Published 22 Mar 2018

#efpBarca #TrustPharma #CustomerCentricity #Innovation #Collaboration

Involving 1300 delegates, 135 speakers, 87 pharma companies, 82 sessions, 15 workshops, 3 awards and 1 amazing city, eyeforpharma Barcelona 2018 kicked off with Chair, Paul Simms, postulating that Pharma comes from a history of transformation and that the time is now to embark on another to 'become the solution'. With an audience poll revealing that two-thirds believed that, to do so, industry must put everything into being a trusted healthcare partner, a top line up of speakers set about discussing what this really means and how to achieve it. The following quotes provide just a flavour:

Kris Sterkens, Group Chairman EMEA, Janssen

On digital disruption – If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less... we require a shift in mindset and redefinition of the role of pharma in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. Pharma is no longer just a provider of drugs and so needs to work on demonstrating/communicating this in a bid to change perception. We're held back by ‘SOY’ - The Sh*t of Yesterday. Don't underestimate it, work to discard it. We need to collaborate to make change and to be an essential part of the solution.

Sebastian Guth, Executive VP & CMO, Bayer

Patients expect pharma to not only innovate on their behalf but to support them in managing their own health by improving health literacy. To do this effectively, we need to be unbiased and collaborative. Pharma collaboration has no boundaries, so strap yourself in because the transformation is going to be remarkable.

Christi Shaw, SVP & President, Lilly

Pharma needs to use evolving technologies to support better health literacy, empowerment and outcomes. It needs to collaborate, and to put patient experience at the centre. 3 out of 5 HCPs expect pharma to deliver not just therapies but also technologies.

Multi-stakeholder panel

Can pharma be the ultimate go-to source of guidance for customers and patients? Pharma has a great opportunity to generate trust if done in the right way and is vocal about it (something we're not used to as an industry). Raise public awareness of what we do, with transparency and a human side.



Alistair Grenfell, President EMEA, IQVIA

Pharma productivity and ROI is declining and this situation is not sustainable. Spending on Innovation is outstripping sales. You may have the best technology and drugs in world but unless the relationships and trust exist, success will be limited.

Paul Perreault, CEO, CSL

Patient focus is the core value for CSL. Start within and work like someone's life depends on it … it probably does.

Colin Sims – SVP & Head of Corporate Strategy, Sanofi

Why does pharma continue to do most strategising with its eyes closed? It looks almost exclusively internally and doesn't properly look outside to get perspective. Culture eats strategy for lunch! To bring trust and transparency, keep perspective, be holistic, put people change first, second and third!

Pharma has historically ‘built its own’ (resource intensive!) and is still preoccupied with conversations about whether to build, borrow or buy. If we don’t borrow and buy, we miss out on technologies.

IQVIA workshop with a multi-stakeholder panel discussing engaging HCPs online

Research shows that HCPs primarily visit websites of their own initiative, prefer to get info from independent sites, most often for treatment strategies, guidelines and diagnostic tools, and least often for promotional material/ detail aids. However, pharma investment is often the other way around! HCPs therefore believe that Pharma provides little quality digital support for their day to day practice and this reinforces lack of trust.

  • Liz Murray, Senior Director Multichannel, IQVIA - There is no such thing as a digital strategy, there is only strategy in a digital world.
  • Mike Bellis, Partner, PEN CX – Care less about what we 'say' and more about what we 'do'. Consider what services are really needed.
  • Chris Cooper, CEO, EPG Health - When examining HCP audiences, Pharma tends to look through the wrong end of the telescope. Turn it around, look through the correct lens and with a clearer view put HCP needs at the heart of any activity.
  • Dr Israel Molina, specialist in Infectious Diseases – for HCPs it's not really a matter of pharma trust or credibility, it's always just a matter of independent information. If there is policy within the pharma industry to publish trial data, that policy is not known by HCPs, so speak out more as an industry. Help HCPs to spread their knowledge and to be connected with colleagues.


Emily Bugeat, Dir Commercial Operations at Pfizer

Build capabilities and organisational readiness from within. Pfizer created internal resource hub for operational tools and engaged senior management teams to ensure they were adopted and viewed positively as a benefit.

Adopt an agile and transformational approach that starts with tools that can be quickly adopted, analysed and understood. Don't spend a year developing a strategy that takes another year to undertake, understand and then ditch. Focus more on short term priorities and methodologies and mobilise cross-functional teams with a shared mindset. Get a more accurate read on cultural mindset within organisation through observation and listening exercises.

Medical affairs panel discussion

MSLs should be an important part of a cross-functional strategy. They need the mindset to stand in the shoes of the customer and to listen – Artificial Intelligence can't replace emotional intelligence or human interaction.

Patrik Grandits, Daiichi Sankyo

In approaching customer centricity 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' (Da Vinchi). The Daiichi Sankyo cultural model involved removing individual targets and replacing them with common goals and incentives for all to encourage cross functional collaboration and identification of customer needs as key to success. They needed to overcome some push back within the organisation but ultimately people don't buy 'what' you do, they buy 'why' you do it.

John Proctor, Head of Global Medical Affairs, IQVIA

Patients and HCPs need to be part of the whole lifecycle from early clinical development to commercialisation. Generate data and insights along the way and present that data back to the stakeholders to demonstrate how you seeks to be part of the solution. The more we do it, the better we will get and the more trust we'll earn.

Giles Platford, President Takeda

It is no longer credible that if we spend more it will result in better patient outcomes. One fifth of spend is wasted. It's about investing better. Think beyond drugs, and collaborate with partners to bring better integrated solutions. As a company we can be effective, as a collective we can do so much more.

Half of the audience at #efpbarca believed that lack of vision/ambition set by the company was to blame for their lack of progress in integrated care.



EPG Health provides solutions that supports pharma in becoming 'the solution'


Reflecting on the key themes of eyeforpharma '18, and considering a future for healthcare in which pharma becomes the solution, EPG Health, as a solution provider, supports this transformation in the following ways:

1.      Provision of an independent platform through which pharma can bring value and grow in credibility and trust.  #TrustPharma #BeyondThePill

2.      Data driven insights that support personalised engagement.  #CustomerCentricity

3.      Digital transformation and sustainable integration.  #Innovation

4.      Opportunity to involve Medical, Marketing and Sales, globally and locally, plus external partners, for a more cross-functional, coordinated and collaborative approach.  #Collaboration

Learn more about our solutions