Cooperation with healthcare professionals on training has always been important for Orion. Cooperation with doctors and other professionals is important in terms of research and development, for example.
Orion develops proprietary drugs and needs the expertise of medical researchers and clinicians for these projects. Doctors always play an active role in such studies, beginning with the planning phase.
Keeping healthcare professionals up to date
In terms of Orion’s training collaboration with healthcare professionals, it is important to keep in mind that Orion has the most comprehensive range of prescription drugs in Finland.
Prescription drugs may only be marketed to healthcare professionals, and communications about prescription drugs may only be targeted at healthcare professionals. In practice, this mainly means doctors and the pharmaceutical staff at pharmacies.
For example, to ensure that patients comply with their treatment, healthcare professionals must have access to the latest and most up-to-date information about medicines, both new drugs and generic medicines. Orion’s pharmaceutical representatives meet with doctors and pharmacy staff to keep them up to date with Orion’s medicines, even when treatment practices change.
Safe medication is at the core of everything
All of Orion’s training activities aim to maintain and improve the safety of medication – that is, patient safety. Collaboration with individual doctors, medical researchers, medical associations, pharmaceutical associations or pharmacists, for example, is based on the needs of patients and customers.
Orion provides professionals with information that is essential in terms of treating patients. Such information also supports healthcare professionals in their day-to-day work. This is why each Orion training event is prepared together with a healthcare unit.
The pharmaceutical company provides information that covers treatment practices in the entire therapy area in question.
Neutral and external – lecturers share impartial research data
Most of the lecturers used by Orion are external and neutral experts whose lectures are based on scientific and impartial research.
For example, Orion’s event for medical students in connection with the Finnish Medical Convention has become a tradition. The training event provides useful information about health centre emergency service assignments.
Orion plans the content of the event with the Finnish Medical Association and the Finnish Medical Students’ Association. The event attracts up to 1,000 students each year.
As a pharmaceutical company, Orion has an obligation to ensure that its products are used correctly. Its training collaboration is centred around the idea of helping patients get exactly the right medicine and ensuring that they use it correctly.
Orion also answers any questions about its medicines. Thousands of calls are made each year to the company’s product information line. Orion also produces a huge number of patient leaflets to be distributed to professionals in the field.
Transparent disclosure of fees
The financial benefits provided by Orion to healthcare professionals and organisations are disclosed as part of Orion’s annual Sustainability Report. This information is usually disclosed around mid-June.
The amounts paid for training collaboration are disclosed at orion.fi. The report provides information about training volumes and the amount of money Orion has used to support the further training of healthcare professionals.
Orion also discloses the costs of attending conferences and the number of staff involved, as well as the fees paid to lecturers. The company discloses the names of the people who have received the fees and who have given their consent to disclosure. A total of 87% of the lecturers used by Orion are in favour of its transparency policy.
When disclosing the information, Orion follows the same guidelines that have been agreed by international pharmaceutical companies through their cooperation organisations. The disclosures are also in line with the principles of Pharma Industry Finland and the Finnish Association for Generic Drugs.
The disclosures are an important part of Orion’s ethics policy for marketing pharmaceuticals. The company does not have a statutory obligation to disclose its payments, but it believes that disclosure is essential to ensure safe medication and, ultimately, patient safety. The continuous trust of healthcare professionals, patients and society is a cornerstone of the company’s operations.
New practices introduced during the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic significantly changed the operating environment for Orion’s training collaboration. Training events had to be cancelled or were held online. New good practices emerged as a result of this and continue to be used.
Virtual events and conferences taught Orion and the entire healthcare sector a great deal. Cooperation works even if everyone is not physically present in the same space.
The number of participants in Orion’s virtual training events during the pandemic was in some cases higher than before the pandemic. The feedback from the participants has been very positive.
This difficult time has also been a challenge for the core function of healthcare – that is, good treatment of underlying health conditions. For Orion, ensuring patient safety also means ensuring the availability of medicines.
The company has worked very hard during the pandemic to ensure that Finns get the medicines they need. It has also been very successful in this.
Text: Essi Kähkönen