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Multiple Sclerosis Patient Engagement in Drug Development

How does patient participation in multiple sclerosis drug development affect clinical trials for this disease?

When I see a new drug for MS come to market, I only think of the company behind that product – it could be one of the big names such as Genentech, Genzyme, EMD Serono, Biogen, or one of the many other players in the field.  I never stopped to think about what their drug development process really entails, other than acknowledging it is a lengthy and costly process.

I had the opportunity to attend the recent DIA 2016, in Philadelphia, as a Patient Fellow and I learned so much more about how these companies get their product to market.

DIA is promoted as Design, Innovate and Advance but it also the initials for the Drug Industry Association, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes drug development in all aspects.

The four-day convention featured presentations from panels on a wide variety of topics. Most infused the concept of patient engagement into their talks and even in their titles, but only a limited number of them actually had a patient on their expert panels. The exhibit area was massive, with the big and little companies all jockeying for position in the drug development process. The inside view busted my concept of how the big name pharmaceutical company drugs come to the market.

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