Patient Advocacy Director

Job Details

Company Name



Cambridge, MA

Expiration Date

Monday, April 2, 2018

Interest Area


Position Type


Position Level


Minimum Degree Requirements

Masters Degree

Job Posting URL

Engagement of rare disease patient communities and patient advocacy organizations throughout the drug development continuum is a critical success factor for Pfizer’s Rare Disease Category. Direct involvement of patient advocacy organizations and patient communities in early drug discovery and development programs is required to advance our science and to enhance the quality of our programs in order to develop potential therapies that patients wantneed, have access to and will adhere to. The Patient Advocacy Director will support the RDRU’s efforts to (1) build new and early relationships with patient advocacy organizations that are strategic and in support of our prioritized therapeutic areas, (2) foster relationships and manage expectations with patient advocacy organizations/patient communities, (3) inculcate patient and advocacy perspectives into RDRU discovery and early clinical research programs and (4) initiate innovative collaboration that advance and enhance the RDRU programs. This colleague will partner closely with internal functions (WRD functions, RDRU colleagues, GPD, Corporate Affairs, Medical Affairs, Commercial Development, etc.) to develop and execute patient advocacy strategies, identify policy priorities for the RDRU, and provide transparent communications to advocacy groups for research programs. This colleague will report to, and work closely with, the Patient Advocacy Lead to share best practices, advance Pfizer’s culture of patient-centricity and build internal capabilities that support the vision of category leadership for Pfizer Rare Disease.

Role Responsibilities

  • Develop patient advocacy plans and engagement strategies relevant to the disease area’s research and early clinical development stage of the asset(s) to ensure patient perspectives and insights are gathered, incorporated and shaping the earliest stages of our Rare Disease Category’s drug development programs.
    • Identify appropriate opportunities for patient advocacy organizations to support Pfizer Rare Disease R&D pipeline; inclusive of innovative collaborations (examples: disease-area expertise, funding, patient-centric clinical trial design, access to data, access to patients to support recruitment, etc.) that enable the advancement of RDRU scientific and early development programs.
    • Partner with RDRU scientists and clinical colleagues to identify key milestones and metrics for application of patient insights into scientific discovery and translation, development strategy, program design and operational execution.
    • Serve as key member of RDRU project teams.
    • Position Pfizer’s RDRU as an attractive collaborator with patient advocacy associations and Foundations aligned with our strategic pipeline priorities.
  • Serve as the Pfizer primary point of contact and develop strong collaborations with patient advocacy groups that work in rare disease areas of interest to Pfizer’s RDRU.
    • Act to facilitate engagements between advocacy associations and internal Pfizer subject matter experts to advance mission-matched priorities
    • Identify drug development policy initiatives through early engagement with advocacy of potential relevance for Pfizer.
    • Act as a resource for patient advocacy organizations in professionalizing and developing their capabilities (e.g. preclinical asset-development, developing natural history registries, disease education, understanding drug development, using social media, advancing clinical-trial readiness initiatives and thought-leadership).
  • Collaborate with internal, cross-functional colleagues (including but not limited to RDRU, Corporate Affairs, WRD, Regulatory, GPD, Medical Affairs and Commercial teams) to
    • Represent WRD and Rare Disease Category interests at key internal and external initiatives
    • Advance/support Pfizer’s patient-centric initiatives and communication work streams (WRD, Rare Disease Category, RDRU, Kendall Square/Cambridge Site, Global Patient Affairs, Pfizer Medical)
    • Support Rare Disease Category priorities by providing patient advocacy perspective tied to pipeline portfolio
    • Develop rare disease patient advocacy communications strategies and messages; ensuring appropriate, timely and transparent communications with patient advocacy organizations. Manage communication plan with advocacy per therapeutic area assigned.
    • Triage science policy priorities
    • Coordinate effective and efficient engagement strategies with rare disease community stakeholders consistent with end-to-end drug development model.
    • Provide internal subject matter expertise on the RDRU pipeline portfolio and patient engagement activities both internally and externally.
  • Collaborate with RDRU Patient Advocacy Lead to
    • Develop internal capabilities and processes that enable patient engagement across WRD and the Rare Disease Category’s early pipeline portfolio
    • Facilitate sharing of information and best practices of patient and patient advocacy engagement to all pipeline rare disease programs.
    • Provide patient advocacy perspective to help direct strategy for the therapeutic area and programs.
    • Identify opportunities to engage as members of, and to share best practices with, internal work streams that seek to advance patient-centricity, patient engagement, RDRU prioritized pipeline portfolio programs and patient advocacy capabilities.



  • Required: advanced degree: (MS in Public Health, Genetic Counseling, etc., RN, PhD, or MD), with minimum of 5 years’ experience in involving patient advocacy/healthcare foundations in drug discovery, research and development, or industry experience engaging with advocacy associations/healthcare foundations or relevant experience.


  • Strong patient advocacy experience, either in industry or in patient advocacy organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop meaningful relationships and use the ‘soft skills’ needed to connect well with patient advocacy groups; ability to express passion and empathy for families in need.
  • Demonstrated understanding of scientific/mechanistic aspects of drug discovery, research and development
  • Experience with involving patient advocacy associations/ healthcare foundations in drug discovery and early clinical drug development within a biopharmaceutical company or within a patient advocacy organization/healthcare foundation.
  • Demonstrated experience with leading innovative collaborations with patient advocacy organization and/or healthcare foundations
  • Demonstrated ability to partner well across multi-disciplinary teams to develop critical insights and strategies and facilitate decision making. Must be able to anticipate needs from leadership and other stakeholders. Must be able to balance multiple and often diverse priorities in order to align on a strategic and appropriate R&D plan.
  • Confidence and organizational skills to independently work on multiple tasks, and effectively prioritize to meet personal and team goals.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; inclusive of being able to present complex and technical ideas and concepts both verbally and written to multiple stakeholders
  • Experience in Rare Diseases preferred
  • Able to embody Pfizer leader behaviors and the OWN-IT culture
  • Willing to travel domestically and internationally in support of objectives