Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dear Amgen - Patients are Everywhere

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After yesterday's fun time, I was excited to watch a patient panel this morning about pharmaceutical ads.

I came in excited about it, hopeful.

A group of three people from Amgen who work on a specific drug sat next to me, including a Senior Marketing Manager.

I didn't call him out directly, but what went down with his group at our table was very difficult.

He introduced himself to me as I was visibly trying to do something, which was frustrating. When I introduced myself as a patient, I got a bit of a stink face.

I expected this would happen if I really interacted with anyone in pharma while here.

I was not surprised.

Later on, the panel I was stoked for began. I was taken back by how many people in the audience were not paying attention to the patients on stage.

Again, though, I was not surprised.

I was surprised by comments being made by the people in pharma at our table. One even got to the point where he said he liked one of the panelists more because she wasn't as bitter and scary as the first patient speaking.

I so wish I was kidding.

I came here hoping that there would be a coming together, that pharma reps here would, at least, keep an open mind about patient wants and needs.

I wanted to learn more, to be pleasantly surprised at how positively pharma may see us...

I let myself hope that the reality patients already know of - the negative viewpoints about patients from pharma.

I wanted so much for that to be a lie.

Like yesterday, I was disappointed.

Amgen, if you'd like to make amends with patients, we would love to work with you to educate you about what is going on in the minds of patients and why we might be so upset sometimes.

Until then, remember patients are everywhere.

About the author:

Kirsten Schultz is a health activist and blogger. You can read more about her life living with multiple chronic illnesses on her blog, on Creaky Joints, or follow her on Twitter.  

She will also be joining us this year at ePharma as an official guest blogger sharing insights from the event.
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