Inclusion in Pharmaceutical Speakers Bureau: Improving Outcomes Through Embracing Diversity
As all of us in the industry are aware, pharmaceutical speakers bureau and peer-to-peer educational programs continue to play an important role in educating healthcare professionals and subsequently their patients about new medications, disease management, and treatment options. However, despite the critical importance of these programs, there is often a lack of diversity and representation among the speakers themselves.
Diversity and inclusion are essential for creating a more equitable and effective healthcare system. Research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative, better able to solve complex problems, and more likely to produce better outcomes. In the context of pharmaceutical speakers bureau, diversity and inclusion can help to ensure that educational programs are tailored to meet the needs of diverse patient populations and healthcare professionals.
One key area where diversity and inclusion can have a significant impact is in addressing health disparities. People from underrepresented minority groups, such as Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous populations, are more likely to experience poor health outcomes due to a range of factors, including systemic racism, social determinants of health, and inadequate access to healthcare.1,2
By ensuring that speakers bureau includes diverse voices and perspectives, pharmaceutical companies can help to address these disparities by providing more tailored education and resources that are better suited to meet the needs of diverse patient populations.
Similarly, ensuring diversity and inclusion among speakers can also help to address bias and stigma in healthcare. For example, women and people of color may be less likely to be taken seriously by healthcare professionals or may be subject to unconscious bias that affects their care. By including diverse speakers in educational programs, pharmaceutical companies can help to raise awareness of these issues and promote more inclusive healthcare practices.
To achieve greater diversity and inclusion in speakers bureau, pharmaceutical companies must be intentional about their recruitment and selection processes. This may involve partnering with professional organizations or reaching out to diverse communities to identify potential speakers. It may also involve providing training and support to help underrepresented speakers develop their skills and build their networks within the industry.
In addition to recruiting diverse speakers, pharmaceutical companies must also ensure that their programs are accessible and inclusive to all participants, particularly in the area of patient education or advocacy programs. This may involve providing translation services, offering accommodations for people with disabilities, or providing resources and support to help speakers connect with these underrepresented groups and feel more comfortable and confident in their roles.
As we continue to evaluate our peer-to-peer plans throughout 2023 and beyond, let us keep in mind the importance of diversity and inclusion and the critical impact it has on creating effective and equitable healthcare systems. In the context of pharmaceutical speakers bureaus, ensuring that diverse voices and perspectives are represented can help to improve education and resources for diverse patient populations and healthcare professionals. By being intentional about recruitment and selection processes and providing support and resources for underrepresented patient populations, and speakers, pharmaceutical companies can help to promote greater diversity and inclusion in speakers bureaus and, ultimately, and most importantly improve patient outcomes.
- Call to Action: Structural Racism as a Fundamental Driver of Health Disparities: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association. 2020;142:e454–e468. 10 Nov 2020 https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000936
- Structural Racism In Historical And Modern US Health Care Policy. HEALTH AFFAIRS 41, NO. 2: RACISM & HEALTH.