Director, Patient Relations

Lake County, Illinois
Apr 10, 2021
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
About AbbVie
AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

This position reports to the Senior Director, International Public Affairs and is responsible for global-level strategic patient advocacy activities, building the patient engagement capability and culture across AbbVie’s global organization and seeking partnerships with global umbrella PAGs / organizations to improve standards of care. The role will provide strategic counsel to the development and implementation of patient initiatives and partnerships across all therapeutic areas and that support corporate priorities.

The Director, Patient Relations will support strategies that drive best in class disease awareness and education initiatives that connect patients to care. The role will develop cross-functional patient engagement strategies that support market access in line with corporate priorities and will work to build capabilities with the external patient community that strengthen the patient voice in decision-making processes.


By working closely with internal business and functional partners, as well as external stakeholders to understand the external environment, the role will be crucial to identifying opportunities to improve outcomes and build innovative, sustainable solutions that empower patient organizations to act and improve patient quality of life, standards of care and access to therapies.


Specific functions performed include creating and maintaining AbbVie’s patient relations capability strategy, establishing guidelines, consistent processes, and metrics/accountability factors, set planning methodology against the patient pathway, provide education and training, mapping, and prioritizing stakeholders, continuously monitoring trends and driving patient-focused strategic thinking. The role will mobilize and support the global AbbVie patient relations management community, aligning closely with global brand teams, regional teams and affiliates to share best practices and learnings across markets to inspire innovative solutions; and encourage effective ways of working to ensure integrated, high impact strategies.

This role sits on the International Public Affairs leadership team to contribute to the development of strategies and acts as a strategic counsellor to all Therapeutic Areas and to the Global Brand Teams in their implementation of PAG initiatives and partnerships. This role also must work very closely with all other departments within AbbVie, particularly Government Affairs, Market Access, HEOR and Medical and support the creation and use of pathways to systematically enable patient voice representation in the global medicines’ development processes. There is direct accountability for the outcome of global actions and issues that may have an impact on the broader reputation of the Company.

Major Accountabilities

  • Define global approach to set clear, measurable objectives for collaborations and partnerships with patient groups, based on the gaps identified in the patient journeys, and through the recent needs assessment.
  • Develop and lead a strategic, pro-active Patient Advocacy agenda to shape external issues and improve the access environment in a positive way.
  • Ensure affiliates are fully equipped with global resources, policy positions, research, evidence, and communication tools to support their engagement with the patient community.
  • Execute advocacy support through innovative outcomes-oriented, disease state education and patient education programs that involve multiple stakeholders with measurable outcomes/results.
  • Drive innovation in AbbVie’s advocacy approach by evaluating and selecting new ways to learn from patients, such as leveraging digital media, communicating patient needs to multiple stakeholders and partnering with third parties outside the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to sustainable healthcare solutions.
  • Anticipate issues and trends and develop comprehensive contingency plans, including exit strategies, in partnership with communication colleagues.
  • Contribute to Global Brand Teams, Global Commercial Teams, and other governance bodies in the pipeline commercialization model, depending on the phase in the lifecycle of the product, as a strategic counselor and build strong relationships with functional leads in Marketing, Government Affairs, Market Access, HEOR, Medical, Business Intelligence and other relevant functions.
  • Identify and prioritize strategic topics with GMAP and global GA (e.g., HTA, price controls) on which to develop resources, tools, and training for the PRM Community, and other functions who engage with PAGs.
  • Identify best practices within TAs that can be extrapolated and institutionalised.
  • Support the development of engagement strategies, guidance and tools for the PRM community to execute local strategies and support PAGs on strengthening their voice.
  • Collaborate with Areas and Affiliates to ensure alignment of strategies and activities.
  • Define measurement and monitor results; feedback and propose strategic planning/tactics adjustment as required.
  • Facilitate the Public Affairs Review and Approval process with constructive approach with Areas and with Affiliates, where necessary to ensure innovative and compliant materials and programs.
  • Comply and advocate for the company’s policies and procedures to meet statutory, quality and business requirements within the overall strategy and objectives of AbbVie.



  • Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations, Public Policy, Social Sciences, Medical Affairs, Communications, or Equivalent.
  • 10+ years of relevant experience and proven track record of success in working in a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder environment, managing trust, reputation, citizenship, crisis planning and company values.
  • Experience in the healthcare/bio-pharma industry a plus, as is a background in patient advocacy and/or stakeholder engagement.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills along with knowledge of emerging communications trends and technologies impacting digital health and the empowerment of patients in healthcare.
  • Strong business acumen with the ability to anticipate company and team needs.

Significant Work Activities
Yes, 5 % of the Time
Job Type
Job Level Code
Equal Employment Opportunity
At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity employer we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.