Jenn Etheridge, Senior Marketing Manager, Genentech
Esbriet (pirfenidone) is one of two products on the market for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive, fatal lung disease where many patients remain untreated with a pharmacologic therapy. Jenn Etheridge decided the best way to raise awareness about IPF with patients was through local patient outreach programs (LPOPs) in targeted cities.
She worked with an external partner on patient educational programs with city selection based on where the largest educational need for patients is. Patient Ambassadors are present at every LPOP to infuse the authentic patient perspective into the conversation to encourage others to talk to their doctor about IPF and treatment options. In addition, the content and structure encourage partnership with one’s healthcare team by exploring questions for patients to ask so they can go to appointments prepared.
Jenn also elicited patient feedback in order to make changes to the LPOPs that would better suit patients’ needs. And now LPOPs will provide deeper education on specific topics—so patients interested in exploring supplemental oxygen, management of side effects, etc., can join a discussion on that specific topic.
Through this program, more than 1,000 patients and caregivers were educated about IPF, Esbriet, and the importance of building a strong relationship with their healthcare team, with overwhelmingly positive feedback on the programs.