Learning from Patient Experiences

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A health care professional holding the hands of a patient.

Relationships to patients often motivate our Lilly teams. Many have family members or friends who live with the diseases and conditions we treat; they may be patients themselves. Scott Conner got a new view on how patients manage their conditions during a recent patient celebration on the Lilly campus in Indianapolis.

Scott is a medicinal chemist, which means he develops theories and tests how different substances could work to treat humans. He works closely with our biologists to take “what if” to “let’s try it”.

When creating treatments, our early-phase team members have a fictional patient profile that helps them understand who they are working to help. The profile describes the typical patient, their symptoms and how those symptoms affect daily life. At the recent event, Scott was the host for a patient who takes a Lilly medication. He was able to hear her story firsthand. “I was so proud that day. I don’t think I have ever been prouder to be a Lilly employee,” he said.


In addition to his one-on-one time, he attended panels where patients and caregivers described their challenges. They also discussed how they work to overcome the challenges, and the impact that Lilly medications have had. “In the panel discussions, patients talked about the obvious benefit of medications in their lives. When you hear personal accounts of actual suffering and how medicine makes a difference, it is rewarding. It stays with you for a long time.”

Scott had the chance to attend various panels with his guest.

It was very emotional at times. In the neurology panel, we heard from Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Their stories were touching. It reminds us of who we are working for.

Lilly plans to host more events in the future to help our teams connect more closely with patients. This will help us understand what we can do to be of the greatest benefit to them.

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