Patient engagement in drug development: configuring a new resource for generating innovation

Mar 28, 2023

We are happy to announce InPart project’s Principal Investigator Olga Zvonareva has published an article in the journal of Critical Public Health! The article focuses on how patient engagement is being intertwined with pharmaceutical knowledge production and innovation. You can access the article here.


This paper focuses on the recent interest in patient engagement (PE) in drug development, expressed in the growing number of calls for engagement, novel organizations dedicated to changing the culture of drug development, and guidelines for directing and evaluating PE. By reviewing materials produced by actors in the field and analyzing publications reporting on PE initiatives, I map sites of action where PE is being conceived and practiced, delineate how PE is being shaped, and analyze relationships emerging within and around the collectives involved. Pharmaceutical industry players actively mold the landscape of PE in drug development through creating tools and frameworks for PE. These instruments for guiding the implementation of PE are disseminated via training and dedicated events, concurrently disseminating a particular configuration of PE. PE emerges as an attempt to open new avenues for increasing productivity amidst concerns about the future of drug innovation, while PE practices fit smoothly into the arrangements for producing and distributing pharmaceutical knowledge largely shaped by the industry. The ongoing participatory turn in drug development is taking place without shifting the established concentration of epistemic power among commercial entities.