A Day in the Life: Connecting Patients with Oncology Treatments
Mar 11, 2016
We asked David Tremblay, Director, Global Oncology Patient Access Solutions, to document his day for us as part of our new “A Day in the Life” series, intended to demystify what life is like working at a pharmaceuticals company. David joined Novartis in 2009 and has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including the last 20 in oncology market access and patient relations.
While my colleagues are working feverishly on new treatments for cancer, I’m working on patient access solutions to connect available treatments and patients in need around the world, especially in low and middle income countries. The following is a snapshot of a day at my job at Novartis Oncology, collaborating with my global team from my home base of Toronto, Canada. I hope it provides you a behind the scenes look of our work.
7:00 – 8:00 AM
To start off the day, I head downstairs to my office and join a teleconference with our medical affairs and TechOps teams. We’re all working together to create a guidance document, which will allow Novartis associates to respond to unique product requests from patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, in an effort to stay true to our patient declaration. I cherish my role as the voice of the patient to internal stakeholders.
8:00 – 8:30 AM
Between meetings, I head upstairs to the kitchen for a coffee and a break from my desk. It’s just the boost I need to keep me on top of my game all morning.
9:00 – 10:00 AM
Next up, I join a teleconference about our Novartis Oncology Access programs with Novartis associates in Africa and Canada, our Emerging and Growing Markets team. Also on the line is our partner, The Max Foundation, a global health organization working to provide access to the best treatments for all people living with cancer.
Afterward, I join a meeting in which we will seek outside guidance to help with the new Chronic Myeloid Leukemia access strategy we are developing, with The Max Foundation, our partner for over 12 years. We discuss current patient needs and anticipate future needs as best we can, as to provide the best options to patients.
1:00 – 2:00 PM
Later in the afternoon, I lead a meeting on our new Chronic Myeloid Leukemia access communication strategy. This particular meeting is essential to ensure our Novartis associates and supporting agencies understand roles and responsibilities. Patient access is a group effort, and without connections like these, our jobs wouldn’t be possible. #TeamWork
As I’m checking email at my desk, I see a new message from a woman in Jamaica seeking gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) treatment for her mother. In times like this, when a patient in need requires our help, I must consider how we may be able to assist them in a legally complaint manner.
Messages from patients like Jessica really bring to focus why am I doing this – this is real. These messages come from real people looking for real solutions. It can be overwhelming at times, but reminds me of the importance of the work we do at Novartis Oncology.
It’s time for me to sign off and spend time with my family. My wife is a teacher and usually works late, so I always try to get dinner started before she gets home.
Tomorrow is another day – and I look forward to forging ahead, helping to provide patients with access to our products in a compliant manner. How was your day?