Please login to the form below

The role of pharma in cancer survivorship

By supporting World Cancer Day 2017, the pharma and life sciences industry can demonstrate patient centricity, exploring ways to deepen involvement in long term care.

World Cancer Day 2017 marks the second year of a three-year project. As well as building a wider awareness of the issues faced by cancer survivors, World Cancer Day 2017, on 4th February, is an opportunity for the pharma and life sciences industry to become more patient centric and develop value-added initiatives that go beyond therapy innovation.Cancer survivorship is a long journey, with many twists and turns along the pathway. Pharma, more used to focusing their efforts on the need for modern, effective therapies, often lose sight of other ways in which they can play a role in patients’ ongoing care.As patients adjust to the ‘new normal’ that cancer survivorship necessitates, seven aspects of care have been identified along the care pathway. This was initially developed by the National Cancer Survivorship initiative in 2008 by the Department of Health and Macmillan Cancer Support. While no longer active, the identified pathway remains relevant and informative, taking into account aspects of:
  • Assessment, care planning, and immediate post-treatment approaches to care
  • Managing active and advanced disease
  • Late effects
  • Children and young people
  • Self-care and self-management
  • Work and finances
  • Research
Increasing demands on HCPs’ time and resources compromises long-term care in all these areas, so pharma-led initiatives and partnerships with stakeholders would be welcomed by all. Partnership with stakeholders is, in fact, vital due to compliance issues, but offers pharma a unique insight into unmet patient needs through patient-reported outcomes. The pharma industry can use this information to develop programmes that complement physicians and healthcare professionals in their efforts to give self-management support to cancer survivors.

Community and patient advocacy groups

Supporting World Cancer Day offers the pharma industry a window of opportunity to demonstrate support for initiatives that promote long term care, helping patients towards behaviour change and self-management skills. There are many areas in which pharma can provide a significant contribution to existing or new survivorship care plans.

The digital platform

Personalised aftercare services have an added appeal to cancer survivors because everyone’s journey is different depending on health literacy, activation, available support and ability to manage physiological or psychological issues. One of the most powerful ways pharma can tap into the need to personalise ongoing care for patients is via the digital platform. Existing avenues to explore include social media channels, online forums and mobile applications. The online world is attractive to patients partly because it is both anonymous and personal. Patients can engage as far as they wish or feel able, and gain access to support when it’s convenient for them, rather than the clinic or hospital. This versatility also encourages self-management. Areas the digital platform can help with include:
  • Information on health and fitness.
  • Conversation opportunities with fellow survivors.
  • Motivational messages and encouragement.
  • Tailored content for specific cancers or treatment options.
  • Emotional and practical support.
  • Behaviour tracking or journaling opportunities.
  • Medical jargon glossaries to help patients understand and explore medical terms following consultation.
Such online applications and forums can also be extremely beneficial in helping patients overcome feelings of isolation by enhancing their sense of social wellbeing.These are just a few of the ways in which pharma can demonstrate support for World Cancer Day 2017, by playing a greater role in the development of future cancer survivorship programmes.By offering cancer survivor care solutions, everyone benefits: the long-term recipients of health care, the overburdened NHS, the insurers and payers who need to reduce spending, and the pharma industry itself through stronger HCP engagement.

4th February 2017



Company Details


+44 (0) 161 818 8399

Contact Website

4th Floor, Churchgate House
56, Oxford Street
M1 6EU
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

We need to be better for mental health sufferers
In support of World Mental Health Day, Manchester-based health communications agency, COUCH, is calling out for the industry to do more and to be better for those who need help in this area.
Improving medication adherence by increasing health literacy
Health literacy and therapy adherence are interlinked. Improving health literacy involves removing barriers that prevent patients’ medical understanding.
What pharma marketers can learn from behavioural science
Pharma behavioural science and traditional emotional marketing create a powerful mix of techniques that have impact on real lives.
Health knowledge: Why is it so important?
Health knowledge plays an important role in population health, but by itself is rarely enough to prompt a change in the behaviours that cause the risks.
COUCH study finds almost half of patients skip medication
Young people and less educated among those with less understanding of their health condition, according to UK-wide survey
Does a lack of understanding of human behaviour affect healthcare?
Only by synthesising research across multiple disciplines can we truly understand how to effect patient behaviour change