Jan 29, 2010
All eyes are on PatientsLikeMe’s new epilepsy area of the site. UCB backed this portion of the site and is recognized as a sponsor company, but the pharma firm is taking a hands-off approach.
As a mature network (established in 2004), and with over 50,000 patients, PatientsLikeMe is off to a good start connecting patients with epilepsy. The site is chocked full of tools like a Health Profile widget that allows you to share your health profile with the community and helps others learn from your experience. PatientsLikeMe research updates are available from the R&D team, and one can find easy access to testimonials.
So, here’s the million dollar question – with no ability promote directly from UCB, will patients actually come? And, more importantly, will they make a positive impact in health outcomes?
- I think UCB was smart in selecting a rich network with a solid reputation and access to a lot of vocal patients.
- It is a bold move for a pharma company to build a community and then have the fortitude to ‘walk away’ and let patients loose to dialogue and share their thoughts in an open environment.
- If the epilepsy community takes off, not only will patients benefit, but so will pharma and the FDA as the results of this experiment will most certainly uncover interesting data
Patients Like Me are very interested to see the longitudinal data.