Our Commitment to Patients: Meet Marina Sardone, Patient Advocacy Lead

Following the launch of our Sustainability strategy, we are sharing a series of employee testimonials zooming-in and focusing on each of our four Sustainability pillars: Patients, our People, Planet and Trust & Transparency.

At Galapagos, we encourage our employees to daily embrace the principles behind our Sustainability pillars, and act as ambassadors for our company and values.

Today, we are delighted to be spotlighting our vision for Galapagos, and Patient Advocacy specifically, in an interview with Marina Sardone, Patient Advocacy Lead, based in Mechelen, Belgium.

Marina Sardone, Patient Advocacy Lead at Galapagos

As a Patient Advocacy Lead, what’s your typical day like?
M: Every day is different, and every day is a new, exciting one. Of course, I have some recurring tasks, but I think that the most inspiring part of my job is to drive efforts to move along a cultural shift towards patient engagement. The aim is to embed patient engagement in our ways of working, making sure that we are incorporating the patient perspective in everything we do.
I really consider it as a luxury position to be very close to the patients and to work daily with patient organizations, to bring their voice inside the company. Therefore, I think it is important not to lose sight of our purpose to transform patient outcomes for more years of life and quality of life.

What does ‘Sustainability’ mean to you?
M: I look at Sustainability from an overall ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) perspective. The fact that investors and our employees have identified Patients in our materiality assessment  as a key piece of our strategy sends a strong signal that as a company, we can take a leading role in putting our commitment to Patients high on our Sustainability agenda. 

Therefore, patient engagement is a strategic priority for us in the context of the Sustainability strategy. In fact, we strongly believe that patient engagement is material not only to patients and society, and the entire healthcare community but also to us, as a company. 

For us, as we are working in the pharmaceutical industry, there is a commitment towards patients, which is much broader than only the ESG aspect. It is because we want to make a difference and contribute to something that is way much bigger. 

Why do you think our Patients Pillar is key to Galapagos’ Sustainability strategy? 
M: Patients keep us true to our purpose and it’s a huge opportunity for us to have the possibility to rely on their insights, their knowledge and how they manage their disease. As our objective is to make sure that we include Patient engagement in a systematic way throughout the medicine’s life cycle, we need to first define the must-do activities together with the patient community.

To do so, we have set up a specific way of working with our own Patient Partnership Charter and a Patient Engagement Council (PEC), which is an Advisory Board that consists of patient representatives and patient experts representing different therapeutic areas. We have also established a roadmap to make sure that by 2028, we reach the objectives we set regarding the Patients pillar for the Sustainability strategy.

How are you driving change to support Sustainability and our 2028 Ambitions?
M: Something I really like at Galapagos is that people are very empowered. I can drive a project forward, which gives a real sense of ownership. Having the opportunity to be, with my colleague Heidi Muller, in the lead of the Patients Pillar of our Sustainability strategy and to contribute to our ‘2028 Ambitions’ is what really motivates me and is very important to me.

When it comes to Sustainability, I believe that we all have a role to play and each of us can contribute in a way or another. I find our Sustainability agenda very inclusive because it brings that sense of purpose, community and belonging that we all share here at Galapagos. It makes me proud to work for a company like Galapagos, which has this unique type of approach.

We all need to contribute!
We’re so proud of colleagues like Marina and her work to promote a Sustainability mindset across the company. Stay tuned for more testimonials from our colleagues!

More on Sustainability at Galapagos

Have a look at our Sustainability section

Work with us

Feeling inspired? Want to work with us to add years of life and quality of life for patients around the world?
Have a look at our job opportunities on workatgalapagos.com, and find your purpose!