Associate Director, Patient & Professional Partnerships

Emeryville, CA, United States
Nov 13, 2020
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Santen is a specialized pharmaceutical company focused exclusively on ophthalmology in global markets around the world with more than 4,000 employees and sales in approximately 60 countries. Santen Inc., located in Emeryville, CA (US HQ), contributes important ophthalmic research & development and commercialization efforts, and is home to our regional business teams. This office currently employs about 140 people with large growth plans in the near future.

With the passionate support of our Japanese parent company and its 130-year heritage, Santen is pursuing intellectually-challenging and stimulating work to deliver game-changing therapies that make hope a reality for people facing vision impairment and loss. We are driven by and committed to our mission and we are in search of top talent to help us meet our aggressive and important goals.


The Associate Director, Patient & Professional Partnerships is focused on improving the lives of patients, their caregivers and families. This role will lead the development and execution of Santen’s overarching advocacy strategy including defining, standardizing and executing best practices for patient advocacy engagement across the continuum of drug discovery and commercialization.

This position supports the development of Global, national and local patient advocacy organizations through:

  • Develop and Implement, in conjunction with Santen’s leadership, the mission and vision of the advocacy program within Santen.
  • Define and standardize best practices in advocacy relations; Based on a clear understanding of and empathy for the patient experience, design and create processes, systems, solutions, and tools that will contribute to the effectiveness and success of the patient advocacy plans.
  • Develop overall advocacy strategy as it relates to the specific therapeutic market, with emphasis on business-defined disease states within the area. Additionally, develop tactics to support the products through effective advocacy relations, emphasizing shared goals between Santen and priority groups which align business objectives and realities.
  • Assess landscape and capabilities of patient advocacy and professional societies and adjust accordingly based upon capabilities and alignment.
  • Create and maintain therapeutic area tailored advocacy strategies and operational engagement that may include but are not limited to educational programs, disease awareness initiatives, advisory boards, patient speaker engagement, clinical trial awareness, and policy improvements.
  • Support the development and deployment of strategic advocacy campaigns within assigned therapeutic areas.
  • Ensure that strategic plans with external stakeholders align with overarching corporate goals.
  • Responsible for leading relationship development with key advocacy and professional societies to ensure productive ongoing partnerships based on shared patient- focused objectives.
  • Drive presence at relevant advocacy organization events and meetings. Share key learnings with relevant internal stakeholders.
  • Ensure that Santen leadership position is evident to external community.
  • Provide support to cross functional departments including regulatory affairs, medical affairs, government affairs, commercial, managed markets and other corporate and field-based functions.
  • Coordinate and collaborate on strategic initiatives of mutual interest with government affairs and policy.
  • Develop and implement a planning process and team meetings to create one-year and multiple-year operating plans related to advocacy opportunities for approved and pipeline compounds and relevant company initiatives.
  • Leverage patient insights learned from the patient community and serve as internal consultant to champion and incorporate patient perspectives into all appropriate initiatives, including disease education programs, clinical trial design, research collaborations, patient services etc.
  • Act as the organization’s ambassador for the patient perspective. Introduce and embed a patient-centric mindset and engagement in organizational activities.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific or clinical discipline. Advanced degree preferred(MD, PharmD, MSN, PhD,). Equivalent combination of education and applicable job experience may be considered.
  • Minimum of 10 years progressive work experience in the pharmaceutical/ophthalmology industry and/or a related patient focused organization.
  • Minimum 3 years of patient advocacy experience required. Rare disease experience highly desired.
  • Demonstrated leadership and collaboration skills with a proven ability to build and maintain relationships with diverse groups of people and audiences.
  • Ability to foster strong, compliant, productive and value-added alliances.
  • Proficient in event planning, industry standards and regulations, with a strong awareness of emerging trends around patient-centered research and technology, patient experience, and patient-reported outcomes.
  • Understands brand and franchise needs, including relevant scientific, medical, economic and policy-related matters related to therapeutic areas.
  • A thorough knowledge and understanding of the social media space, business channels and patient and consumer trends.
  • Ability to summarize complex medical and scientific concepts using basic terms to successfully communicate to target patient/advocate audiences.
  • Solid understanding of the applicable regulatory environment and industry standards.
  • Possesses compassion, empathy and a high degree of integrity and accountability.
  • Ability to build, maintain and influence effective working relationships with key internal stakeholders, including marketing, medical affairs and corporate communications.
  • Demonstrated technical, organizational, project management, negotiation and budgeting capabilities and a self-starter with excellent ability to implement and execute.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestic and internationally.

For more information about our company and the work experience, please visit