The end of the blockbuster drug era has coincided—for better or worse—with the rising influence of other stakeholders in the life sciences industry. The main players among these are regulators, payers and patients. The healthcare sector writ large recognises that the rising influence of patients can be an asset, particularly in providing more effective treatment. Accordingly, life sciences companies are turning towards patient centrality to inform their business models. The push is particularly strong in drug research and development (R&D), where it is seen as one of the keys to reviving innovation programmes and demonstrating the value of a new drug. What remains unclear is exactly what life sciences companies mean by “patient-centered” and therefore what such a focus actually means for their R&D strategy.

This Economist Intelligence Unit study, sponsored by Quintiles, investigates how life sciences companies—including biopharmaceuticals, biotech firms, medical devices companies and service providers—are defining and pursuing patient-centered drug development. This report is the third part of a larger research programme, Reinventing biopharma: Strategies for an evolving marketplace, which explores challenges and opportunities for the life sciences sector.