In a word? Absolutely. And now, more than ever, it is critically important for mutual success. In a post-ACA world mired in tenuous debate regarding drug pricing, comparative treatment value, shifts in cost burden, and ultimately, diminished patient access to care, the idea of providing patient-centered care without collaboration is a non-starter.
Over the years, I’ve seen industry members and advocacy organizations run the gamut of experiences in seeking effective collaboration, and the stakes are high. When done well, industry and advocacy partnerships can transform the treatment paradigm for generations and represent some of the best work in the industry; but when done poorly, they can irrevocably diminish consumer trust and the reputation of all organizations involved.
The key is transparent, honest two-way communication that facilitates an exchange of ideas and mutual benefit. Most negative experiences stem from common pitfalls such as misaligned missions or objectives, fear of disappointing a potential funder or partner that leads to unrealistic expectations or underwhelming results, a poor understanding of core differences between organizational types leading to assumptions around bandwidth, ability, interest, etc.
As patients continue to evolve into a true healthcare consumer mindset, so too must the organizations, both for- and non-profit, that seek to meet their needs.
Will I be a small fish in a big pond?