Authored by James Sheppard
The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi recently announced that it had appointed Dr Anne C. Beal as its new Chief Patient Officer. This is a new role within Sanofi and one that the company hopes will increase engagement with patients and ensure a patient perspective advances Sanofi’s approach to meeting unmet medical needs.
Pascale Witz, EVP Global Divisions & Strategic Development said “Interactions with patients are a source of strength for the company. Dr Beal’s appointment will help ensure the patient perspective advances our approach to meeting the unmet needs of patients.’
Dr Beal arrives from her previous role as Deputy Executive Director at the Patient-Centred Outcomes Research Institute, in the US, which was created by the Affordable Care Act. Dr Beal is a certified paediatrician and spent some of her early career at Harvard Medical School where she held a faculty position.
The position at Sanofi was created to look beyond the pill to help patients with their treatments. Sanofi has been one of the more active companies in adding these beyond the pill services. Most recently Sanofi recruited a number of diabetes patients to help design mobile apps to help manage their disease.
These new ‘patient’ job roles created by companies such as Sanofi are an attempt to help connect drug companies with patient communities. With Sanofi having acquired the rare diseases giant, Genzyme, the patient-centric approach seems to be a philosophical shift for the larger Sanofi who might be adapting to be more like Genzyme.