I’ve created Evidence-Based Policy Messages™ on four health policy subjects: The Value of Vaccines, Pharmaceutical Benefits and Risks, The Value of Intellectual Property Protections and the Compulsory Licensing of Pharmaceuticals.
I did this because of what I learned during my time in the biopharmaceutical industry about the value of clear messages: they drive business and help meet objectives. This was clear in regulatory agency submissions, messages about benefits and risks to prescribers and patients, and in comprehensive product dossiers and pricing messages for payers. The industry excels in creating and managing messages.
Unfortunately, few health policy players – including those in the industry – have developed similar message-development skills. Most policy messages lack simplicity, clarity and evidence-based support. They also fail to honor the reality of the busy, overloaded lives of those in policy-making roles.
I used what my business colleagues taught me to develop the first in a set of Evidence-Based MessagesTM on the Value of Vaccines for a global health care company. These messages provided information relevant to vaccine policy making and were used to create a White Paper, Executive Summary and a peer-review publication in the journal Vaccine co-authored by three of the company’s executives.
As a former US government policy official, I would have wanted policy issue briefs of this caliber to help my better advocate for vaccine program funding. I would not have been alone. The government of China used them to form the first chapter of a three-chapter book on vaccine-preventable disease in China.
I believe that when messages are clear, concise and evidence-based, even though they are developed by a stakeholder – even one perceived as self-interested – will be accepted by policy makers who might otherwise be critics. They will pave the way to a better policies and support improved health care for the world’s people.