Schools for Patients. What an amazing idea! In Russia, if patients are diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, they take 2 days of their sick leave to go back to school.

They’re educated on available treatements and given information support so that they have a fundemental understanding of their disease. They learn about compliance and social adaptations needed to live with their condition. Edication rather than just information is the strategy adopted by healthcare organsations in Russia.

Natalia Kakitelashvili, General Manager, Almedis gave an overview of the dynamics for providing medical information to Russian Healthcare Professionals (HCP). Their first stop for information is still reference books and textbooks – internet access is limited so it comes 8th in a ranking of sources most used by HCPs in Russia.

Ana Marija Gjurović Ćulibrk, AstraZeneca Croatia has a small but dynamic team. What struck me was their vision. To gain the trust of healthcare professionals and patients. To provide the information that enables them to preserve the independence of their decisions. Ensure that patients get the best care.

The 2 medical advisors have mutiple function responsibilities. Although they gain job variety and can use the full range of their professional skills, the downside is that they only have restricted resources and need to constantly juggle tasks – effective time management is critical.

The session finished with Jin Tompot-Vermaat, the new Manager of the regional Medical Information Center at Centocor. The call centre provide support to their marketing partner, Schering-Plough on Remicade. Their 8 specialists have the 5 main languages of English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. Plus Dutch of course as they are based at the European Head Office in Leiden.

Day 2 is action packed as we split into 2 tracks. I can’t wait to hear more on the patient information plans from the European Commission, due to be published any day now. Managing quality promises to be a lively session.