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ADA: Sanofi shifts focus to embrace integration in diabetes

Pascale Witz unveils company's ambitions at ADA conference
Sanofi diabetes

Sanofi used the American Diabetes Association event last weekend to announce an overhaul of its approach to diabetes care.

The company has become a leader in the area over the past decade thanks to its insulin Lantus, but now Sanofi wants to move away from the idea of pushing drugs to developing a more integrated diabetes business led by collaboration.

Speaking at a press conference at the event, Sanofi's Pascale Witz, executive VP, global divisions and strategic development, explained that the company was keen to match its efforts in patient care to that of its R&D business, which has moved from an internal model to one that is now reliant on external partners to discover innovative products.

“We think this is the way forward,” said Witz, highlighting a recent project in Brazil where Sanofi partnered with regional healthcare services to provide information and education to diabetes patients, as well as to improve access to its medicines.

She also referenced the recent collaboration with device specialist Medtronic as an example of the way Sanofi is headed.

“If we are to take a broader approach it is in our best interest to leverage partners who have a deep understanding of device development and drug delivery technology,” she said. “The partnership allows us to move to the next level and take this integrated care approach.”

Witz hypothesised: “What if we have a patient who can put a patch on their shoulder on Monday morning and not think about it until next Monday? Of course, that will not be tomorrow, but it will be an evolution. There are steps that we can take by thinking about the type of technology we can develop and what patients want.”

Any step would be one that took a patient's interests and needs into account – an especially important concerns for the whole of Sanofi's businesses following the appointment of a chief patient officer earlier this year in the form of Dr Anne Beal.

“We are adding a specific focus on patient centricity, because this integrated care approached switches from selling drugs to physicians to how we deliver outcomes to patients,” Witz told PMLiVE. ”The thing to think about is having the patients focus, and the chief patient officer is reinforcing that across all of our divisions including the diabetes team.”

Witz added: “We are here for the long term. We want to take care of these people and develop the best drugs.”

Article by
Thomas Meek

18th June 2014

From: Sales, Marketing, Healthcare



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