Breaking Down Barriers to Bring Patients Equal Access to Top-Quality Care

Contributed by:

Eve Dryer, Executive Director, Patient Advocacy, Retrophin

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Patients Always

The term “patients first” is not enough, rather it’s “patients always” because patients are our North Star through every stage of development — from discovery to clinical trials to approved treatment.

Eve Dryer
Executive Director,
Patient Advocacy
Retrophin

All patients should have equal access to the best care, regardless of race, culture, education, social choices, and financial resources. This is what drives Eve Dryer, executive director of patient advocacy at Retrophin, to be a voice for patients.

Eve works with advocacy leaders and patients, earning their trust and helping them realize their potential as personal and patient community advocates. “We are committed to sharing skills, building confidence, and providing resources to patient advocates, so they can share a program’s benefits with the broader patient community,” she says. “This serves to create deep relationships of respect, friendship, and support with colleagues, patient advocates, patients, and their caregivers.”

Eve and her advocacy team are involved in launching a rare diversity and inclusion initiative, which will bring together leading diversity health groups, rare disease organizations, public sector officials, and other members of the rare disease industry community to focus on how to effectively and equitably engage diverse segments of rare disease patient communities. “One of our most critical goals in 2020 and beyond is to spearhead outreach to ensure that when organizations and industry partners speak about engaging with the rare disease patient community, that engagement will be diverse and inclusive,” she says.

Retrophin often invites patients and patient advocacy leaders to speak at its town halls, lunch ‘n learns, and national meetings, which ensures Retrophin employees hear first-hand the hopes and dreams of those they strive to support in their daily work. “Retrophin’s focus on patient advocacy starts with our company’s executive team,” Eve says. “Each team member, including our CEO, frequently meets with advocacy leaders and is committed to listening and learning from them.”

Eve has been a patient advocate her entire healthcare career and what has most inspired her has been teaching individuals and groups to amplify their voices and impact. A favorite example is a program she worked on with Sisters Network, the African-American breast cancer association, to help create Teens 4 Pink (T4P), an education and prevention program to educate teen-age girls to become breast health navigators for their families and communities. “As with many of the rare disease communities and initiatives with which I now work, T4P empowered a new generation of patient leaders to believe in their ability to shape meaningful improvement in diagnosis and treatment, and make real change happen.” n(PV)

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