#WeWontRest until patients' and carers' voices are echoed across every step of the drug development process
At Merck, we are determined to ensure that patients are better heard during every step of the drug development process. To us, listening to patients is about much more than clinical trials and capturing patient reported outcomes, vital as they are. We believe that involving patients in the drug development process shouldn’t stop there. What is just as important to us is a deeper appreciation of the challenges faced by both patients and their carers. After all, it’s this understanding of unmet needs that ultimately leads to better products and services for all those who are affected by the illnesses we aim to cure.
Understanding MS from the inside-out
Our MS Inside Out campaign is a great example of how we put this dedication into practice. Telling the inside story of MS gives us, and the broader community, the opportunity to fully understand MS from the ‘inside-out.’
2018 saw two notable initiatives of MS Inside Out come to fruition. The first, Seeing MS from the Inside Out, is a powerful documentary that pairs artists with people from across the MS community. Featuring three individual stories, the result is a moving, impactful and often emotional film that highlights individual stories and shines a light on the elements of MS that remain under-represented.
Spotlighting the needs of MS carers
Coinciding with the launch of this thought-provoking documentary was our Living with Multiple Sclerosis: The Carer’s Perspective report, the result of a partnership with The International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and Eurocarers.
The report showcased the findings of a global survey of over 1,000 MS carers, painting a vivid picture of the impact of caring on the individual carer, their physical, emotional and financial health, and where they seek support and guidance. It also highlighted the many practical steps that can be taken to improve support for MS carers around the world to ensure their voice is better heard. One of the key findings was the desire for more information for MS carers, from the point of diagnosis, throughout the care pathway.Both the report and documentary will play a crucial role in helping the voices of carers to be heard alongside the voices of people with MS, to make sure the needs of the wider MS community continue to be addressed. We pledge to keep listening and to keep learning and we will not rest until patients – and carers – have the reassurance that their voices are being heard.