Associate Director, Oncology Patient Affairs

AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

Associate Director, Oncology Patient Affairs
Location: Cambridge, UK / Gaithersburg, US

Competitive salary and benefits package

The Associate Director, Oncology Patient Affairs will be a strong contributor to the strategic transformation and immersion of Patient Centricity at AstraZeneca. Based in Cambridge (UK) or Gaithersburg (US), the role focuses on one or more tumour types and leads how AstraZeneca engages with patients and patient advocacy groups (PAGs) across our brand teams and our above brand activities. For each tumour type, the role acts as a central subject matter expert, the owner of AstraZeneca’s holistic patient-centricity strategy and a central point of contact for all patient engagement activities.

By developing collaborations with patient groups and patient experts, the Associate Director, Oncology Patient Affairs is responsible for supporting AstraZeneca’s Global Product Teams (GPTs) and Global Medical Teams (GMTs):

  • develop strong understanding of patient perspectives and needs,

  • generate evidence on preferences, needs and the impact of non-drug interventions,

  • provide support to patients and family members (including patient centric solutions),

  • advocate for better care, and ensure patients’ voices are heard appropriately and directly within the company.


1) Develop and implement an annual strategic plan in alignment with cross-functional priorities, informing national colleagues’ activity planning as appropriate

  • Identify key patient engagement and patient advocacy priorities among the relevant external community and those relevant to each brand.

  • Input to relevant brand plans and medical plans, contributing specific proposals for patient engagement and patient advocacy activities and helping shape plans for solution-development and evidence generation

  • Provide clear guidance to national colleagues on above-country patient activities and proposed priorities for national action – support priority markets in finalising their plans

  • Collaborate cross-functionally to support planned patient-centric solution-development and patient-focused evidence generation

2) Further AstraZeneca’s patient advocacy relations, including accountability for support and collaborations

  • Represent the company and build and establish compliant, appropriate relationships with individual patients and carers in close alignment with national colleagues

  • Plan and lead patient organisation engagement at major congresses and/or around major milestones

  • Engage with patient organisations to fulfil mutual goals, including information-sharing, partnerships, and monetary and in-kind contributions -all of this in full respect of AstraZeneca’s guidelines and SOPs.

  • Collaborate with medical, communications, government affairs and policy colleagues to inform patient organisations on AstraZeneca’s key policy priorities  

3) Deepen patient insights and ensure patients’ voices are heard appropriately and directly within the company

  • Act as the patient insight expert in the assigned disease and therapeutic area teams by deeply understanding the unique needs, experiences, and outcome of patients

  • Work to facilitate patient input to trial design and the development of PRO instruments

  • Identify opportunities to incorporate patient insight into key documents across product development and delivery i.e., TA Strategy, iMAP, TPP, Development plans, and launch excellence

  • Maintain and share where appropriate a current understanding of external and internal evidence on patient attitudes, perspectives and priorities. Input to design of internal patient research activities

  • Ensure robust patient experiences are defined with patient insight and identify patient research opportunities within defined disease areas that improve patient treatment choices, experience and outcomes

  • Proactively identify opportunities to allow colleagues to hear patients’ views directly from patients

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


  • Ability to lead internally within large complex, culturally-diverse, matrix organisations in the absence of direct reporting relationship

  • Proven relationship and collaboration building and management skills, preferably including strong patient advocacy experience

  • Credibility at the most senior executive levels of the organisation

  • Biopharmaceutical industry and/or healthcare industry experience required (knowledge of Oncology space is desired but not mandatory)

  • Experience in patient insights research projects

  • High ethical standards and an appreciation of local and global compliance requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with proven capacity for understanding healthcare and science

  • Problem solving – ability to resolve conflict and deal with a wide range of complex problems independently

  • English is a requirement; fluent second language would be an advantage

  • Excellent written skills, including enhanced presentation skills

  • Highly-developed cultural sensitivity; ability to work across regions in global teams

  • Attention to detail and strong planning and systematic thinking, including project management and budgeting

  • Managing agencies effectively and efficiently

  • Global travel required

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.


So, what’s next?

Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you!

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

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Job open date: 01/08/2022

Job closing date: 03/09/2022

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.

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