2006, working with clients to develop internal advocacy structure as well as collaborative initiatives in education, awareness, access, policy, and other key areas.
We think beyond traditional parameters and develop innovative solutions to stay ahead of the evolving political, regulatory, legislative, medical, and economic environments.
The more collaborative you can be, the greater impact you will have
Because there is no one “right way” to engage in advocacy, our recommendations are tailored to your needs and priorities. Some of the services we provide are described below to help illustrate how we can assist you in collaborating with advocacy groups to realize optimal impact.
With few exceptions, there are established groups for any given therapeutic area. Using in-depth primary or secondary research, we explore these organizations, identifying what support or activity currently exists in the space, what’s missing, and the impact of the disease or condition of interest. We also identify patterns and trends to better understand the values of those engaged in your space and to uncover opportunities for collaboration.
Internal Dashboard and Reporting
Our team loves showing what you’ve achieved. Our Quarterly Dashboards and End-of-Year Reports showcase your successes and reinforce understanding of the value of advocacy within your organization.
Internal Advisory Board
This cross-functional process lets us determine the viability of advocacy work within your therapeutic area, as well as your organization’s understanding of and commitment to advocacy. We engage key stakeholders to explore perceptions of advocacy, generate insights, build excitement, clarify advocacy goals, and identify and gain alignment on an effective way forward.
External Advisory Board
To shape your program’s strategic direction, we research, identify, and gather community leaders to better understand their opinions, needs, and concerns within the therapeutic area, and to build mutually beneficial relationships. We fully facilitate all aspects of an advisory board meeting, from the initial proposal to postmeeting recommendations, including how to build upon key learnings.
Stakeholder Identification and Engagement
Our team maintains a connection with the advocacy community and its leaders, making us uniquely able to help identify and engage groups and individuals motivated to work with you. Most importantly, we are dedicated to helping you maintain and grow these important relationships.
To accomplish goals more effectively, we develop resources ranging from Field Team flashcards to online learning modules for advocates to enhance the skills of your team and the advocacy community.
Using the knowledge we’ve gained through years of experience, we help our clients clarify the often nebulous advocacy space to meet their individual goals and the goals of the brand, through tapping into essential community insights while building credibility and trust in the community.
what makes us the leaders in this field?
- Hard-won expertise in coalition and capacity building
- Uncovering common ground across disparate groups
- Bringing groups together and fostering collaboration
- Helping marginalized communities find their voice
- Identifying stepping stones to increasing capacity and impact
- Big-picture thinking
- Understanding of multiple internal stakeholder drivers
- Ability to work cross-functionally within pharma companies to achieve client advocacy outcomes
- Experience with multiple types of pharma companies, providing insight into a spectrum of appropriate advocacy structures and solutions