Interview with Cyrielle Beller – Head of communication at the Association Française des Polyarthritiques (French Polyarthritis Patients Association, AFPric)

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Interview with Cyrielle Beller – Head of communication at the Association Française des Polyarthritiques (French Polyarthritis Patients Association, AFPric)

LogoAfpAiCould you tell us a quick word about your role at the AFPric?

The AFPric exists to help polyarthritis and chronic inflammatory rheumatism patients to lead better and easier day-to-day lives. This requires raising awareness for the disease, treatments, and rights, but also setting up support and care programs providing useful advice. We also set up support groups and studies in order to make the patients’ voices heard, to better understand their needs and requirements, and to better fulfil their expectations.

Until now, what positions and what actions has the AFPric undertaken to support a more patient-friendly era for packaging?

Due to patients’ pain and weakened grip strength, a common issue is ill-adapted packaging. An advice and tip exchange system has been set up, each patient sharing their tips and tricks to make things easier in their life. We spread every good idea or interesting initiative. We’ve also taken part in developing a user-friendly self-injection device (Zénéo®); patients were grateful to be an integral part of the project as early as the development stage. In a perfect world, we should be doing that more often.

You’ve taken part in the work group: “packaging for all ages”:

  • Did you know about the CNE, its action, and its publications before that?

 No I did not.

  • What struck you during this collective intelligence experience to produce the final document? 

The wide range of players taking part in this endeavour allowed everyone to share their expertise but also to broaden their mindset and their knowledge. As an organisation in constant contact with people who have difficulty using certain products, we were able to share some of the concerns we had heard. We were also made aware of some of the packaging industry’s issues and difficulties, of which we had no idea beforehand.

  • Does the final document contain all the messages you wished to convey about packaging? 

In general, yes. We are hoping this document will have a positive impact and that the needs of all patients (children, elderly, disabled people, etc.) take a more central role, as early as the design stage…

As Head of communication at the AFPric, would you be willing to take part in a future work group?

Why not, if the theme contributes to making patients’ lives easier.