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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

Session Listing

December 6-7, 2021
Partnering for Patients Forum
Washington, DC | Virtual and In-Person
Select All | None
Monday, December 06, 2021
Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Protecting the Progress: Lessons from the Pandemic for Biomedical Innovation (Invite only)
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Milken Institute Washington, DC - Walter Reed Room
While the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many obstacles in the biomedical innovation ecosystem, we have also shown ourselves capable of innovating in ways that few thought possible. Will we be able to leverage our collective learnings from COVID-19 to streamline the biomedical research pipeline and, ultimately, benefit patients suffering from a broad range of deadly and debilitating conditions? What near-term actions can stakeholders take to preserve or repurpose the innovative infrastructure, investments, and programs created during the pandemic to target other urgent public health needs?
Health Equity in Research and Care: Where are We Now and Top Priorities for 2022 (Invite only)
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Milken Institute Washington, DC - Walter Reed Room
Almost two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, deeply rooted systemic inequities in health care and research continue to persist. To address these inequities and build trust within patient communities and the general public, significant commitments have been made across the ecosystem from federal agencies, industry, patient and disease foundations to payers and delivery systems. This session will explore what has been achieved in the last two years and importantly what frameworks and foundations for sustainable solutions are being forged that will guide the path to a transformed future where biomedical research and quality care is available and representative of all.
Lunch (Invite only)
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Milken Institute Washington, DC - Conference Center Lobby
Boxed lunches will be available in the Conference Center Lobby.

In the biomedical arena, philanthropy is being deployed with increasing sophistication to de-risk investment in medical product development as well as to invest directly in companies with some expectation of return. But the broader community of impact investors downstream of philanthropy has not turned its attention to this space, and development of ESG (environment, social and governance) metrics in this area has been slow. This session will be an opportunity to explore what might be needed to engage a larger pool of capital to support earlier stage, higher risk science—or perhaps to advance deprioritized assets with scientific merit—that could be game-changing for patients. How can we leverage the power of these funds to fuel medical research in areas where the need is greatest? What changes do we want to see in biomedical R&D that that could be driven by investors interested in social benefit?

Gaps Amid the Progress: Uncovering Blind Spots that Persist in Patient Centric Research (Invite only)
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Milken Institute Washington, DC - Alexander Hamilton Room
This workshop brings together thought leaders from the FasterCures community to identify persistent gaps preventing full engagement of patients in R&D and post-drug-approval efforts. Participants in this action-oriented session will discuss areas needing work, as well as the obstacles that prevent patients from fully participating in the successive phases of drug development. Pressing topics for discussion include how various types of data and data quality are handled as patient engagement increases, and how research stakeholders are addressing representation and DEI in patient engagement. The findings of this workshop will inform a future re-examination of the same gaps, in 2022, to evaluate progress to date.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a public health threat, with increasing prevalence and poor outcomes. There is a pressing need to design and implement population health strategies to detect and diagnose the CKD earlier and limit disease progression to end-stage renal disease. This highly-curated invite-only workshop will bring together diverse thought leaders across the public health and health care delivery ecosystem to prioritize early detection barriers and prevention gaps and explore opportunities for addressing them. Building a shared understanding of at-risk populations for CKD to inform screening recommendations will be a key focus of this dialogue which is needed to catalyze policy, system and environmental change towards an integrated approach to early detection, systemic diagnosis, and prevention of CKD.
Leaders in Health Roundtable (Invite only)
4:45 PM - 5:45 PM
Milken Institute Washington, DC - Alexander Hamilton Room

This regular gathering of leaders at Milken Institute events will examine policy priorities and investments that will be required in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate biomedical innovation and address public health challenges. This off-the-record session allows participants—government leaders along with executives from business, academia, and nonprofits—to engage in an informative, candid dialogue.

Partnering for Patients Forum | Reception and Dinner (Invite only)
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
St. Regis Washington, DC - Astor Ballroom
Join us for an exclusive gathering for Institute supporters, speakers, and special guests to mark our shared commitment to partnering for patients. Admission is by invitation only and guests will need to provide proof of vaccination in advance of the event.

Patient engagement in medical research continues to grow in scope and complexity in many countries, as demonstrated by the many international organizations advancing impactful, patient-centered biomedical R&D initiatives. FasterCures presents Patient Engagement Networking Roundtables, linking worldwide biomedical leaders to discuss patient engagement within their organizations and geographic boundaries. Participants will have the opportunity to join breakout groups on specific topics under the umbrella of patient engagement, with the goal of making new connections and hearing new perspectives and ideas that can spark global progress in patient-centered research endeavors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for accurate, trusted, public information about science and health. Swirling amid the global public health crisis is an "infodemic" - too much rapidly spreading information, especially disinformation and misinformation—fueling mistrust and, in some cases, endangering health and well-being in the US and around the world. This session will explore the challenges of communicating science and health findings, lessons learned from the pandemic, and strategies for making reliable science and health information trusted, accessible, understandable, and purposeful.

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This session will begin with Jen Horonjeff, Founder and CEO, Savvy Cooperative sharing her journey as a patient and as a professional who brings patient insights to the table to improve health innovations.

In the last decade, patient engagement in medical research emerged as a priority in the biomedical research ecosystem. Much progress has been made, with better integration of patients, data, and perspectives into biomedical R&D, and the expansion of the production and utilization of patient health data. COVID-19, along with social justice and equity movements, is transforming how biomedical R&D is conducted. But how are these trends shaping patient engagement? How are research partners ensuring representative study populations as the research landscape is shifting? Innovations are acknowledged, but what persistent challenges must be addressed? This discussion will highlight how patient engagement has evolved as panelists review initiatives currently shaping the field and emerging innovations influence patient engagement. Comparing advances in expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion for minority representation in R&D, they will predict likely patient engagement trends.

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Cell and gene therapies have the potential to transform the lives of patients and their families. As judged by patients' perspectives and experiences, how close are we to realizing this potential? By what approaches can government and drug developers work with patient communities to solve the challenges that remain? In this session, experts will discuss the most pressing pain points and opportunities for the future of cell and gene therapy research, development, and access.

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COVID-19 catalyzed a shift in thinking about patients—not just as individuals with diverse needs but as families, members of social networks, and communities. Understanding the need for a collective, collaborative approach, stakeholders across the health ecosystem have partnered in innovative ways to meet the unique needs of individuals, communities, and patient populations. Approaches have been designed to boost confidence in public health systems and address public health misinformation. Speakers in this session will spotlight innovative public-private partnerships and models that have emerged in response to the pandemic: lessons we can learn and apply in the future.

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Life expectancy in the US declined by 1.5 years from 2019 to 2020 in the largest 1-year drop since World War II. While COVID-19 caused 74 percent of the decline, chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease take a heavy toll. Although largely preventable, as leading causes of death and disability chronic diseases are the main drivers of US health expenditures. Strategies to reduce or eliminate chronic diseases are imperative. "Whole-person-centered care" is an integrated approach to improve care coordination, well-being, and health outcomes. Experts will review person-centered care-delivery models and the opportunities and challenges they present in reshaping the management of chronic diseases.

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Disruptive Developments in Cancer Research
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Zoom Webinar

Cancer is among the leading global causes of death. As populations age, cancer-associated costs will increase along with the need to provide care and treatment for more patients. Immunotherapy and precision treatments for cancer command attention and investment as the science advances. But further innovations across the spectrum of research and care will be needed before we can claim victory over this hydra-headed group of diseases. How are clinicians using data and advanced analytics to improve cancer research and detection? How is technology being deployed to improve research and care? What types of collaborative approaches can help advance treatments, diagnoses, and cures? And where are more collaborative approaches needed?

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Genetic testing is critical to the diagnosis of many rare conditions. Genetic counselors play a vital role in helping patients and caregivers understand test results and providing them with the information needed to determine the appropriate next steps. Yet significant barriers remain in access to genetic tests and genetic counseling. This discussion will focus on policies to address these barriers, the key considerations in implementing them—including potential unintended consequences of interventions—and the areas where additional progress is most needed.

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Systemic health-care inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic included minority under-representation in research and disparities in care. The surge in digital health technologies carries a potential for leveraging health data to influence biomedical research, engage patients in data collection, and promote equity. Digital health technologies can eliminate historic barriers to access and expand types of data obtained directly from patients. Use of such technologies could encourage patients to engage in research, promoting diversity in clinical trials to ensure that trial data will influence health outcomes. How can digital technologies be designed with twin goals of equity and partnership with patient communities? Experts will explore how digital health technologies might bridge the data divide by enabling equitable data collection and addressing under-representation in biomedical research. They will review means of expanding patient engagement in the use and application of health data.

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The CDC reported a record 93,000 overdose deaths in the US in 2020. Though addiction may yield to COVID-19 in the news, this grim number tells that the addiction crisis rages on, exacerbated by the effects of necessary social distancing measures. Understanding the journeys and needs of people with substance use disorders—from diagnosis through ongoing recovery—is critical, particularly for companies that include many such employees, whether or not they share their diagnoses. What investments can help employees access health benefits in a way that gives equal weight to mental and physical health? What measures can ensure that members of the workforce battling addiction receive long-term support, trust, and sensitivity—from organizational leadership on down—to keep working while accessing care with recovery the goal? Experts and employers will discuss how new solutions, mindsets, and approaches can transform the role of the workplace in addressing the addiction and mental-health crises.

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