A better understanding of disease supports patients and healthcare professionals in the improved management of pain, dysfunction, distress, and social problems associated with medical conditions. A more comprehensive understanding of disease can also revolutionise future treatment options. The identification of different types of breast cancer, for example, has allowed for treatments to be developed around the specific genetic makeup of such types. The more we know about a disease, the better we will be able to treat it and its symptoms.
Knowledge of disease is essential when it comes to managing your health. It is important that patients and the public at large understand the underlying causes of disease, which people are most commonly affected, what treatments are currently available, and what research and development holds for future treatments. This knowledge can help patients manage their own health, allowing for healthier individuals and societies at large.
Medicines for Mankind is an EFPIA project that does exactly this. It is an information resource, which helps people improve their understanding of 100 diseases. From acne, a common skin disorder to Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder, Medicines for Mankind provides accessible information for patients and the public, helping them better understand information provided by healthcare professionals. This resource is supportive of patient-focussed health systems, which promote greater patient responsibility, leading to better quality of life and optimal value for healthcare investments.
Health information is an important consideration in empowering patients, but also in terms of what role, if any, industry can play in providing information to patients. EFPIA believes that the pharmaceutical industry can play a crucial role in patient empowerment and is working to best understand what sort of informational support will be most valuable to patients.