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2017 December D .C O .U K


How many of your employees will change company in 2018? *

Is your organisation a top 10 choice for UK pharma employees?*

What benefits do employees value the most?*

Pf People Survey Report

One-off purchase, long-term insights.

HOW CAN I ACCESS T H E R E S U LT S ? We’ve collated all key results from the Pf People Survey into one easy-to-digest report. Get in touch to gain instant access, email or call 01462 476 119 for more details.


annual insight into the UK pharma industry.

PFPEOPLE .CO.UK *According to 2017 Pf Survey results



John Pinching A S S I S TA N T E D I T O R

Amy Schofield C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R




Fiona Beard P f AWA R D S

Melanie Hamer PUBLISHER

Karl Hamer @pharmafield @pharmajobsuk HEAD OFFICE

Spirella Building Bridge Road Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire SG6 4ET United Kingdom Cover illustration by Alex Buccheri The content of and information contained in this magazine are the opinions of the contributors and/or the authors of such content and/or information. Events4Healthcare accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss, cost, claim or expense arising from any reliance on such content or information. Users should independently verify such content or information before relying on it. The Publisher (Events4Healthcare) and its Directors shall not be responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies within the publication, or within other sources that are referred to within the magazine. The Publisher provides the features and advertisements on an ‘as is’ basis, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability or fi tness for a particular purpose, other than those warranties that are implied by and capable of exclusion, restriction, or modification under the laws applicable to this agreement.


Letter from the Editor

ou won’t find many references in these pages to Bethlehem, the three wise men, Santa or the festive season in general (designer says “no”, I’m afraid). No matter what your belief system, however, it is undoubtedly a period of reflection; a time when we cast our eyes back – sometimes through shielded fingers – at what just happened. In our cover story we scrutinise the year that will forever be known as 2017. In many ways it was a remarkable 12 months, with shifts in healthcare delivery, pharma landmarks, digital dynamism and political turbulence aplenty. Sit back with some mulled wine and, with the help of our healthcare commentators, remember how it all unfolded. It was also a year in which tech and pharma finally sang from the same carol sheet. Thus, we take a look at the evolving role of the pharma professional – how it has changed and how the metamorphosis will continue. The final Coffee Break of 2017 raises a cinnamon-sprinkled cappuccino to Martin Moth, whose journey from 1980s computer game wizard to NHS Digital pioneer is not as incongruous as you might think. Meanwhile, our columnists are back with a medley of timely viewpoints and, as usual, they won’t be holding back. David takes on pharma’s lack of bespoke information, Deborah challenges the UK’s lamentable record on mental health, while Claudia ponders the question of what a ‘medical breakthrough’ actually is. Our therapy area brings together a trio of remarkable stories; all of them heart-rending – quite literally. Spanning the age groups, these tales of survival and determination are a Yuletide reminder that life is precious. Merry Christmas everyone,

No copying, distribution, adaptation, extraction, reutilisation or other exploitation (whether in electronic or other format and whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes) may take place except with the express permission of the Publisher and the copyright owner (if other than the Publisher). The information contained in this magazine and/or any accompanying brochure is intended for sales and marketing professionals within the healthcare industry, and not the medical profession or the general public.

Pf Magazine is published monthly. For a free U.K. subscription visit


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Bringing you this month’s essential headlines F E AT U R E

Life-changing meds discovered by accident



The ‘Friends United’ Coffee Break in November’s Pf Magazine was fascinating. I work with a range of pharma clients across many disease areas and a common thread runs through each: How do we improve adherence? A question not very easily answered! Patients may struggle to understand the benefits of their treatment, not experience any symptoms when they stop taking it or even be mistrustful of their doctor. The consequences cause a huge burden when patients end up in A&E or hospital. The Healthera app combines the need to combat poor adherence, the rising age of digital and time constraints experienced by HCPs, and it’s unsurprising to note that the NHS has backed it. The key factor is patient-centricity – empowering people to take control of their treatment journey. The question of how we will reach non-digitally savvy patient populations, however, remains. Nicola Lilley is an Account Director at Havas SO.

Looking back at the year that was 2017 OPINION

David Thorne on pharma dynamics F E AT U R E

Do fire ants hold the answer to psoriasis? MARKETING

Maximising sales in a competitive space OPINION

Claudia Rubin on identifying a ‘breakthrough’ F E AT U R E

The future for pharma sales representatives COFFEE BREAK

From computer games to NHS engagement

HAVE YOUR SAY: What challenges await pharma in 2018? How is your organisation engaging with STPs? When is a cold not a cold? We’ll be covering these issues in the next Pf Magazine – want to contribute? GET IN TOUCH:


Deborah Evans on the mental health puzzle



Pf Magazine


Real experiences of heart conditions P FAWA R D S

More candidate advice from the experts P H A R M ATA L E N T

A masterclass in pharma recruitment O N YO U R R A DA R

BE IN THE KNOW. To request a FREE print subscription for your workplace, or to sign up to our weekly newsletters for the essential headlines, Jobs of the Week, Pharmatalent and thought-provoking features, visit This issue and all past issues of Pf Magazine can be viewed online at

Cool meds, campaigns and curiosities






EFPIA has published results of a survey underlining the importance of medicine-based issues which, it says, must be addressed as part of Brexit discussions. The survey highlighted that medicines used by patients across Europe have integrated supply chains, which include the UK. It noted that over 2600 final products have some stage of manufacture in the UK. In addition, over 12,000 centrally authorised Marketing Authorisations (MAs) for medicines will require separate authorisation in the UK for prescription purposes. Approximately 17% of centralised MAs are held in the UK. There are over 1500 clinical trials being conducted in multiple EU member states that have a UK-based sponsor, and over 50% of these trials are scheduled to continue beyond March 2019. Also, 45 million patient packs are supplied from the UK to other EU-27/EEA countries and




over 37 million patient packs are supplied from the EU-27/EEA to the UK every month. In this context, 45% of EFPIA members expect trade delays if the UK and Europe fall back to World Trade Organisation rules. To prevent this, enabling patients to access their medicines, the EU and UK should reach an agreement that ensures maximum alignment between EU and UK pharmaceutical laws. The figures from the EFPIA survey emphasise the importance of scientific research collaboration between the UK and EU, which strengthens the EU’s global position in life sciences and attracts global life science investment. EFPIA Director General, Nathalie Moll, said: “Securing ongoing cooperation on medicines regulation between the UK and EU is the best way of ensuring that patients across Europe continue to have access to safe and effective medicines.”

ervical screening coverage for women eligible for testing has fallen by 0.7 percentage points in the last year, according to statistics published by NHS Digital. Latest figures for the NHS Cervical Screening Programme for 2016–17 show that coverage, at March 2017, for women aged 25 to 64 was 72%; down from 72.7% in 2016, and 75.7% in 2011, when collection of age appropriate coverage began. Meanwhile, all regions reported a fall in coverage when compared with 2016.

Dr knows

Public Health England has launched a major campaign to ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’. It is estimated that at least 5000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for certain infections. This figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in three decades antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined. The World Health Organisation and global medical experts, including Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, have repeatedly highlighted the threat of a ‘post-antibiotic apocalypse’, because of the the overuse of antibiotics. The campaign warns people that taking antibiotics when they are not needed puts them at risk of a more severe or longer infection, and urges people to take their doctor’s advice on antibiotics. Keep Antibiotics Working also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics. Public Health England’s ESPAUR report revealed that as antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease. Dame Sally said: “Reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs.” Pf View: The mag has been beating the antibiotic apocalypse drum for many years now – it’s good to see that some of the messages are finally getting through. Expect to see public information films with some pretty scary scenarios in due course.

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme reports on the type of screening intended to detect abnormalities within the cervix and which could, if left undetected and untreated, develop into cervical cancer. Data dashboards containing quarterly figures were developed by NHS Digital, Public Health England and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust earlier this year, to help identify where screening levels could be improved and encourage work to boost coverage.

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Waiting boom


he British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that a million more patients could face waits in excess of four hours at A&E departments by 2020, unless urgent action is taken to ensure rising patient demand can be met. Figures published by the BMA show the scale of possible rises in waiting times across England if demand exceeds investment and capacity across the NHS. The analysis of waiting time figures showed that over the next 12 months, based on current projections, there will be 23.8m attendances at A&E; an increase of 345,000 on the previous 12 months. Furthermore, 2.95m people were waiting more than four hours at A&E – an increase of 370,000 and a decrease of 1.3% in performance against the four-hour wait target.

Other concerning figures include 6m emergency admissions; an increase of 148,000, and 815,000 trolley waits – a 250,000 increase. Without major intervention, the situation in emergency departments is likely to worsen, with A&Es seeing an average of more than two million patients every month for the first time by 2019. Performance against the four hour wait this winter (December, January and February) could be set to average around 85%, dropping to 83% the following winter, well below the Government’s 95% target. BMA chair of council, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said: “It is clear from this analysis that we need urgent action to close the gap between investment and rising demand on the NHS.”


Mylan way The UK High Court of Justice has issued a decision in favour of Mylan and its European partner Synthon, finding all claims of Teva’s patent relating to Copaxone invalid. It is another vital milestone for Mylan, and further increases the company’s confidence in its ability to bring high-quality, lower-cost generic versions of the treatment to people with multiple sclerosis. Over the course of the last eight years, Mylan has successfully overcome Teva’s four waves of US patent litigation, eight citizen petitions, injunction proceedings in India, more than 15 regulatory challenges, patent litigations across Europe and now litigation in the UK, while also obtaining dismissal of Teva’s suit against the FDA which sought to delay approval of the 20 mg/mL product. The Copaxone ruling will also help pave the way for Mylan’s future launches of a Glatiramer Acetate Injection in certain European markets. Pf View: This represents an important moment for companies pioneering biosimilars. It is inevitable that big hitters will trigger litigation to ‘protect’ products, but this case demonstrates that legitimate innovation can result in a victory for patients.

Quick doses NICE recommends R O C H E ’s Tecentriq for use within the CDF for patients with untreated urothelial cancer, and who receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy. • M E R C K & P F I Z E R announce UK launch of BAVENCIO for the treatment of metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma in adults.

A S TR A Z E N E C A agrees to license AZD9668, a new treatment for a rare respiratory disorder, to British company MEREO BIOPHARMA. • S A N O F I and R E G E N E R O N announce data from a phase II study showing effectiveness of biologic therapy dupilumab, a new treatment for asthma.


P L A S TI C E L L enters a collaboration with GSK to use its combinatorial stem cell screening technology, CombiCult, in its therapeutic research. • A B BV I E and N E U R O C R I N E B I O S C I E N C E S announce data showing benefits of oral treatment elagolix for the management of endometriosis.



Pure BLISS The European Commission has approved a new subcutaneous (SC) formulation of GSK’s Benlysta (belimumab). It will be used as an add-on therapy in adult patients with active autoantibody-positive systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and a high degree of disease activity. The approval is for a single-dose prefilled syringe and pen, administered as a once-weekly injection of 200mg. These SC presentations enable suitable patients to self-administer their medicine at home, after initial supervision from their clinical team. The subcutaneous version of the medicine adds to the existing intravenous formulation, which was licensed for use in Europe in 2011 and has since been used to treat thousands of patients worldwide. SLE is a chronic, incurable, autoimmune disease associated with a range of symptoms that can fluctuate over time, affecting almost any system in the body. The approval is based on results from the BLISS-SC phase III pivotal study of more than 800 patients, published earlier this year in Arthritis & Rheumatology. The study measured reduction in disease activity at week 52 in patients taking Benlysta, versus those receiving placebo.



The University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Rural Health, NHS Highland and the Scottish Ambulance Service are working on a pilot programme with global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat. The initiative, called SatCare, will enable paramedics to send high-resolution video and ultrasound images from connected

ambulances to hospital-based medical experts, ahead of a patient’s hospital arrival. The one-year SatCare trial, partly-funded by the European Space Agency, aims to help approximately 1000 patients living in remote and rural Scotland. The goal is to provide better patient care on long ambulance journeys, as well as provide more streamlined care upon getting to hospital, such as immediate transfer to an operating theatre. The connected ambulances will utilise ViaSat’s advanced satellite communications system and five Scottish ambulances have been equipped with state-of-the-art scanning equipment. The technology has been successfully tested using healthy volunteers. Professor Philip Wilson, Director of the Centre for Rural Health, said: “This research will tell us how effective and, equally important, how cost-effective this technology can be.”

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N E WS FO CUS Looking at a notable story in sharp focus



L AW R I E J O N E S 42group Managing Director

Novartis-NHS joint working project to improve quality of cancer care


ovartis has announced the launch of The Royal Marsden Partners Cancer Vanguard (RMP) Oncology Pharmacy Service Improvement Joint Working Project. Cancer patients living in North West and South West London will now benefit from the initiative, which aims to improve the quality of cancer patient care. The project will run for up to two years as a pilot with the potential to be expanded across other NHS sites. Assessing the current oncology pharmacy service functions supporting clinical teams, the project will introduce new models of care. Novartis and the NHS team will combine their resources to improve patient care in the main solid tumour pathways, including advanced melanoma, breast, lung, and renal cell carcinoma. It will also address issues with the delivery of treatments, for instance using a mobile chemotherapy bus service to make access to treatment more convenient for patients. Central to the Joint Working Project will be the introduction of two new roles, a Consultant Oncology Pharmacist and a New Care Models Pharmacist. The expected improvements in oncology pharmacy functions will be measured against service standards in NICE treatment guidelines and the revised chemotherapy measures in the Manual for Cancer Services 2011. This project marks one of 28 Joint Working Projects that Novartis has undertaken with the NHS to date.


The NHS is currently under pressure to deliver an increasing range of services, and it’s struggling. Across the UK, delays in cancer care waiting times are the longest since these specific targets were introduced. New partnerships and approaches to delivering care like this Joint Working Project appear to be positive and mutually beneficial ways that the NHS can engage with partners to improve diagnosis rates and ultimately outcomes. Given the continued pressure on NHS finances, it’s a pragmatic response to look for outside help and support. The involvement of pharma companies within the NHS has often been viewed with scepticism as their motivations are questioned. In this instance, the approach seems to have strong support within the trust and be clinically lead. At the centre of this project appears to be an acknowledgement that the way services are delivered needs to change and develop, becoming more patient-centred. If pharmaceutical companies can use the financial strength, and intellectual insights, to help deliver this, it could be a positive step for the NHS in the right direction. Using the experience, knowledge and insight of pharmacists to improve access to treatments is a solution with real foundations. Pharmacists are known to patients, well respected and trusted. This isn’t a subversion of the established relationship, it seems to be about strengthening and growing the role of pharmacists, using their skills more effectively. It’s reassuring to see that the project will be assessed and judged on established national indicators. Ultimately, the benefit and impact of the project should be judged by the impact it has on those who need it most – the patients. Go to



LITHIUM The first official discovery of lithium was by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfvedson, who unearthed the element from a Swedish iron mine in 1817. Its initial use was as a treatment for gout, but, in 1871, it was used in Denmark to treat mania, although little was published about this indication for over 50 years. Then, in the 1940s, lithium was used as a blood pressure medication, but unpleasant side effects put a stop to that as well. In 1949, the Australian psychiatrist, John Cade, published the first paper on using lithium in the treatment of acute mania, triggering its widespread use thereafter.



In the 1920s, cattle in the Northern USA were afflicted by a disease characterised by fatal bleeding, either spontaneous or from minor injuries. Silage made from sweet clover was blamed, and it was found that the plant contained a haemorrhagic factor that reduced blood clotting. In Wisconsin in 1940, Karl Link and student, Harold Campbell, discovered the composition of the anticoagulant in sweet clover, and this led to the synthesis of warfarin in 1948. It was first approved as rat poison in 1952, then as an anticoagulant for use in humans in 1954.




Five medicines found by accident



QU I N I N E Legend has it that the anti-malarial qualities of quinine were first discovered by a malaria-stricken South American Indian lost in an Andean jungle. While trying to quench his thirst, he drank from a bitter-tasting pool of water, surrounded by varieties of cinchona trees, which grow on slopes from Columbia to Bolivia. Known to locals as quina-quina, the bark of the cinchona was believed to be poisonous, but as if by magic, the man’s fever broke when he drank the water. When he told his tribe of his miraculous recovery the tribe began to use it to treat malaria.

Amy Schofield

Discovering the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil, could cause an erection was not planned. Indeed, Pfizer scientists Andrew Bell, Nicholas Terrett and David Brown developed sildenafil as a treatment for high blood pressure and angina. Then, during clinical trials, researchers realised that it was more effective at inducing erections. Pfizer recognised that an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) was an unmet medical need and, in 1998, the FDA approved Viagra as the first oral ED treatment, spawning billions of spam emails in the process.


PE N IC I L L I N In 1928, Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally left an uncovered petri dish filled with the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium in his lab. Days later, the dish was covered in mould. As any parent of a teenager will know, harbouring decomposing material in a room is common, but rather than chuck it, Fleming studied it. Investigation showed the mould was inhibiting bacterial growth and, in 1935, two Oxford University researchers purified the penicillin, leading to the first antibiotic and millions of lives saved.

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was marked by more political uncertainty, as Theresa May called a snap General Election, which backfired spectacularly. Meanwhile, Brexit ‘negotiations’ rumbled on (and continue to), the NHS buckled further under the strain and every industry – not least the pharmaceutical sector – faced yet more insecurity. So, what challenges faced pharma and the NHS, and what’s next?


Amy Schofield Alex Buccheri


P O L I T I C S : W H E R E ’ S T H E M O N E Y ? Simon Stevens gave an impassioned speech at the NHS Providers conference, demanding the £350m-a-week promised to the NHS by the Leave campaign, pointing out that: “The NHS wasn’t on the ballot paper, but it was on the battlebus – ‘Vote Leave for a better funded health service – £350m a week’”. At the time of going to press, there was no sign of the cash materialising.

2 PHARMA & NHS: R E A L I T Y B I T ES David Thorne, Managing Director, Blue River Consulting and Pf Magazine columnist

017 saw the NHS attacking supply and demand. Some blunt weapons are being used – increased waiting times, reduced fixed costs through consolidation, restrictive procurement of material and rationing. The NHS isn’t good at promoting self-care and preventative better health, so it depends on shutting demand valves. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a public mandate for any of this but, instead, we have occult measures used to restrict IVF, deny surgery to smokers or the obese, and waiting times gamed to stimulate use of self-pay. Disruptive change is happening in ways that mean the endpoint of integrated health and care partnerships is being reached through a nebulous maze of temporary organisational acronyms. The NHS reality is driving change via inadequate funding, social care collapse, reduced quality of care and an ageing, inflexible workforce. For pharma this means a 2018 of focused de-prescribing plans, intense price pressure and coordinated action to minimise uptake of targeted products. There is a real risk of pharma being reduced to a basic commodity market. Ask any CCG Chief to name five medicines and see what happens! Pharma needs to get ahead of change and find a place in the future system where it can plant its flag of value. The NHS needs help on vaccination and immunisation campaigns, early diagnosis, safety, RightCare and much more. United cross-company work is urgently needed for a positive approach to emphasising the vital place in healthcare of ethical medicines.

D I G ITA L : R EM OT E R EN A I S S A N C E Andrew Davis, Chairman, neoNavitas


n 2017 the NHS in England became even more complex than ever before. The variables that define a health economy are so many and diverse that we are dealing in segments of one. This heightens the need for local solutions, designed with the customer, that genuinely address patient needs, provider ambition and commissioner goals. The complexity of differing organisational footprints need not be as challenging to address as it initially seems. The key individuals remain, but their organisations may have changed. Building relationships with these key individuals, deploying teams with the ability and mandate to engage and deliver on a shared agenda, and engaging

“In 2017 the NHS in Engla nd beca me even more complex tha n ever before”

head office in a sales enablement drive are strategies that transcend changes in NHS structure and create significant competitive advantage. 2017 also saw the development of remote private and NHS consultations. Could this be the catalyst for the renaissance of primary care? The issue for GPs has been the time required to deliver quality care to those who need it most, and opportunities to create more income. Reducing unnecessary GP consultations would allow GPs to carry out both. 2018 is going to be an exciting year.

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A B P I : C O D E B R E A K E R S A 2017 report showed that breaches of the ABPI code of practice have risen sharply. The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority’s (PMCPA) annual report shows that companies in breach of the code, following complaints received in 2016, include Astellas Pharmaceuticals UK, AstraZeneca UK, Eli Lilly, GSK UK, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK and Roche Products. According to the PMCPA, the most common cause of complaint is around claims companies make about their products.

HIV Sanofi and NIH researchers have developed genetically engineered ‘three-in-one’ antibodies as a potential breakthrough intervention for HIV/ AIDS, which have the highest activity and breadth of coverage yet seen against HIV1.

CANCER Novartis’ advanced breast cancer drug Kisqali (ribociclib) became the first cancer treatment recommended by NICE under the updated cancer appraisal process, giving women with the most common form of advanced breast cancer the possibility of living an average of two years without their disease progressing.

D I A B E TE S Trials by University of Leicester researchers on Novo Nordisk’s oncedaily pill, semaglutide, show a decrease in blood glucose levels and ‘meaningful’ weight loss in up to 90% of patients over three months, potentially ending the need for insulin injections.

D E M E NTI A In November, billionaire Bill Gates announced a personal $50m investment into the Dementia Discovery Fund to boost research into the underlying causes of the disease. It will also improve dementia diagnosis and participation in trials, bringing new ideas and theories into the field, and use the power of big data to speed up research progress.

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B R E X IT: T H E O P P O RT U N I T I ES Leslie Galloway, Chairman, Ethical Medicines Industry Group (EMIG)


ngoing Brexit negotiations can be summarised as the greatest uncertainty to face the UK pharma industry and, therefore, our future healthcare and the economy. This is because ‘no deal’ will mean the UK will likely be relegated in the global sequence of new medicine launches. The implications being that, in future, new medicines would be launched in the EU-27 up to two years before they would in the UK. Such a change would have significant consequences for standard of care, clinical research, the economy and, crucially, patient welfare. We can lobby as much as we want, but we have little control over how the Commission behaves or how our Government responds, since we are in the midst of exceptional political instability.

We should also remember that the UK does not control its position in global pharmaceuticals. We are 3% of the global market and currently perceived as the English-speaking gateway to the EU. That may well change and the people who will make those decisions are the global pharma decision makers, mostly based in the U.S., Japan and the EU. How do we compensate for this potential loss of influence over our future? The answer is: where we have much more control – in the UK and with the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, which will be renegotiated in 2018. It is widely accepted that the current scheme is not working. There are a number of changes we could make, however, which would not only make it work, but create a positive image for the UK as a global centre for innovation. The most significant change could be the creation of a new medicines fund, underwritten by industry rebates, and aimed at medicines approved by NICE and those with specialised services commissioning policy. Such a scheme could obviate the need for NHS Affordability criteria and the QALY threshold. These opportunities are within our grasp and could make the UK a global centre, not just an offshore island next to the main market.

ONSE H E A LTH C A R E : AG I L E R ES P ng sulti Con io Inic ctor, Samir Paul , Dire


ma and healthcare. 017 has been an interesting year in phar d strategies in an bran ial merc Maximising the impact of com iencies being effic ent, ronm envi ever-complex multi-sta keholder ng refor ms and the increasing driven in the NHS with potential prici an industry we are having to voice of the patient, have meant that as be able to respond to the needs adapt. The ability to show agility and more important. of customers and patients has never been


Trending now The prescribing landscape is changing and a new army is emerging, but is pharma saluting them?



David Thorne

“I see very few pharma companies producing material customised to primary care roles and even fewer who have woken up to the significance of HCAs”

n excellent Practice Manager recently showed me her monthly prescribing report from a leading medicines management system. She can see trends across the practice’s prescribers, notably; GP partners, salaried GPs, GP trainees, practice nurses and pharmacists. That’s five different classes of prescribers in an average size practice. An intriguing discussion followed around how the variation and consistency could be explained by a range of factors, given the knowledge, experience and roles of all concerned. The clearest trends reflect how patients see specific clinicians, now that practices stream their activity according to role and specialist skills. The practice pharmacist, for example, has a workload heavily orientated to patients with complex co-morbidities and poly-pharmacy. Also of note, one of the GPs saw most of the children and another concentrated on female sexual health work. Meanwhile, few roles vary more than practice nursing, especially in respect of role titles and level of prescribing. The practice had also administered 870 flu vaccinations on a single Saturday. Most of those injections were administered by healthcare assistants (HCAs), with a practice nurse working alongside as a supervisor. These are the same HCAs that are the main point of contact for a whole series of patients. Their feedback, practical preferences and patient engagement is clearly influential in the prescribing choices of their senior colleagues.

I see very few pharma companies producing material customised to the various primary care roles and even fewer who have woken up to the significance of HCAs. There are some honourable exceptions with early efforts to provide support to pharmacists in practice, but even those companies are in catch-up mode. For a patient with a reasonably stable heart disease, COPD or type 2 diabetes, the HCA will be the main person they’ll see in primary care and one of the few with time to have a sensible discussion. I wonder what they say when patients ask them about side-effects, adherence, titration and practical stuff around the shape, size and taste of medicines? Some are doing vocational training, but many are not. In any case, what does that training actually say about medicines? The NHS provides no centrally structured training, development, networks or resource for these ‘new’ key staff. There are major opportunities here for pharma to work positively with people who could directly influence effective use of medicines. This new army grows by the day – it’s time for you to get out of no man’s land and start understanding their territory. David Thorne is Chair, Washington Community Healthcare and Non-Executive Director, City and Vale GP Alliance. Go to

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“As a small business with big ambition, we pride ourselves on immersing ourselves in the projects we work on.”

UNIQUE Inicio is a niche go-to, multi-disciplinary agency that fuses strategic and commercial acumen with creative and analytical thinking. Our focus is on enhancing operational excellence within the pharma and life sciences sector. Our combination of client and agency experience; local and global expertise, coupled with a focus on supreme execution and an insightsfocused approach sets us apart.

BESPOKE We treat every client’s challenges as unique, and thus deliver bespoke, agile, high-quality and cost-effective solutions which address our clients’ key issues head on. As a small business with big ambition, we pride ourselves on immersing ourselves in the projects we work on and, above all, delivering results.

PE R FO R MAN C E Whether clients need help deriving insights from new communication channels, assessing the effectiveness of multichannel approaches, evaluating the skills progression of sales teams, or optimising data and insights, Inicio is passionate about reaching dynamic solutions.

M I LE S TO N E S 2017 has been a very rewarding year for Inicio. Key milestones include building new service offerings and forming strategic partnerships. Driving positive messages to our target audience has become increasingly important, especially with different channels at our disposal. Standing out from the crowd in a noisy social media space is always at the forefront of our minds.


Inicio Consulting’s modern and panoramic approach means all bases are covered.


Samir Paul

FUTU R E We are extremely excited about the future. This year has been all about creating a quality service offering, and now we want to focus on the execution. We are passionate about supporting clients by providing insight, evaluation of sales team skills, assessments of brand perception, closed loop marketing strategies or multi-channel effectiveness. We can only see our services evolving and we’re excited to be involved in the most exciting industry in the world. We gain great satisfaction from collaborating with clients and look forward to forming new relationships in 2018. Inicio provides a range of brand insights and multi-channel & performance services to help pharmaceutical companies drive operational excellence. For further details, please contact, call 07595 821220 or go to

MULTI-CHANNEL | INSIGHTS | PERFORMANCE Inicio provides a range of multi-channel effectiveness, insights and performance services to help pharmaceutical and life sciences organisations to evaluate the impact of their multi-channel and brand strategies. QUALITY, INTEGRITY, COLLABORATION, COMMITMENT +44(0)7595 821220 | |

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Could fire ant venom cure psoriasis? Don’t believe the hype: health headlines dissected


Amy Schofield

T H E ST ORY A study * by Emory University has reportedly found that a component of fire ant venom could lead to a cure for the skin condition psoriasis. It’s a burning issue – could it really become an effective treatment?

by around 30%. The preparation also caused 50% fewer immune cells to infiltrate the skin. Additionally, the activity of genes that may become ‘turned up’ by some of the currently available treatments for psoriasis, such as steroids and UV light therapy, decreased.


T H E R E SE A RC H Lipid molecules called ceramides maintain the biochemical barrier function of the skin and help to protect it. Ceramides assist the epidermis in retaining moisture and they’re used in topical skin preparations to soothe skin conditions. Although ceramides have these beneficial properties, however, under certain conditions they can be converted by cells into sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P); an inflammatory molecule. The Emory University team used solenopsin – the main toxic component of fire ant venom – in a cream, enabling them to find out if analogues could perform the same function as ceramides and help restore the skin’s biochemical barrier function to relieve psoriasis. The researchers synthesised two forms of the component, S12 and S14, which look like ceramides, but can’t be degraded into S1P. Skin preparations, containing 1% of these analogues, or similar compounds, were applied to laboratory mice for 28 days. The team observed that after application, inflammation reduced and the barrier function of the mice’s skin was restored.

T H E R E SU LT S The treated mice showed reduction in two main features of psoriasis, including acanthosis (skin thickening and pigmentation) and hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin’s outer layer). This pattern is very similar to the pathologic changes seen in human psoriasis. Topical S12 and S14 treatment of mice was found to reduce epidermal thickness *Source:

T H E DE A L Although emollients are often used to soothe psoriatic skin, they only relieve the symptoms and don’t help to repair the skin’s barrier function. In addition, other frequently-used treatments for mild to moderate psoriasis, such as topical steroids, have side effects such as skin thinning and bruising. The researchers believe that the use of the fire ant venom in treating the skin condition could lead to new treatments for human psoriasis, when combined with other remedies. “We believe that solenopsin analogues are contributing to full restoration of the barrier function in the skin,” said lead author Dr Jack Arbiser, PhD, Professor of Dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine. “Combination therapies with solenopsin analogues and other modalities for psoriasis, such as glucocorticoids and UV light, may lead to long-term remission,” he added.

W H AT T H E PR E S S S A I D : “THIS unlikely ingredient could relieve skin – but would you try it?”; “New cream based on fire ant VENOM offers hope of cure for psoriasis”; “Fire ant venom could be used to treat psoriasis”


the genus Solenopsis



with queen ants THEY CAN BE FOUND

in the U.S., China



fire ants form


QUEEN ANT sits on top.

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 13

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME In part two of a series looking at the effective use of data, Dr Graham Leask addresses how to concentrate sales efforts in the right place. WORDS BY

Dr Graham Leask


n the previous article ‘Seize the Data’ I discussed some of the important strategic aspects to consider when working with data to improve your sales. Here the focus is on where to apply effort for the greatest impact and what information can be utilised to do that more effectively. George Orwell states in Animal Farm that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. In theory, all territories may have equal potential, but the difference between potential and realisable potential can be stark. These differences may be due to either failing to take account of different sets of structural barriers or failing to target effectively.

BAR R I E RS In terms of structural barriers, visualise each of your health authorities (HAs) as a ‘walled city’. Like York, where - in medieval times - such walls served to repel invaders. A similar concept can be applied to HAs. In this instance, the height of the wall represents a barrier to entry which, in some simple cases, may simply mean trying to gain admission to a formulary. In contrast, the barriers in some HAs may be a great deal more complex and difficult to traverse.

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These may consist of meeting a few explicit requirements through a range of less visible challenges that require advanced networking and information-gathering skills to understand – let alone breach. Ultimately, the entry requirements for a given HA may differ markedly from those of an adjacent HA, however, through careful application of statistics we can group these into meaningful practical categories. The second point is that where barriers are low it is easy for competition to enter. Market shares, therefore, are less stable and switching costs are lower, as practices using the products have more choice. In contrast, where barriers are higher, companies promoting new products find the HA more difficult to enter. Here market shares are more stable and distributed across fewer products; therefore profits are higher.

AC TI O N The difference between actual potential and true realisable potential is the ability of companies to gain access to all potential users, building a strong and stable market share in the process. Access must align with potential - leading us to target it. If we are to gain a good return for our promotional efforts, we must put our efforts where our actions will gain traction. There are four broad options (see Figure 1).

The management activities of the HA are also important. For example, some HAs place greater emphasis on guidelines and NICE guidance than others. The attitude of the HA to ensuring that their practices and hospital departments follow the ‘party line’ is also important. This dynamic is reflected in terms of the degree of control that the HA exerts over its constituent GP practices or hospitals. If the degree of control is low, then individual practices have greater freedom to make choices and visa-versa. Research carried out at Aston and Cranfield Universities suggests that HAs can generally be grouped successfully into four main types based on the two dimensions – HA control and the practice’s willingness to prescribe new products. It should be noted that these considerations hold where the HA, rather than NHS England, is responsible. These four scenarios are: 1. H igh entry barrier HAs where practices tend to act as directed and the appetite to adopt new products is low. 2. L  ow entry barrier HAs where practices have more freedom to act, but current appetite to use recent products is relatively low. 3. H  igh entry barrier HAs where practices are positively disposed to new products, but choose from a limited ‘choice set’. 4. Low entry barrier HAs where practices enjoy freedom to act and where willingness to adopt new products is relatively high. We are all familiar with Roger Everett’s diffusion model, and using this together with the above classification yields four different strategies to follow (see Figure 2), depending upon the degree of control exerted by the HA, the willingness of individual practices or hospital departments to adopt new products and the current stage of the product life cycle.



Optimal resource deployment

Given that time and resources are limited the key is to follow a simple guide. 1. Make decisions based on robust quality analysis. 2. C  lass individual HAs by meaningful behaviour differences supported by sound theory. 3. C  hoose optimal resource deployment based on the effort payoff balance. 4. At a local level, target designated individual practices within nominated HAs. 5. Finally, remember to consider the environment when targeting. Consider both the environment and the behavior exhibited by the practice, hospital or Health Authority.

Figure 1.

Freedom to act


Sales force selected activity on targeted practices

High payoff on promotion

Low payoff

Concentrate activity on CCG guidance and value propositions

Dr Graham Leask is a consultant and writer on the pharma and healthcare industries. He spent 15 years as a member of the faculty of the Economics and Strategy Group, Aston University. To comment on the article, write to


Willingness to prescribe new product



Within HA – Practice targeting

Figure 2.

Selective payoff sales force

Cumulative S-shaped curve


Percentage of adopters

80 70

Degree of CCG control

Early majority 34%



Late majority 34%

Early adopters 13.5%


Early majority 34%

60 50

Laggards 16%


30 10

Cumulative S-shaped curve

90 80




Late majority 34%

Early adopters 13.5%

Laggards 16%

30 Innovators 2.5%

Bell-shaped frequency curve


20 10

Innovators 2.5%

Bell-shaped frequency curve




Low payoff desk promotion

Concentrate activity on CCG guidance and value propositions


High payoff sales force


High payoff market access team


Willingness to prescribe new product


M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 15




Claudia Rubin

For patients to receive life-changing meds, perhaps it’s time to redefine ‘breakthrough’.

16 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K

hat do you think when you hear the term medical breakthrough? Mapping the human genome maybe, face transplant surgery perhaps, the HPV vaccine possibly? These astonishing medical breakthroughs do not come around very often, so perhaps there is a broader definition we could consider. Less catchy, but more informative in terms of access to medicine issues, is ‘strategically important transformative products’. Recent headlines suggesting NHS patients will get faster access to breakthrough medicines implies that finding the right definition may well become increasingly pertinent. Behind that newsprint lies the official Government response to the Accelerated Access Review (AAR), which outlined a new fast-track route into the NHS for breakthrough medicines and technologies. Although well received so far, as ever with grand proposals of this sort, it will now take some time to properly identify whether this will actually serve its purpose. Launching the Accelerated Access Pathway (AAP), a new route to market that will streamline regulatory and market access decisions, the Government made it clear that selecting the best products for acceptance into the AAP is crucial. It is anticipated that approximately five products a year will receive breakthrough product designation and go onto the new pathway, subject to satisfactory commercial negotiation. With such a small number entering the system, and no guarantee that all five will emerge, it is questionable to what extent this will impact the NHS’s record of rapid innovation uptake.

C HAN G I N G O F TH E G UAR D Arguably, NHS England has made significant progress in tightening its grip over commercial negotiations with industry. It’s taken over control of the Commercial Medicines Unit (formerly within the DH), pushed through incremental cost-effectiveness ratio thresholds and triggered a budget impact test for NICE, as well as taking on the role of agreeing future patient access schemes. The continuing direction of travel is a fundamental downgrading of the primacy of NICE guidance and a considerable handing over of discretionary power to NHS England. Only time will tell whether this delivers a win for both the NHS and industry. Existing concerns about how the NHS is poised to handle substantial increases in the number of therapies for genetic conditions that need assessing, and how to differentiate those that are truly ground-breaking, are unlikely to go away yet. The cautious welcome offered to the AAR response may be due, in part, to a belief that if an accelerated pathway can be shown to be possible and effective, it can soon become the standard process for more products. Perhaps the element of the Government response with the potential to have the greatest impact early on is the commitment to invest £39m to improve local adoption and uptake of innovative medical technologies. New ‘Innovation Exchanges’ will be established to foster greater collaboration between the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), innovators, clinicians and patients, duly helping them to navigate the system. This is intended to increase AHSN capacity and its capability to assess the local value of innovative technologies, while promoting diffusion across the local system. A lack of evidence around the effect of implementation is one of the most common local barriers to innovation. As such, the commitment to continue building expertise at local level and collaborating more effectively with national leads is extremely welcome. It is always of considerable comfort to industry, and the patients their products


are intended for, when the Government makes noises about needing the UK to get early benefit from the science it has played such a big part in developing. With concern mounting around Brexit, however, and how the relocation of the EMA will affect clinical trials and access to medicine in the UK, the Government needs to avoid the impression that every positive step it takes domestically will be undone by the Brexit fallout. The fact that the Department for Exiting the EU has undertaken impact assessments of Brexit on dozens of economically important sectors ought to be reassuring, but somehow the secrecy surrounding their existence has succeeded in creating a whole new level of anxiety. With little agreement over something as fundamental as how to define, identify and even prioritise a medical breakthrough, much ironing out remains.

“NHS England has made significant progress in tightening its grip over commercial negotiations with industry”


HUMAN DATA SCIENCE Research & Development Real-World Value & Outcomes Commercialization | Technologies


IMS Health and Quintiles are now IQVIA™ – created to advance your pursuits of

On the assumption that the right products are identified for inclusion on the AAP, is it a given that it will be in the manufacturer’s best interest to proceed along this route? After all, with other fast-track systems in place; a more streamlined Cancer Drugs Fund, the Highly Specialised Technologies programme, the Early Access to Medicines Scheme and others, it may not yet be clear what the true benefit of AAP inclusion is. After all, approval of AAP products will still be dependent on their proving to be cost-neutral for the NHS, and it is likely that in return for a place on the AAP, companies will have to be extremely accommodating in their price negotiations. Indeed, NHS England’s newly created Strategic Commercial Unit is rapidly developing its ability to negotiate cost-effective deals.

human science by unleashing the power of data science and human ingenuity. Join the journey at

Copyright © 2017 IQVIA. All rights reserved.

Claudia is a Director at Decideum. Go to

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 17

17121_EA_Hi5_PFAwardsSponsorship_58.7x254mm.indd11/14/17 1 2:34 PM


Jan van den Burg


To thrive across the new terrain the role of sales representative must evolve rapidly. 18 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K

uch has been written about the supposed ‘death of the sales representative’. Digital disruption, declining representative access to physicians, and the increasing appetite of healthcare providers for readily available digital information have led some industry observers to suggest that the traditional field sales role might soon become obsolete. But while the role of the sales representative is certainly changing, the industry shift towards intelligent engagement means it may prove more valuable than ever. Healthcare professionals want pharma to engage with them on a more immediate and indepth level than ever before. HCP expectations, coupled with a shift across the industry towards customer centricity, are compelling communications teams to tailor engagement to each customer’s needs and anticipate how they will want to consume information. “Gone are the days when we could just sit down with somebody for 45 minutes and detail them with a paper sales aid,” says Dan Gandor, Head of Digital Accelerator at Takeda. “It’s about reaching them online, offline, face-toface, when they want it, how they want it.” For field representatives, this presents an opportunity to deepen the relationship with their customers and broaden points of engagement with the HCP. Historically, if an HCP asked for a piece of information to be sent by email, a representative’s only option would have been to push for another face-to-face meeting to deliver that information. Leveraging other channels, such as approved email or remote detail, means the representative can deliver on the request from the HCP, which, in turn, drives a better customer experience. Kara Zubey, Senior Director of HCP Engagement at GSK, explains: “The customer is expecting more of them, and they also want to be more for their customers. They want to be able to answer their questions and have information at their fingertips.” Responding to the needs of customers with relevant, timely information, however, is just the start. The true value of multichannel platforms


is in the insight gleaned from HCP interaction with the various touch points – and that is where representatives can really enhance their currency. In a well-orchestrated, multichannel interaction, the frequency of engagement can increase by thinking carefully about when face-to-face interaction would make sense, versus a digital exchange. This approach to intelligent engagement is the most dramatic shift in the role of the representative, as Zubey explains: “To be able to carry through a conversation not only between calls, but also between interactions that are happening on a digital level, sales representatives need to understand how their conversation is intertwined with all the other touch points. That’s a very different model than historically, where it’s really been face-to-face selling as the primary channel.” Alex Azar, former President of Lilly USA and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, notes that, rather than side-lining representatives, this new digital model puts them firmly at the centre. “I really think that the sales representative becomes a critical part,” he says. “That does mean there are a lot of changes that can and should happen, as we think about technology in building a suite of services around representatives.” Glen Tate, Senior Director of IT at Medac Pharma, agrees. “What digital disruption allows us to do is enhance what the representative is doing,” he says. “We can use digital technology to integrate marketing. We can take items that sales operations have created and push that back to marketing, and then integrate sales representatives into all three elements.” If today’s representatives are key to joining the dots between digital tools and platforms, however, they must learn to read between the lines. Their role is becoming more subtle, requiring them to understand the finer nuances of influencing the HCP. This needs to leverage the information and insight available to them, as well as their personal understanding of that HCP; their attitude, behaviour and values. Ultimately, it’s about building trust, says Rick Priem, Global CRM Manager of Nestlé Health Sciences. “I don’t believe that today, physicians necessarily look to a representative as the sole source of information,” he explains. “But, rather, the sole source of their access to information. The representative who can provide that access is the will be successful.”

The amount of information available to HCPs is growing at an incredible rate. In an ever-more complex digital landscape, the field representative will continue to play a key role in navigating that information to find what the HCP needs, in a quick and convenient manner. “The sales professional is, to multi-billion dollar pharma companies, the broker of capabilities,” says Azar. “In that physician’s office, they’re the face of a massive global company and all the services it offers.” So, while the function of today’s representative may be evolving from seller to navigator of information, it’s clear that the role will remain critical to the relationship between healthcare and pharma. In short, it seems, the death of the pharma sales rep has been greatly exaggerated. Jan van den Burg, Vice President, Commercial Strategy at Veeva Systems. Go to

“Gone are the days when we could just sit down with somebody for 45 minutes and detail them with a paper sales aid”


67% of HCPs will be ‘digital natives’



weekly or more often

50% of GP



M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 19

THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: For Novo Nordisk humanity and being human defined 2017



hat is Novo Nordisk and what makes it unique? At Novo Nordisk, we are driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people with other serious chronic conditions: haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,700 people in 77 countries and markets its products in more than 165 countries. The Novo Nordisk Way is really what makes us unique, our special culture, which supports all of our employees to really focus on what matters in alignment with our core values, such as being patient centric and treating everyone with respect. It reminds us that patients are at the centre of everything we do, no matter which department we work in, and that our ethics must never be compromised. Through our partnership with Team Novo Nordisk, the only professional cycling team whose members all have diabetes, we seek to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.

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Gemma Sawyer

We also try to find ways in which we can give back to the community and to engage our employees, particularly through TakeAction (Our Global volunteering programme) and Novo Health. These initiatives are underpinned by our Triple Bottom Line approach and giving something back and having a healthy and engaged workforce is very important to us, it just shows that sometimes it does not have to be all about work, we can do something else that will still have a notable benefit. What does Novo Nordisk focus on? Novo Nordisk is a world leader within diabetes care and has been producing insulin since 1923, however we are also very proud of our work within haemophilia, growth hormone therapy and obesity.

Since the company was founded in Denmark more than 90 years ago, we have been focused on improving diabetes care. Our key contribution is to discover, develop and manufacture better biological medicines and make them accessible to people with diabetes throughout the world. However, it takes more than medicine to defeat diabetes. By partnering with patients, policymakers, healthcare professionals and non-governmental organisations we are helping: address diabetes risk factors in urban areas, ensuring that people with diabetes are diagnosed earlier and that they have access to adequate care to be able to live their lives with as few limitations as possible. NovoHealth Colour Run 2017

ADVERTORIAL Pedal for 7 2017

Did you have a set of established targets at the beginning of the year? Yes, both financial and non-financial targets ranging from our commercial expectations to how we go about educating HCPs and our work in the community. Every team and member of staff has clear key performance indicators which help to track effectiveness and we all ultimately work towards the same goal no matter what department we work in, and that is to help the patient at the end of it all. What significant milestones has Novo Nordisk achieved in 2017? We are pleased that we have continued to deliver the outcomes of clinical studies that demonstrate the significant potential and benefit of our medicines, for patients with unmet clinical needs.

Have there been any unexpected victories? In 2017 we were delighted that we were able to make our medicines more accessible for UK patients. What single moment sums up your year? We completed ‘Pedal for 7’. We had a team of cyclists that cycled for 5 days through 7 cities in the aim to inspire customers, patients and employees on the burden of diabetes. What have been the biggest challenges over the last 12 months? Brexit continues to presents challenges our organisation and our industry, along with the continued slow update and access of new medicines within the NHS. The outcomes of the Accelerated Access Review may help in part to address this. What motivates your employees? Often employees say that they like working at Novo Nordisk because of the people and the environment in which they work, but the real driver is always helping patients and supporting healthcare professionals. As an employer, we are focussed on engaging our workforce and motivating them in the roles they do, but we recognise that we have to do things outside the roles to keep people engaged long term. Developing talent is a key area of focus and we believe this goes a long way towards showing employees we want to help them develop their career. NovoHealth and TakeAction are two


global initiatives that the employees love. NovoHealth supports employees to be healthy at work through healthy eating, going to the gym, attending Pilates classes, tracking their steps with their fitbits and keeping an eye on their health with our annual wellness days. TakeAction gets our employees out in the community giving something back, and not always related to diabetes. Employees work with local charities to help out and show that, as an organisation, we care about others and we want to make a difference. We also have great leaders that communicate

“Our key contribution is to discover, develop and manufacture better biological medicines and make them accessible to people with diabetes throughout the world.”

with the business and encourage honesty and transparency through regular company meetings and small group round table discussions with executive management. We also launched our new employee engagement survey this year Ourvoice. This enables us to listen to the employees and gives us a good idea of how the employees are feeling, fortunately we had a very high engagement score which we are very proud of. We also celebrated with our Novo Nordisk Way Ambassadors and Top Performers with our summer event at Wimbledon which as you can imagine was a fantastic day out and recognised those that really live up to the Novo Nordisk values and culture. What does the future hold for Novo Nordisk? We will continue to develop and launch new medicines to try defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions, especially in obesity.

Working at Novo Nordisk We are world leaders in diabetes care with a growing business in other treatment areas like haemophilia. We are more than 41,700 employees in 77 countries. Join us!

UK/PUB/1117/0003 | Date of preparation November 2017

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 2 1

COMPUTER GAMES Martin Moth reached dizzy heights, landed in 1980s gaming development and finally saw the light. INTERVIEW BY

John Pinching


y guest this time is NHS Digital guru, Martin Moth, a man with the glorious job title, ‘Health Tools Lead’ – responsible for driving public health and patients into an engaging, digitally-enhanced future. How he arrived at this point is remarkable, unorthodox and completely captivating. Sit back, fasten your seatbelt, take a slug of coffee and enjoy the ride. What projects are you working on at the mo? A revamp of the BMI Calculator. An update of our most popular tool, which has 600,000 uses per month, is longoverdue, so we’re currently conducting user research on why people use it and what we can improve. I’m also working with a military charity to create a mental health tool for the Armed Forces community. How has the year 2017 been for you and what were the highlights? It’s gone very quickly and, workwise, it’s improving. New management has been very supportive of health tools, so I’m gaining greater support. Highlights include doubling the size of the team from me, to me plus one, and launching an updated version of the Heart Age tool.

2 2 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K

Do you think healthcare has finally taken digital to its heart? Yes and no. There will always be early adopters, but the mass market will wait until the unproven idea becomes a reality, while the remainder can never quite understand what digital could do for their business. Things are improving – it’s tying all the disparate systems together that’s a headache. What is the ethos and aim of NHS Digital? The official line is: “NHS Digital exists to improve health and care by providing national information, data and IT services for patients, clinicians, commissioners and researchers.” NHS Choices, where I work, exists under the NHS Digital umbrella, and it’s our remit to be the online ‘front door’ to the NHS in England. How do you work with pharma and what partnerships do you have with industry? I do everything from showing pharma board members how they can get involved in digital and what the commercial benefits are, through to advising on the development of health tools. I aim to spread digital knowhow as widely as possible, because if new health tools get developed it’s always the end user that benefits.

In what ways can pharma exploit digital? Unique selling proposition and data. As we move towards self-management of conditions, anything that can differentiate one drug from another will be used by prescribers. If you build a tool that helps users manage their condition, you meet a user need. These tools provide data on people’s health, which feeds into further development, and the cycle continues. What do you think healthcare will look like in a few years? I worry about the ageing population and obesity epidemic. Over the next few years that could cripple or bankrupt the NHS. Most people won’t comprehend how precious the NHS is until it’s gone. Let’s go back in time – tell me about the start of your career? I have moved swiftly and in an uncontrolled way! I started in the RAF as a lowly Pilot Officer, but didn’t make the grade in my flying training. I stumbled into magazine publishing, via an old family friend, working on the Atari ST mag, ST World, and have stayed in digital since 1987. How did you get into computer game developing? I was interviewing computer games companies for our second mag,


ST Action and heard on the grapevine that MicroProse, the flight simulation specialists, were bringing their PR inhouse. I met the MD, told him ‘I’m the man for the job’ and 45 minutes later I was PR Manager! After a year, I became a Games Producer, managing external development teams. Essentially, I’m a geek in a suit, and it’s this dual personality that enables me to develop interactive software with a commercial focus. Which notable computer games did you work on? Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Stunt Car Racer, Rick Dangerous, Dogfight and F-15 Strike Eagle. What are your memories of the early days working in computers? It was an exciting time. Due to hardware limitations, gameplay was more important than graphics. Fantastic coders were able to fit an entire game into just 512Kb. For F-19, to enable players to accurately navigate using the stars, this guy mapped the entire night sky in 16kb! One memory that stands out involved a ‘handshake deal’ I made with Williams for telemetry data to make our Grand Prix II sim. When I went to their HQ in 1995, they’d wired up Alain Prost’s ’93 drive-by-wire FW15C to run our original sim. I sat in the car and ‘raced’ around Monza!

“To enable players to accurately navigate using the stars, this guy mapped the entire night sky in 16kb!” How has your computer game past influenced what you do for NHS Digital? Ease of use and user-centred design. MicroProse had a tagline of ‘Easy to learn, difficult to master’. The key is to engage the user and give them a long product life. It was about giving users what they want, not what you decide they must have. Are patients engaging with NHS Digital? Yes, but it is still early days. Our Heart Age tool is quite complex, but has had 1.3million completed uses, and driven more people to know about their cholesterol and blood pressure. Digital health, like ‘real’ health, is still mostly used by women – NHS Choices site usage is typically split 60/40 female to male. So, in future, getting men more involved in their own health is essential.

Did you ever think ‘video games’ would become the global phenomenon they are now? Yes – when I met some pilots at RAF Wittering, they told me they would regularly play our Harrier flight sim, even after flying the real thing all day. I knew the market would grow as hardware developed. What one record would you choose for the soundtrack of your life? I’m an 80s romantic at heart, so it has to be ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’, by Japan. It’s your last supper, what are you having? Something Italian, simple and pasta-based, followed by dark chocolate ice cream, sitting at the edge of Lake Garda, while the sun goes down. The setting is as important as the food. I’ll see what I can do, Martin. Goodbye. Bye John.

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 2 3


GIANT LEAPS: Innovation is disrupting the entire healthcare continuum, creating opportunities for medical affairs in new and exciting places.


here has never been a better time to work in medical affairs. The disruptive technologies transforming every aspect of healthcare – from big data to precision medicine – will change the rules of engagement with pharma’s customers, creating new and exciting opportunities in the future. What’s more, health technologies are having a huge impact on patients’ lives; perhaps the greatest impact in the history of medicine. These are the opinions of Lav Parvathenani, Director, Haematology Publications and Scientific Content at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This is an incredibly exciting time to be in Medical Affairs,” he said. “We are at the start of an amazing revolution and at the forefront of it all.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in Medical Affairs, we are at the start of an amazing revolution and at the forefront of it all” Lav Parvathenani, Director, Hematology Publications and Scientific Content at Bristol-Myers Squibb

2 4 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K

Any fears of a dystopian future are unfounded, he says. “While it’s hard to predict ‘technology destruction’ in the long-term, the sheer amount of innovation means that jobs we couldn’t imagine existing 10 years ago will be created and existing jobs will evolve.” Innovation is arising in both directions, as health companies experiment with technology and tech companies experiment with health, added Lav. Wearable technology also offers the opportunity to capture patient-reported outcomes in real time and continuously, as opposed to the periodic paper or electronic questionnaire of yesterday. As partnerships are built between pharma and tech firms, the medical affairs arena is facing many new opportunities for innovation. “How do we partner with these groups to find out what works and what doesn’t?” Lav asked, “Because there’s truth and there’s hype and it can be difficult to sort out what will be beneficial from a medical affairs perspective.” The seismic shift has been the change in the flow of information – customers who were dependent on sales representatives and medical teams for their information 5-10 years ago, are now able to get it from the web, including third-party sources like webMD, Medscape and Wikipedia. The challenge, however, has been finding the right information in the midst of inaccurate and incomplete information, he warns.

Knowledge might be power, but there can be too much of a good thing. “Physicians have less time as they are doing many more things than just treating patients, plus they’re being bombarded by information,” reflected Lav.

“A s partnerships are built between pharma and tech firms, the medical affairs arena is facing many new opportunities for innovation” Effective data mining that can filter and analyse research to provide synthesized medical information is a promising solution, said Lav. “You have hundreds of oncology clinical trials going on at any one time, across many types of cancer. An average physician cannot keep up with even a fraction of this information. A good AI-based interface, using a certain patient’s parameters, can pull out relevant information.” He hopes that, by acting as the interface between healthcare professionals and the continuing evolution in technology and precision medicine, medical affairs can continue to provide value well into the future. Article supplied by



Only 5% of pharma professionals work in mental health. WORDS BY

P F P E O P L E .CO. U K

Deborah Evans

Cold comfort With relentless festivities, the Christmas period can be isolating for many.


he festive season can be a stressful time for most of us and it’s even harder for those struggling with mental health. The combination of work pressure, money concerns, feelings of loneliness, late nights and higher-than-usual alcohol consumption can lead to a spike in mental health issues. I’ve seen such problems rise significantly during my years in clinical practice and while I have a reasonable understanding of different mental health conditions and pharmacological treatment, I felt that I was ill-equipped to help people coming in to the pharmacy needing extra support. One Saturday I was faced with a patient whose depression was in crisis. She was suicidal and, although I listened, gave her medicines advice and signposted her to additional support, the experience left me feeling inadequate and triggered my attendance on a mental health first aid (MHFA) course. MHFA England are on a mission to train one in 10 of the population in these essential skills, which ensures that developing knowledge and skills in mental health is not only the remit of healthcare professionals. Indeed, this is being taken seriously by the Government, with the recent announcement that the Department of Health and Public Health England will launch an online

campaign to train one million people in basic mental health ‘first aid’ skills. In March 2017, an alarming report, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, revealed that just 13% of Britons are living with high levels of positive mental health, and 65% said they have experienced a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Furthermore, mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain. MHFA England is raising awareness in the workplace so that we can better look after our own mental health, as well as that of our colleagues. Enhanced support for mental wellbeing in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion a year. In my next column, I will tell you about the course I attended and why it was so important but, in the meantime, some final festive advice from your pharmacy columnist. Keeping active and physically healthy over the festive season will boost your mental health. Also, avoid rich foods, too many late nights and excessive alcohol; turn off emails, get plenty of fresh air and, above all, moderate family games of Monopoly! Deborah Evans is Managing Director of Pharmacy Complete, a specialist consultancy enabling a healthier future for pharmacy. Go to




the Christmas period



THEMSELVES 45% considered taking their own life.



NEARLY 60% experienced panic attacks.

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Heart exhibition The presence of its beat indicates the beginning of life, but keeping it ticking remains our greatest challenge.


early everyone knows someone with a heart condition – many within their immediate family. The most significant muscle in our body is responsible for causing widespread illness and, in a heartbeat, worlds can change. It holds both the key to life and, ultimately, death. Pharma plays a pivotal role in saving, maintaining and enhancing life for millions of heart patients. Each year companies such as AstraZenica, Novartis, Sanofi and Merck invest billions into research and development as they seek to nullify the impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD), atrial fibrillation (AF), irregular heartbeats, open heart surgery and countless other heart complications. Let’s hear from three people across the age groups who manage their heart condition on a daily basis.


At the European Society of Cardiology 2017 Congress, AstraZeneca presented new data demonstrating a risk reduction in cardiovascular death of 29% in patients taking BRILINTA (ticagrelor). Novartis treatment, ILARIS (canakinumab), already approved for rare autoimmune conditions, has been found to reduce further heart attacks or strokes, when used with current therapies.

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AstraZeneca’s BYDUREON (exenatide) demonstrated fewer cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes during trials involving nearly 15,000 patients worldwide. European approval has been granted for Abbott’s XIENCE Sierra, the latest in a series of stents which have become the most commonly used in Europe. Sierra makes it easier for cardiologists to access awkward artery blockages.


PF SURVEY STAT: Cardiovascular is in the top three most popular areas to work in with 23% of pros focussing on this aspect of pharma. It is only bettered by diabetes, on 25%, and respiratory with 24%. P F P E O P L E .CO. U K



UK figures











Ollie Hardy is 25 and lives in London.


was named after Oliver Hardy, the larger than life American comic, and when I was little, my mum made me wear a bowler hat. I was also born with a heart condition called aortic stenosis, and they said from an early age that one of my heart valves would eventually have to be replaced. A typical valve is tricuspid in structure, like a Mercedes symbol, but mine was bicuspid, so there was blood regurgitation and it was not flowing as it should. At 15 I had my first operation and it involved swapping my pulmonary valve with my aortic valve – the ‘Ross Procedure’. They replaced the defective aorta with my own structurally similar pulmonary valve, because the body is less likely to reject its own tissue. I also received a human donor valve in place of the pulmonary valve that had been swapped. This was supposed to see me through for a while, but last year I found out I needed another operation, as the root of the donor valve was dilating. This can happen in 10% of people that have my original procedure. I was told it would take place within four months, and that was in November 2016. Due to the current NHS situation, I was on standby until 3 August 2017, when the operation finally happened. The doctor tells you that no procedure is without its risks. Anyone that says they don’t think about what that could mean is lying. The mortality rate had reduced due to technology – with my first operation it was 5%; 1 in 20, and that was a real shock to me. Now, it was only 2%, but it still preys on your mind. You’re putting your life in the hands of specialists, quite literally. It’s a strange thing to contend with – you want to see your friends for a few ‘final’ drinks, but know, in all probability, you’ll see them in a matter of weeks. Despite having to wait so long, the NHS experience at the Queen Hospital in Birmingham was great – the staff were amazing.

When I came around I was pumped full of ketamine and morphine, and by all accounts talking gibberish, but did realise with some satisfaction that I was alive. After that there was an entire day that I could not account for. Stories were told to relatives and messages were sent to friends that I simply cannot recall. They had cut along the same old scar, which I was happy about, and after a week I was discharged. Essentially, I went from being a really busy individual, working in London and studying for my Masters, to sitting on my arse doing nothing for two months. My recovery went well, however, and mum encouraged me to do plenty of walking. Physically, I am almost back to normal now, but psychologically it will take longer. When you’ve been through something like this, you do reflect on your lifestyle choices. At the hospital they told me not to lift any heavy weights, so I’m not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger any time soon, but that won’t stop me going to the gym or the occasional music festival. The company I work for have been great, and offered me a gradual return. I have reached the end of a long tunnel and things are looking up. I am not going to let this situation define who I am. I was given a second chance when I was 15 and now I’ve been given a third; I’m going to take it.

“The doctor tells you that no procedure is without its risks. Anyone that says they don’t think about what that could mean is lying”

Source: British Heart Foundation

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K E E PI N G TH E B E AT Veronica Sexton is 74 and lives in Essex


henever I went to the GP surgery I had a very fast heart beat and my pulse rate was up, so the doctor carried out an ECG and I was sent to a cardiac unit for assessment. They showed my heart on the screen and realised it was AF. I have had it now for five years; it causes a lot of bruising and if I cut myself there is a problem with clotting. They put me on warfarin to start with, but that required constant testing. The nurse advised me that there were alternatives, which required less frequent tests, and at the beginning I tried several. The one that really suited me was Apixiban, as it provides me with much more freedom and I don’t need to go to the surgery all the time. The main side-effect is that it’s affected my liver – although the healthcare professionals won’t have it. I don’t drink, so I think it must be the medication, and it even warns about it on the product information! The liver is a bit enlarged, and they are monitoring it, but it doesn’t cause major problems. Even though I get very tired, and I have arthritis in my knees, I try to keep active. I belong to lots of clubs, attend coffee mornings and dine out. I have an exciting life, but there’s still room for more. I also have a lovely and supportive family, which has helped me manage my AF and reduce the impact it has on my daily routine. I’d like to travel more, but it’s become more difficult since my husband died. I have, however, arranged a holiday to Torquay with my friends, who are all over 10 years older than me. As you get older, it’s difficult finding friends your own age! Although I’ve used private healthcare at times during my life, my experiences with the NHS have been fabulous. Unfortunately, it is overrun with time-wasters at the moment, but when they get it right, it’s a wonderful service.

TI M E B O M B : According to the National Survey of Statistics on deaths in England and Wales during 2013, heart disease for men aged 20-34 was the seventh most common reason for death, whereas women in that age group were unaffected. By the age of 50-64 heart disease for men leaps into top position and third place for women. At 65-79 heart disease is still top for men, with at least double the number of fatalities compared to all other conditions, apart from lung cancer. For women in that age group, heart disease is the second biggest killer.

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Roy Truett is 57 and lives in Crawley

thought I was just a fairly healthy guy, who liked running. Last year I did the Cancer Research 10k in London and, although I finished it, I was struggling with a chest infection. It didn’t clear, so after some nagging from the Mrs, I went into a walk-in centre expecting to be sent on my way with antibiotics. The doctor checked my heart, however, and wasn’t happy with the rhythm. They got an ECG on me and it confirmed something was wrong. I was referred for an echocardiogram and got called in to see a cardiology specialist at East Surrey Hospital. He told me I had a leaking aortic heart valve and it would require open heart surgery. I had to undergo more tests, including having a camera down my throat. During this procedure they said there was a shadow in the aorta area and I would need a CT scan. At this point, although it came back clear, I was starting to think, ‘what’s going on, is this really happening?’

“My wife texted me to say she was on her way. I put my phone on charge, and don’t remember anything after that. I had arrested” MRIs followed, and I finally got a date for the operation at Bart’s. Tuesday 25 October arrived, and surgery went well. I came around and was recovering; they were happy with my progress and by Thursday I was out of intensive care. During the afternoon, I was waiting to go on another ward, and my wife texted me to say she was on her way. I put my phone on charge, and don’t remember anything after that. I had arrested and had to be brought back using CPR. Heart attacks usually cause extreme pain, but I had felt nothing and just gone into a deep sleep. The electrical signals to my heart had messed up and the crash team had to open me up for a second time in 48 hours. They checked for internal bleeding and placed me into an induced coma. My horrified wife and daughter had just walked in while it was all unfolding. They were taken into a room and told that I may have been starved of oxygen, so it could be life-changing. I was brought round on Friday, with all these faces peering over me. A week later, I had a pacemaker fitted to control the signals. Fortunately, I hadn’t incurred any brain damage, but due to having a mechanical heart, I need to take the anti-coagulant warfarin forever, and I’m also on Ramipril for blood pressure. With visits from family and friends, in the days afterwards, it all became very emotional, especially for a guy that doesn’t cry. I was realising how circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. Life is now returning to normality. The specialist had said that before surgery I had been running along the edge of a cliff, but now I’m just happy to be running at all.


LEADERS OF THE PACK: Trailblazing Cambridge pharmaceutical supplier, Qdem, aims to follow its stellar 2017 with an outstanding 2018, all while delivering quality and value to the NHS.



Qdem was established in 2012, with the aim to supply high quality medicines to the NHS and other UK healthcare customers. We are based in the world-renowned Cambridge Science Park where we have a highly efficient production facility and support network, allowing our products to deliver the highest level of care for branded products. Qdem recognises the need of the NHS and UK healthcare customers to derive maximum value from all its purchasing decisions, but without compromising the quality of patient care. With this considered, we have established the ‘Qdem Promise’, which provides customers with the reassurance that they will continuously receive outstanding products at a cost-effective price.

“The growth of our company has been rapid, and we have consistently exceeded our financial targets each year since our inception.”



We begin each year with a set of financial and non-monetary targets, which reflect our ambitious growth plans, but also enable us to remain agile enough to meet new opportunities. The growth of our company has been rapid, and we have consistently exceeded our financial targets each year since our inception. This has allowed us to consider new opportunities, but also meant that our focus must be maintaining the level of customer service for which we are known.

The daily challenge is to run all departments of a successful business with a small team, meaning all individuals are involved with sales, marketing, compliance, commercial, clinical, marketing and the supply chain. This gives Qdem a pretty unique role in the pharmaceutical industry and attracts highly motivated individuals who have hands-on involvement with all aspects of the business. No two days in Qdem are the same, and the variety and challenge of the role is the key motivator for our team.



Qdem has had an extremely successful year, with our established brands cementing their positions as clear market leaders. This allows us significant flexibility when considering future opportunities. The major milestone achieved for 2017 has been the transformation of Qdem from a niche branded generics company to a genuine market leader, which now has the flexibility to move between a variety of therapeutic areas and complex generics, while at the same time working in partnership with the NHS, in areas where commercial and clinical excellence are a prerequisite.

Our expertise in bringing branded generics to market, while offering the NHS significant savings and maintaining quality makes Qdem an attractive partner both for the NHS and pharmaceutical companies. Our experience has delivered hundreds of switches at CCG/health board level and this product lifecycle expertise is in high demand. In addition, our Account Managers are exceptionally skilled in clinical key account selling, which opens a broad range of future product possibilities for us. We are a rapidly growing and dynamic company with bold and ambitious plans for the future.

Brand Quality Generic Prices

Qdem was established in the UK in April 2012 to supply high quality medicines to the NHS and other UK healthcare customers. Unit 198, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0AB 01223 426929 | |

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What does a

WINNER look like?

We ask past winners and judges of the Pf Awards what it takes to win an Experienced Account Manager Award WORDS BY

John Pinching


ust what does it take to be the best? Winning a Pf Award is the ultimate accolade for individuals working in the pharmaceutical sales industry who want to test themselves against their peers and demonstrate how they perform under pressure. The Pf Awards have become widely recognised as the definitive achievement for representatives operating in the areas of sales and medtech. Winning a Pf Award represents a major career highlight and Pf Award winners go on to scale even greater heights in our highly-competitive industry. In 2018, we’re introducing two entirely new Pf Award categories – The Best Newcomer Award and The Cross-Functional Team Award – bringing the total number of categories up to 15. Entries are now open. Go to and take your first step to finding out what it really means to be a winner, just like MSD’s Sharon Preston, winner of the Experienced Account Manager Award 2017.



George Newall

Sharon Preston

Pf Awards Judge

2017 Experienced Account Manager Award



Candidates need to be resilient and well-prepared. Give yourself space and time to master your emotions. You only have a short time to impress the judge, so don’t waste it with nerves. When standing in front of the judges panel it’s down to you to 'sell us' on your skills, knowledge, attitude and motivation. You were brave enough to enter, so enjoy the moment and do yourself justice.

I think you need to be extremely competent; delivering above and beyond the role you are in. There has to be an enormous amount of integrity in doing your day job, and huge pride in the work you do and the company you work for. It’s about being the best you can be.


We’re looking for valid and noteworthy examples of true key account management – bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and the innovative deployment of tactics and resources. We want to be amazed and impressed by how you developed a winning solution in the face of a very pressurised and complex environment. WINNING

Mastering and refining advanced selling skills and deploying insightful business acumen remains paramount. Award winners in this category must demonstrate that they are truly focused on achieving victories for the patient, the customer and their company. FUTURE

Securing a Pf Award will help you stand out from your peers. Candidates I have judged over the years have visibly benefitted from enhanced career development and prospects. So, if you haven’t already – enter now and be a winner. It could be the start of something great!


Approach the Assessment Day with confidence in your own ability and be prepared to be put under pressure. Remember, it wouldn’t be so rewarding if it was easy, would it? CAREER

It’s an amazing experience to become a Pf Award winner; even a little surreal until it sinks in. My memory of the Pf Awards Dinner was thinking at the time, “Wow, here I am with all my industry colleagues and, at this prestigious event, I am being recognised as one of the best”. To be honest, I was totally proud of myself and MSD, for allowing me to strive to be the best, especially in an industry where our best efforts can mean so much to patients and their families. FUTURE

Winning the award validates all your hard work and reinforces the will to keep trying harder, thinking smarter and striving to innovate.

“Remember, it wouldn’t be so rewarding if it was easy, would it?”

H AV E YO U G O T W H AT I T TA K E S ? V I S I T P FAWA R D S . C O . U K T O F I N D O U T M O R E 3 0 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K


Jo Stephenson, Recruitment Manager at Bionical, explains what to avoid if you want your CV to be taken seriously.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


We don’t need to hear your life story. Highlight just enough information to stoke the reader’s curiosity. Too much information can lead to notable highlights being lost as the viewer loses interest.


Info should be easy to find and in a logical order. Start by detailing employment history, with the most recent role first. Highlight job title, company, dates of employment and reason for leaving each role. Education and qualifications should come last and be relevant. Proud as you are of it, your GCSE in woodwork may not be applicable.


Not all organisations use the same language and acronyms. Be aware of who may be reading your CV – unknown acronyms and jargon can put the reader off, and in the worst case scenario it could be annoying.

S P E L L I N G , G R A M M A R A N D FO N T S

A CV with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and inconsistent fonts lead the reader to assume poor attention to detail and carelessness. Always spell check your CV (set to the UK dictionary).

Looking for your next move? We have nationwide roles at all levels available now. Please send your CV to our award-winning team of consultants at salesrecruitment


Your address and contact details should be the first thing the reader sees. You should never include your date of birth, marital status or highly personal info, such as inside leg measurement.

Bionical Sales and Marketing Recruitment provide a consultative service focused on your career options, enabling you to make informed career choices. Jo Stephenson has 10 years’ experience working in pharmaceutical sales-related roles including Regional Business Manager, Marketing and Recruitment.

Jo Stephenson, Recruitment Manager Northern, UK UK Office: 0115 950 2500 UK Mobile: 07388 942824 Email: Jo.Stephenson

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 3 1





GSK has announced that Dr Hal Barron will become Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D GSK and an Executive Director on the Board. He will assume the roles in January 2018.

International Health Partners has appointed Adele Paterson as their third Chief Executive Officer. Adele said: “I am delighted to be IHP’s third CEO, following founder Anthony Dunnett and Alex Harris. It is a watershed moment for the organisation and industry.”


appointed as Chairman of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT). KAREN REEVES has joined AZTherapies

as President and Chief Medical Officer.


Astellas has announced that Nate Crisel has been promoted to Vice President, Real World Informatics & Analytics. Nate’s background at Astellas includes roles in new product analysis, product and portfolio strategy and corporate planning.


Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings has appointed Paris Panayiotopoulos to its Board of Directors. Paris was most recently the President and Chief Executive Officer at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Takeda in February 2017.


Rachel Cresswell

3 2 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K




EMD Serono has unveiled Robert Truckenmiller as Senior Vice President, Market Access & Customer Solutions. Robert joined EMD Serono in July 2016 as Vice President, Market Access & Customer Solutions.

Gilead Sciences has announced that Alessandro Riva will join the company as Senior Vice President, Haematology and Oncology Therapeutic Area Head. He joins Gilead from Novartis Oncology, where he served as Head, Global Oncology Development.


Pulmatrix has appointed James Roach as its new Chief Medical Officer. James will lead the clinical development of Pulmatrix’s innovative inhaled drugs for serious lung diseases, including allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Pf NEWCOMER OF THE MONTH Here we feature an outstanding newcomer who is making their mark on the industry. NAME: Bhavesh Jethwa COMPANY: Scope Ophthalmics ROLE: Business Development Manager BACKGROUND: Pharmacy Technician and Retail Pharmacy BHAVESH SAYS: “It’s been fantastic to be part of the Scope family, as a BDM for OTC Pharmacy Sales in the South West. Being new to industry, I researched small family businesses which were outside ‘big pharma’, in order to better understand medical sales in a commercial environment. I especially liked the ability to share new ideas with the owner, directors and all other levels of the company, through having an open culture where everyone is trying to achieve the same objectives, with no agenda. Looking ahead to the future, my aspirations in the next few years are to be in a position to manage my own team in account management and enjoy an active role in future marketing campaigns; shaping the future of this growing and exciting company.”



The Cabinet Secretary has announced the appointment of Dr Patrick Vallance as the new Government Chief Scientific Adviser. Patrick, who is currently President of Research and Development at GSK, and the former Head of Medicine at University College London, will take up the post in Spring 2018.

AELIX Therapeutics has appointed Dr Thomas Hecht as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Thomas held various positions at Amgen between 1989 and 2002. He is currently Head of Hecht Healthcare Consulting in Küssnacht, Switzerland, a biopharmaceutical consulting company.

NHS England has announced PROFESSOR STEPHEN POWIS as their new National Medical Director. Astellas has appointed GARY THAL as Vice President, Speciality, Medical Affairs, Americas.

M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 3 3

P H A R M ATA L E N T What inspired you both to start Evolve Selection? We had backgrounds working in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, in both sales and recruitment. We really felt we could start a business which would add significant value to clients recruiting within these sectors, based on our own expertise and market knowledge. Having grown up in a family-business environment, there was always a personal desire to work for ourselves, so we took the leap! What are your key milestones? Our continual growth and development, and desire to deliver exceptional customer service is our key driver. We believe that creating professional and long-standing business relationships and providing an enjoyable working environment will further allow our business to thrive. We’ve always met the objectives we’ve set for the business since we started in 2007 and have further plans to expand our horizons into other sectors of the market throughout 2018/19.

As Evolve Selection celebrates its 10-year anniversary, Chris & Andy Anderson share the secrets to their success. INTERVIEW BY

Amy Schofield

3 4 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K

How do you attract the best people for your clients? Firstly, by having in place a thorough internal training programme for our team. This ensures that they have optimal market knowledge to identify and attract the best people to suit a particular role and client. Secondly, we pride ourselves on our proactivity and networking skills, enabling us to go above and beyond the standard methods of candidate sourcing. Providing exceptional service to people means they will always recommend your services to others. How do you work with your clients to tailor recruitment solutions to their needs? We always appoint a dedicated Account Manager to each of our clients. Having an open, transparent and up-front approach has always helped us to develop a strong working relationship with them. This allows us to find the exact requirements of their business, while also being able to provide honest feedback, adding value to their objectives. By doing this, we can truly identify their needs and then offer a completely tailored approach to the solution they require. What makes a candidate truly stand out? There is no one individual factor as it depends on the need of the client. It’s usually a combination of proven results, personality and how well prepared they are for an interview process.

Tell us more about Evolve Virtual Solutions. Evolve Virtual Solutions specialises in the development of a range of inventive virtual software solutions, focused around enhancing and streamlining business processes. We identified a potential gap in the pharmaceutical and healthcare market for a digital interviewing solution which could add significant value to our clients’ recruitment processes, from a time and cost perspective. Evolve Virtual Interviewing System (EVIS) has been very well received by the market and our clients can really see the benefits of using a video-based interviewing platform. EVIS has been implemented for several team build projects, as well as ad hoc recruitment. What’s the best piece of careers advice you’ve ever been given? Don’t run before you can walk. What advice would you give to someone keen to enter a career in pharma? Having worked with entry level candidates over a number of years, the people that make the grade are the ones who prepare. Do your research of the market and the role you are looking to carry out, decide that it’s definitely what you want to do and then seek the assistance of a professional agency like Evolve to help you through the process!

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Andy – I have no choice, I have two young kids! Joking apart, it’s knowing that I’m doing a great job to help people. Chris – Aside from my morning coffee, I love working with our team and developing them to ensure they’re the best at what they do. What does the future of Evolve look like? It’s exciting! We have plans to develop the company further into other niche sectors of the healthcare and pharma markets. We want to further develop our internal team and a key area of priority is EVIS, which has already proven to be a huge benefit to our client organisations. We’re really looking forward to what the future holds. Go to

“Having grown up in a family-business environment, there was always a personal desire to work for ourselves, so we took the leap!”

g tin ra RS b le EA Ce10 Y

Sales & Sales & Marketing Marketing Recruitment and specialists specialists inin outsourcing specialists in Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare Healthcare Healthcare and MedTech and MedTech MedTech and

Recruitment and Recruitment and Outsourcing


Virtual Interviewing

Virtual Interviewing



years M AG A ZI N E | D ECEM B ER 2017 | 3 5



Novo Nordisk @novonordisk

VENCLYXTO (venetoclax) M A D E BY: AbbVie. Venetoclax will be available on the NHS, via the CDF, for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. David Innes, Chair of the CLL Support Association, said: “We are pleased to see AbbVie and NICE working together to expedite patient access and hopefully this will translate into routine prescribing.”

50% of women with diabetes during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes within five years #KnowYourRisk BHF @TheBHF

New research suggests eating late at night can raise the risk of heart disease. We look behind the headlines: EFPIA @EFPIA

EFPIA DG @NathalieMoll reiterates the importance of putting patients at the centre of the #EMA relocation decision #Brexit

A P P R OV E D M E D I C I N E of the M O N T H

Understanding Patient Data @Patient_Data

More than 2/3rds of people don’t know how data is used in the NHS. If you use patient data, acknowledge it! AMR Industry Alliance @AMRAlliance

Strong surveillance systems can help stop the spread of #SuperBugs across the globe. #AMRAlliance will tackle this. Pf Awards @Pf_Awards

The #PfAwards2018 Dinner will take place on Thursday 8 March 2018. Book your tickets WebMD @WebMD

People who eat 2-6 servings of chocolate per week have a 20% lower risk of atrial fibrillation, a new study says. NHS Digital @NHSDigital

Free #NHSWiFi will allow patients and the public to download health apps and access #health and #care information

3 6 | PH A R M A FI EL D.CO.U K



New research carried out among 2000 adults by has revealed that Londoners are most likely to suffer from the UK’s most embarrassing illnesses. Three in 10 people in the capital admitted contracting an STD, compared to only 4% in the NorthEast. 40% of men in London have suffered from erectile dysfunction, compared with only 12% in Wales. Meanwhile, 78% of Northern Irish people have experienced diarrhoea or constipation, compared with 57% in the North-West.

According to new research from Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, 97% of companies aim to increase the use of at least one clinical data source, although 98% of respondents report challenges with their clinical data management systems. Currently, life sciences companies use an average of four data sources, but in three years, that number is projected to reach six. The majority of companies also plan to use mHealth, smart phone and eSource data when making decisions.

AIRBORNE On November 14, World Diabetes Day, travellers were reminded to manage their diabetes. Due to a range of factors inherent in travel, the ongoing medical management of mobile workers with diabetes can be disrupted. Dr Irene Lai, from International SOS, said: “When considering medical risks abroad, travellers often focus on infectious diseases. While these are serious risks, a more common issue is the underlying chronic disease that travellers take with them, such as diabetes.”


Novartis UK

Changing the practice of medicine At Novartis, we harness the innovation power of science to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues. We are passionate about discovering new ways to improve and extend people’s lives.

Recruiting the right candidates? We know that when it comes to online recruitment, it’s more important to find the right candidate than lots of candidates. That’s why we’re dedicated to bringing you the top candidates to match your specifications. Get a head start with your 2018 recruitment and get in touch today. Call 01462 476 119 or email



Looking for that winning feeling? Entries for the Pf Awards 2018 are open.

For more information visit PFAWA R D S .CO.U K

or contact the events team on 01462 476120 # PFAWA R D S2 018

Submit your entry form today – the deadline for entries is Monday 22 January 2018.

Pf Magazine December 2017  

A year in review