11 JUN 2021
Schiffon works with teams across our company to ensure that pursued therapeutic areas and developed drugs demonstrate meaningful value to people in the real world. Read more about her long, varied career, and her passion for the patient experience being vital to every drug development projects.
What drew you to the work you do now?
In an earlier health economics role, I began to wonder who was in the room when they were developing a drug, and what they were thinking about. I felt that, had I been there, I could have brought a different lens that might have helped this drug be more successful for patients. I was looking for a global R&D role that would allow me to do that, which led me here.
Being able to shape the decisions we're making is important to me, because by the time you get to launch, you’ve kind of got what you’ve got! I'm a lifelong learner and am really passionate about using evidence to inform decisions, guide policy and improve public health. That’s been the common thread throughout my career.
What does your role involve?
Right now, I'm working with a discovery team who are thinking about nine different therapeutic indications for a product, and we're doing research with patients to understand what the most bothersome symptoms in those disease areas are. We’re trying to understand what it’s like to live with a disease and weighing up the potential favorable impacts this drug in discovery could make.
We use real-world data to understand the disease trajectory of patients — what age do they tend to get diagnosed, what are the treatments they receive, and what are their outcomes afterwards? We also do research with payers who determine patient access either at a national or hospital level, to understand how the drug would impact healthcare delivery. We do lots of different studies to really understand what value looks like.
What do you love about your job?
The feeling that what I do is going to advance the drug development and delivery process in some way — to make someone think differently. And what I do it can really matter. We have a lot of runway here. If you want to try and drive something that you think can make an impact, you can.
And I like having direct touch points with patients, to understand what matters to them and use that to inform our decisions. I get the opportunity to listen to patients, and I feel really privileged to be in those sacred spaces where they really tell you what they need. As much as we as scientists might know everything about a process, or an epidemiological method, the patient really is the expert in their lived experience. They’re the ones who keep you connected to what you do.