Perspectives

At Jazz Pharmaceuticals, we’re focused on developing life-changing medicines for people affected by serious diseases for which current therapies are lacking. That begins with our commitment to talking to patients and understanding their needs throughout our research and development process as we discover or identify potential treatment options to develop novel, meaningful medicines.

Advancing Our Research & Development Strategy Begins with the Patient

Kelvin Tan

At Jazz, we have a longstanding commitment to innovate to transform the lives of patients and their families and that is central to every decision we make. Our pledge to patients continues to be at the center of what we do; with this comes the responsibility to leverage our research and development (R&D) capabilities to create differentiated treatments that reflect the patient perspective and ultimately meet their needs.

As I start my new role as Chief Medical Officer here at Jazz, I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career and continuing to positively impact the lives of patients and their families.

My Commitment to Jazz and the People We Serve

Through my experiences in clinical medicine, academic research and the pharmaceutical industry, I have seen first-hand some of the challenges patients and their families face when accessing and navigating complex healthcare systems, particularly during times of acutely stressful clinical situations. As the child of immigrant parents, I also deeply recognize how cultural and language differences can be an additional barrier to care too. It is these experiences that have shaped my overall view of how much more we can do and need to do, not only to provide access to life-changing medicines but also to enable greater participation in clinical trials designed to meet their needs. In this new role, I have the privilege to address some of these challenges at scale. I am passionate about being a voice for patients and ensuring that all of us at Jazz are not only listening but acting differently based on what we hear and learn. I will continue to take actions to ensure the patient voice is heard and I will personally collaborate with my fellow physicians, healthcare providers, colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry, and others in our field to constantly explore what more we can do.

Growing our R&D Organization

At Jazz, we’re committed to developing life-changing medicines for people affected by serious diseases for which current therapies are lacking. This begins with talking and listening to those living with disease and reflecting their needs in our R&D priorities and throughout all stages of the drug development lifecycle as we pursue novel, meaningful medicines that advance patient care. This approach is critical to our leading clinical programs across neuroscience and oncology, including sleep, epilepsy, movement disorders, PTSD, autism, schizophrenia and hematology and solid tumors.

Our ability to be innovative and agile to maximize opportunities that exist across all of our clinical focus areas is the cornerstone of Jazz’s development strategy. To do this, we are enhancing our approach to our R&D organization by bringing together three critical teams under my leadership, including: Global Medical Affairs, Global Regulatory Affairs and Global Pharmacovigilance and Labeling. The integration of these three naturally aligned groups further raises the voice of the patient through all stages of the drug lifecycle to ensure we remain steadfast in our mission to identify new and innovative solutions for improving patient outcomes and experiences.

Patient Centricity

Our commitment to patient-centric innovation brings a holistic patient perspective more fully into our processes. Our team works closely with patients, partnering with Global Advocacy and Patient Support Services Teams, to truly understand and incorporate the patient voice across the entire R&D continuum, from discovery and pre-clinical development through agency review and approval and beyond, when our medicines are being utilized in the real-world setting. Including the patient point of view is imperative to success across the R&D process, particularly in clinical trials, and can result in numerous benefits such as, including a stronger sense of ownership, better patient recruitment, a more diverse and generalizable study population, enrollment and retention, improved protocol compliance, effective data query resolution metrics, shorter activation timelines and an overall reduction in the burden of study conduct. Moreover, including the patient point of view increases the likelihood of bringing truly meaningful, differentiated medicines with life-changing potential to meet the needs of patients and their families. To put this into practice, this year we partnered with the Hypersomnia Foundation to launch the I Have IH campaign in an effort to better understand the unmet needs across the idiopathic hypersomnia community and to increase awareness and understanding of the disorder. The biggest key finding from this survey was the insufficient knowledge healthcare providers have of idiopathic hypersomnia, which leads to delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis of other sleep disorders or psychiatry diseases. Jazz is continuously exploring new approaches to incorporate the patient voice into all aspects of our work, and we actively collaborate with multiple advocacy organizations to understand the needs of the patient community and reflect their perspectives in every phase of the R&D process.

As we have continued to integrate patient centricity into Jazz’s new and existing therapeutic areas, we recently launched our Nothing Small About It (NSAI) program. NSAI includes the first website and digital resource dedicated solely to small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients and caregivers, providing user-friendly content that puts real people and their stories at the center of the experience to enable those living with SCLC to become informed advocates. Our goal with this program is to take an unintimidating approach to SCLC awareness by arming patients and caregivers with the information they need to manage SCLC at each stage of their diagnosis and meet them exactly where they are in their individual cancer journeys. Hearing their intimate testimonials has been a very inspiring aspect of this program and I look forward to continuing this program with my colleagues in the coming year. You can learn more about this important program here.
We are finding new ways to listen to patient stories and experiences, gaining a better understanding of their challenges as we remain committed to standing with them and addressing their needs through innovative medical education programs around the world.
We believe all people, including those who live with complex conditions, deserve new and better therapeutic options. Therefore, it is important for us to listen to patients, physicians, care teams and advocacy groups for insights that will help us create new or better standards of care, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Addressing Health Disparities through R&D

Finally, these complex conditions often come with health and social inequities faced by patients, most importantly access to care. That is why I am committed to advancing diversity efforts across our R&D organization as we strive to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time without barriers, regardless of social status, race or ethnicity.

As an industry, we must do more to address health disparities and bring equity to all people living with complex conditions. One way Jazz is making strides is through collaborations with leading industry organizations, including Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Children’s Oncology Group and others. Most recently, our partnership with SU2C began to accelerate cancer research in areas of significant need and to also discover how we can improve access to cancer therapies for people from underserved communities. We understand that there is more work to be done and that is a key responsibility I will take on as Chief Medical Officer. Within Jazz, we are striving to learn how we can be a key part of the solution to breaking down these barriers, and ensure we reach even wider groups of patients with our medicines.

With change comes opportunity, and I look forward to navigating this new chapter at Jazz with the support of my wonderful colleagues. I have always appreciated our ability to adapt as we take bold risks, seek new ideas and continue to find ways to further innovate to transform the lives of patient and their families.