Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0022
Post Date 8/21/2017
Company Akcea
Title Associate Director, Patient Engagement and Patient Support, DACH/CEE
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a development and commercialization company focused on impacting the lives of patients with serious cardiometabolic lipid disorders. Our priority is to bring important new therapeutics to patients in need. In order to do so, we must drive clinical program execution, understand patient and physician needs and work with regulators to gain global approval and market access to these new therapeutics.

Established as a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in late 2014 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akcea was founded with a portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics. In July 2017, Akcea closed its initial public offering of common stock and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AKCA.”

Akcea is establishing an Entity in Germany and  now wishes to appoint a Country Medical Director for the DACH/CEE region that will work with the regional management team and the international medical team.  


Associate Director, Patient Engagement and Patient Support, DACH/CEE

Job Summary:

Reporting to the General Manager DACH and CEE, the Associate Director Patient Engagement/Patient Support will be responsible for developing and managing patient and stakeholder advocacy and related policy initiatives in the region, with a key focus in Germany.

In this role the Associate Director will develop and implement country plans that help engage local patient advocates on shared objectives in Akcea’s therapeutic areas. The role will include developing and rolling out a patient support program to assist patients in initiating and continuing Volanesorsen therapy. He/she will support the country manager in Market Access related matters through establishing and executing disease and patient focused Public Policy activities in the region and developing Patient Advocacy strategies.

The successful candidate will be based in Munich, within the regional office, and will work closely with the Cross-functional team in the region and the Patient Engagement function in global Headquarters in Cambridge. He/She will be responsible for projecting the highest values and ethics consistent with Akcea’s corporate policies and values at all times.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Serve as primary Akcea contact for local patient advocacy groups;
  • Develop and leverage high-level relationships with patient advocacy groups, and stakeholders in support of Akcea goals, supporting broader understanding of public policy and healthcare reform relevant to rare and severe diseases  and enhance the Company’s standing and reputation;
  • Maintain ongoing two-way dialogue with patient advocacy groups to understand priorities and opportunities for collaboration and support, and share information on Akcea and our position on key issues;
  • Develop and implement specific plans that engage patient advocacy groups in our shared goal of enhancing patient access to Akcea’s transformative medicines, focusing on disease and diagnosing and screening, treatment education, public health policy, and support for capacity building of patient advocacy groups;
  • Drive in alignment with the cross-functional team, patient related external communication projects and support internal communication about disease areas and Akcea patient advocacy programs; 
  • Represent the voice of the patient community in internal planning; 
  • Together with the General Manager, manage the grants program reviewing applications for funding against predetermined criteria, awarding grants, and monitoring and evaluating funded projects; 
  • Together with Medical Affairs, engage patient advocacy groups in advisory boards to gather patient insights to inform our decision-making; 
  • Collaborate with the regional Medical and Commercial leads to ensure alignment of the (country) advocacy activities to the regional strategy and to share best practices;
  • Work with relevant functions and external partners to develop position papers and policy materials to support external advocacy campaigns;
  • Assist in analyzing and developing recommendations and strategies regarding national policies and issues impacting Akcea’ portfolio
  • Provide international input and support to the development and resource prioritization for the Company’s global patient advocacy strategy and plans;

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least five years experience in Public Health & Pharmaceutical Policy, Healthcare, Communications, or Patient Advocacy;
  • A high level of energy and passion towards patients, innovative science and public health;
  • A desire to work in the corporate culture of a highly innovative company aimed at redefining health, and transforming lives with new medicine;
  • Working knowledge and appreciation of the complexities of the drug development process and regulatory requirements;
  • Understanding of the patient and caregiver experience in FH/FCS/ rare diseases to include, diagnosis, treatment, and treatment options preferred;
  • Knowledge of the patient advocacy community/individuals in FH/FCS/rare diseases preferred;
  • Knowledge of guidelines and policies affecting interactions with patient organizations;
  • Strong track record of experience in implementing projects with defined outcomes in a public affairs, advocacy or policy role;
  • Excellent strategic thinker with ability to formulate, develop and execute on agreed strategies;
  • Knowledge of the healthcare system and key policies relevant for pharmaceutical market access for highly innovative medicines;
  • Successful working within cross-functional teams;
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communications skills;
  • Experience with budget management;
  • Ability and willingness to travel;
  • Fluency in German and English, written and spoken

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information on Akcea and to apply for this position, please visit our website,  Reference Requisition #17-0022



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