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Giving voice to patients supports development of pharmacotherapy

Surveys conducted in pharmacies offer patients an opportunity to contribute to the development of pharmacotherapy. Oriola’s research pharmacy network is an internationally unique concept for acquiring patient reported outcome (PRO) data. For pharmacies, research activities bring variation to daily work and an opportunity to deepen knowledge in different therapy areas.


Patient reported outcome studies produce valuable information about the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy in patients’ daily lives. Oriola conducts PRO studies within different therapy areas annually in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies and its nationwide network of research pharmacies, which is an internationally unique way of gathering data from patients. In practice, the data is acquired through electronic patient surveys.

The research pharmacy network covers around 150 pharmacies across Finland. One of them is Kuortane pharmacy, located in South Ostrobothnia region in western Finland, where benefit for local customers is a strong motivator:

“Research activities strengthen pharmacy’s role as a healthcare expert. In addition to providing medicines and professional advice, through research activities our customers can contribute to the future development of their own pharmacotherapy,” says Kristiina Peräkorpi, pharmacy owner from Kuortane pharmacy.

Research is a natural part of pharmacy’s daily work

Participating in PRO studies fits naturally with pharmacies, as the pharmacy staff can identify suitable patients for a specific study and responding to a survey can be done on the spot.

“Our customers have been positive towards the research activities. After we have informed them about the significance of the study at hand and its goals, customers have mainly been willing to participate and seen it as interesting,” says Peräkorpi.

Kuortane pharmacy has participated in for example studies regarding cancer treatment, diabetes, and usage of growth hormone. The research activity has become an active part of daily work at the pharmacy, and it has also brought variation to the work:

“From the start, our employees have been very interested and motivated towards conducting research. They see it as beneficial for themselves as well. Most studies include training related to the topic, which offers an opportunity to deepen personal knowledge. Getting to know the study results after they are completed is also interesting,” says Peräkorpi.

3 facts about PRO studies

  1. PRO studies are especially suited to situations when seeking information related to patients’ quality of life, compliance to treatment or factors that affect selecting between different treatments.
  2. Patient surveys can be part of more extensive Real World Evidence (RWE) register studies, which produce data about the comprehensive effectiveness of pharmacotherapy.
  3. The study results are used for example to support product development, pricing and reimbursement applications, and the development of support services related to treatment.