What's so special about patient reported outcomes (PROs), the reports that come directly from patients, as opposed to intermediaries like doctors or clinicians, during clinical trials?
Jay Trudeau will tell you they're clues to understanding something at once deeply important and deeply secret: the subjective experiences of patients. Here's why hearing the patient's voice is the cornerstone of his career in Market Access—and how you can join him to make real-world impact at Johnson & Johnson today.
Bringing the Patient's Voice to the Conversation
In clinical trials, PROs offer Market Access professionals like Jay direct and unmediated access to the feelings, perceptions and concerns of patients. That's the strength of PROs. But in some people's eyes, Jay worries, that's seen as their weakness.
"I think a lot of scientists are biased against data that comes out of subjective experience," Jay said. "They think it's in some way inferior to 'objective' data, like the results of a blood test or X-ray." But that's a category mistake, according to Jay.
"It's an apples-to-oranges comparison," he explained. "Both kinds of data—objective and subjective—are extremely useful and valuable. They're just different."
As an example of that value, Jay points to the fact that subjective experience is actually where most medical interventions start: Your throat feels sore, for example, so you visit a doctor. The doctor runs tests and prescribes a course of treatment. "The whole process, ending in treatment, begins with human perception, with taking action based on a totally subjective perception," Jay observed.
He went on, "I know it might sound simple, but my work is all about making sure patients' concerns, what’s important and what matters to them—that these are in fact the things we’re studying."
Collaborating With Patients to Develop New Drugs
The success of our Market Access teams rests heavily on cross-functional collaboration. For Jay, that means interacting daily with colleagues from a broad swath of backgrounds: nursing, epidemiology, pharmacology, academia, market research—you name it.
And while PROs are a key part of the evidence-based packages we submit during the drug approval process, Jay says their essential value lies elsewhere.
"It's unfortunate, but the reality is that, in the past, doctors have sometimes done research without a whole lot of input from patients," he said. "Correcting that, putting patients' perspectives and voices at the center, is one of the things that really motivates me."
Within the oncology practice at Johnson & Johnson, Jay's had a front-row view of some remarkable breakthroughs in recent years, from pioneering work in robotics surgery to potentially revolutionary CAR-T therapies for multiple myeloma. With all that progress, he says the way we approach cancer treatment is fundamentally shifting.
"Historically, in cancer-treatment trials, survival was pretty much the only thing that mattered," Jay explained. "But because we’ve been so innovative these last few years, it's allowed us to finally push the oncology space beyond survival. With cancer treatment now, we're increasingly focused on improving quality of life and reducing the burden on patients."
Make Your Mark in Market Access
Market Access is a dynamic and rapidly growing field, with emerging opportunities all around the globe. For example, while Jay primarily works from home in Connecticut, he collaborates with colleagues like Dominik Naessens, based in Antwerp, Belgium, on a day-to-day basis.
Looking to take on exciting new challenges and use your career to drive positive real-world impact? Check out all of the openings we have in Market Access right now, or sign up for our Global Talent Hub. It's a great way to stay in touch—and get updates about jobs that might interest you in the future.