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Engaging Patients for Drug Repurposing: Mapping the Patient Engagement Continuum

The chance exists to engage patients directly through crowd research and patient journey mapping as well as indirectly through patient health information to seek new opportunities for drug repurposing. Case examples are used in this article to shed light on programs that have been initiated by a variety of stakeholders including patients themselves to elucidate drugs that potentially are candidates for drug repurposing.

Drug repurposing involves finding new indications for existing drugs or potential drug candidates. Drugs or candidates include those in clinical development with relevance to multiple diseases, drugs that have failed to demonstrate efficacy for a particular indication during clinical trials but have no major safety concerns, discontinued drugs, drugs not yet fully pursued and drugs for which patents are set to expire [1]. Opportunities for drug repositioning can arise from indirect observation as well as purposeful collaboration including physician and patient engagement. The focus of this editorial is primarily on the engagement of patients directly or through patient information to support drug repurposing endeavors.


[1] Padhy BM, Gupta YK. Drug repositioning: re-investigating existing drugs for new therapeutic indications. J. Postgrad. Med. 57(2), 153–160 (2011).

#patient #open innovation #repurposing #patient engagement

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