Janssen Australia & New Zealand’s Bruce Goodwin argues that greater adoption of patient-centric practices is beneficial to patients, companies and healthcare systems as a whole. Goodwin also gives his five fundamental pillars to adopting a patient-centric approach. 


We know that patient-centricity not only aids better healthcare, it also has a positive impact on societies and business and has the potential to transform healthcare systems globally

As an industry dedicated to contributing to the health of society, putting patients at the heart of all we do is paramount.


For many years, the pharmaceutical sector has taken pride in efforts to adopt and implement a ‘patient-centric’ approach in how we seek to improve patient outcomes and the global trajectory of health.


It makes perfect sense to design a solution or service around the patient, after all they are the ones who will ultimately use it, and/or maintain the therapy or service provided – or not – as is sadly often the case.


The term stems from the UK’s NHS-driven thinking1 “no decision about me, without me,” and seems simplistic at face value. In Australia, the same rings true as patients are more involved in their health decisions.


We care about our patients; therefore, we’ll include them in decisions we make around the medicines and services we produce on their behalf.


The benefits are well cited.2


Patient experience is found to be consistently and positively linked to patient safety and clinical effectiveness.


In addition, patient-centric care has been associated with a reduction in hospital admissions, curbing expenditure and alleviating pressure on an already burdened system.


Studies have also shown that long-term, delivering care that is centred around the patient makes good business sense, offering financial benefits, including market share, as well as product benefits, including safety and quality overall.


But like anything of true meaning, while the principle sounds great in theory, adopting this approach as an embedded part of business practice is challenging in reality.


For example, in a recent industry-poll, barriers such as resources and finances, were cited as potential roadblocks to adoption.1


In Australia, despite the many benefits of enabling better patient-centric care, a recent review by the Productivity Commission2 has revealed that Australia has not moved sufficiently to a patient-centred model across key parts of our healthcare system.


I’m fortunate that at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are continually looking at ways to enhance and embed a patient-centric approach.


In fact, we recently launched a company-wide Patient Engagement Model to hold us accountable to ensuring we always operate with a patient-centric mindset.


From my perspective, there are some fundamental pillars to adopting a patient-centric approach, that ring true not just for my company, but across an industry I am passionately part of.


Here are my top five:

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Within the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, patients have always been at the heart of what we do. It’s part of our core, our Credo, our culture.


We know that patient-centricity not only aids better healthcare, it also has a positive impact on societies and business and has the potential to transform healthcare systems globally.


At every level, it’s a win-win in our view.


A prime example of patient-centricity in action is Janssen Australia’s Patient Value Mapping tool. Since 2014, we have been using a quantitative research approach to elicit and quantify patient values in a systematic way. Through the tool we can investigate patients’ views of their disease, current treatments and what outcomes are most important to them. It uses a trade-off technique called Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE) which requires patients to select their preferred option from a set of competing alternatives. The results can be used to understand how well any treatment meets patients’ expectations.


We have successfully undertaken this research in the multiple myeloma space, not only with patients, but also their caregivers and healthcare professionals, to measure what they thought would be of value to a patient and compare results.


Interestingly, while there were many common themes for treatment preferences across stakeholder groups, there were also some distinct differences between the groups, across multiple topics, ranging from views on the importance of overall survival, to length of remission and out of pocket costs.


The insights gained from this initiative have led us to undertake a subsequent study together with Australia’s leading advocacy body Myeloma Australia. This fully ethics approved study will involve a number of hospitals including world leading cancer research hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, five leading haematologists and around 20 patients.


The study will seek to explore the differences in patient values compared to their doctor, with feedback to be used in real time to enhance the discussion between the two during medical consultation. The hope is that this study and supporting app that is being developed in tandem, will allow for patients to have greater involvement and control over their treatment choices with the goal of improving overall outcomes for them.


From hearing the real story of a disease from patients, to understanding insights into everything from a pill’s colour, size and flavour to frequency of doses and the shape of a device, to clinical trials design and incorporating patient insights post approval phase to improve professional, educational and support services, empowering the patient to provide their point of view is no longer a nice to have but an absolute necessity if we are to succeed.


Ultimately, positive patient centricity leads to better health outcomes for all and optimises the way we innovate and conduct our business.


Together we have the power to transform the healthcare landscape of the future, with our patients firmly at the centre.



  1. Eye for Pharma. Patient Centricity. What is it and why aren’t we there yet. Accessed via: https://social.eyeforpharma.com/patients/patient-centricity-what-it-and-why-arent-we-there-yet. Last accessed 070819.
  2. Medical Director. Clinical Practice. What patient-centric care means for Australians in 2018. Accessed via: https://www.medicaldirector.com/news/clinical-practice/2018/01/patient-centric-care-means-australians-2018. Last accessed 070819.