At Novartis, we’re united by a shared purpose of putting patients at the heart of everything we do and being a bold partner for progress to the patient community.

We are proud to partner with more than 80 patient organisations, patient communities and charities from across the UK, spanning a broad range of disease areas from oncology to cardiovascular disease.

By partnering with the patient community, we are reimagining how we can improve more people's lives, helping them to enjoy greater quality of life for longer. Together, we are implementing innovative healthcare solutions for those most in need, no matter their background, or where they are.

Our key priority areas for engaging with the patient community include:

  • Securing valuable patient insights, from initial idea generation and throughout the development process, to support the delivery of solutions aimed at patients
  • Building partnerships and supporting projects which help to address system recovery, elevate shared decision making and tackle health inequalities
  • Operating with integrity, transparency and mutual respect in all our interactions with patients and advocates

For patients, by patients

Affecting positive changes to improve outcomes for patients must start with the patient themselves. Only by taking the time to understand their needs can we work to meaningfully support them.

As part of this commitment, we established the Novartis UK Patient Advocacy Leadership Coalition. This unique advisory group of leaders from within the patient advocacy community is helping us understand the evolving needs of patients, in order to improve our strategies and the services we provide to them.

The importance of being led by insights is also reflected in our Commitment to patients and caregivers and underpins our partnerships with the patient community. We will always listen to and engage with patients from the very start of any new patient-focused activities and all partnership activities will be driven by their needs.

Making a positive impact in the communities we serve

As health services look to rebuild from the impacts of the pandemic, practical solutions are needed to help overcome system challenges and reduce health inequalities, so patients can access the care they need. Across our organisation, we are helping to improve outcomes for patients at both a local and national level, developing new models of sustainable patient care, and introducing innovative technologies into the national health service (NHS).

We have co-created nine patient support programmes with the patient community in the last five years to improve outcomes for patients, and together launched five disease education campaigns over the last 18 months. From “Fighting Failure” in heart failure to “Moments that Count” for breast cancer, our intention is to build support tools that can empower patients to have more meaningful interactions with their healthcare professionals. We are also proud to contribute grant funding to a number of external organisations in the UK as part of our mission to improve outcomes, and in doing so always closely adhere to relevant local guidelines.

Ongoing disease education campaigns developed and supported by Novartis include:

We also recognise the important role that Novartis can play, alongside other stakeholders, in tackling health inequalities and pledge to work in partnership to deliver solutions that can help improve outcomes for underserved populations. A recent example of this kind of collaboration is our heart failure-focused Health Inequalities Insights Tool (HIIT), which harnesses data to build a greater understanding of the relationship between heart failure and socioeconomic deprivation in England. The aim of this interactive resource is to support local planning and decision-making around the delivery of heart failure services, whilst also contributing to the broader NHS Core20PLUS5 ambition of achieving improved health outcomes for the most deprived 20% of the population in England.

Harnessing data, digital and new technologies will also be key when it comes to future-proofing post-pandemic health services – a core focus of our digital innovation lab, Novartis Biome. This exciting initiative is helping us to find and collaborate with the best partners in the tech ecosystem as well as enabling others to partner with us more easily, effectively and sustainably. This year has already seen the launch of the Novartis Biome UK Heart Health Catalyst 2022; a world first initiative for health tech start-ups, researchers and problem solvers with the bold aim of reimagining CVD care in the UK.

Supporting shared decision making

Elevating the importance of shared decision making and ensuring that patients receive care tailored to their individual needs remains a key focus of our partnerships with the patient community. Improving the uptake of shared decision making will place more patients at the centre of their care, empowering them to make decisions regarding their health that are right for them and helping to alleviate health system pressures by improving efficiencies.

In 2022, we sponsored research from the Patients Association, which showed that while the majority of clinicians in the UK are active supporters of shared decision making, their ability to follow this approach fully is being limited by challenges impacting the NHS – including lack of time, resources and integrated IT systems.

We remain committed to helping address barriers to shared decision making through the provision of resources which can support patients in making decisions about their care.

Operating with integrity

At Novartis, we hold ourselves accountable to the communities we seek to support and always operate with integrity, transparency and mutual respect in our interactions with patients, patient support groups and advocates.

We respect the independence and integrity of patient organisations. We also openly disclose financial information related to all our collaborations with external parties, and in line with existing laws and regulations. A full list of the external parties that Novartis provides support to can be found here.

We challenge ourselves to listen to patient communities, learn from their feedback and adapt our approach accordingly. As part of this commitment, we distribute a “needs assessment” survey to patient advocacy groups and charities every two years to better understand how we can evolve our partnerships and focus on activities that are most needed by the patient community.

UK | August 2022 | 235667