The Voice of the Patient in Latin America

Friday, 6 October 2017

On 15-17 September 2017, Migdalia Denis, IAPO board member and President and Founder of Pulmonary Hypertension Latin Society, presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research’s (ISPOR) second plenary session, The Voice of the Patient, at its 6th Latin America Conference. The conference focused on how countries in the region can better incorporate the patient voice in the health care decision-making process.  

The conference was cognisant of the situation on the ground whereby the voice of the patient is often lost in the dialogue between health care stakeholders where providers, payers, government agencies, and manufacturers usually dominate the policy-making discussion in Latin America. This plenary explored the challenges and opportunities of more effectively bringing the patient perspective into health care decision making in the region.

Migdalia gave a presentation exploring what an active and expert patient is and what skills and knowledge patients must have in order to fulfil this role. Migdalia, who in addition to her professional roles is also a person with pulmonary hypertension, focused her discussion at the individual patient level. She defined active patients as being motivated, well informed, well supported, and able to trust the support they receive. She noted that engaged patients are more committed to their health care, more involved in treatment selection, and more compliant with their treatment regimens.

Migdalia Denis said: “Educate, educate, educate: A patient can become a “professional expert patient”, which can help other patients to fulfil their rights but can also make a significant contribution to improving health services. But this can only be achieved with access to education, education, education in all levels of society.”

Additional information on the ISPOR 6th Latin America Conference can be found here