Astellas Takes Patient Centricity to the Next Level

The company has recruited Sanofi Medical’s head of patient insights, solutions and outcomes to underscore its commitment to patient centricity.


Astellas Pharma has taken patient input into account for many years, but has had no formal process or program in place –– until now. To show its commitment to patient centricity both internally and externally, the company has created a new position: Senior Vice President of Patient Centricity. It has also lured Anthony Yanni away from Sanofi Medical, where he served as Jead of Patient Insights, Solutions and Outcomes and created a system for integrating patient and physician perspectives into the drug discovery and development process, to take the job.

According to Yanni, “Patient focus [and] patient engagement are hot topics, but we have to be careful when we use those terms. Pharma should be engaging patients and partnering with patients and caregivers and physicians to understand their perspective on the disease, but it’s also critical to utilize that information."

Patients need to have trust that their time and the information they share are valued and will be used. Astellas realizes the importance of acting on their participation and that patient and physician viewpoints are critical to making long-needed changes to drug discovery, development and delivery.

Yannis’ job at Astellas will involve establishment of the structure and processes needed to facilitate and act on patient engagement throughout the entire development life cycle from discovery through after market launch.


Cynthia A. Challener, Ph.D.

Dr. Challener is an established industry editor and technical writing expert in the areas of chemistry and pharmaceuticals. She writes for various corporations and associations, as well as marketing agencies and research organizations, including That’s Nice and Nice Insight.