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30.06.2021 | Insight

Examples of positive change in pharma due to COVID-19

By Katie Kennedy

I had the privilege of attending the Reuters Pharma USA 2021 congress at the start of June, a conference described as ‘North America’s premier cross-functional gathering for pharma pioneers and health innovators’ attended by over 3,000 participants.

One of the key topics discussed at the event was, unsurprisingly, COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the industry. Elaine O’Hara, Chief Commercial Officer at Sanofi had some very positive learnings to take from the pandemic discussing how COVID-19 has changed the education level about vaccines in general.

She explained that there is a much greater knowledge among the public now about how vaccines are made and how they work. Sanofi’s current focus is on producing materials in this space that will support the public to feel both knowledgeable and safe.

However, she did have a warning about the number of routine vaccinations dropping and there is a big catch up effort at the moment to get back on top of this to prevent a resurgence of other infectious diseases.

COVID-19 has changed the education level about vaccines in general.

Elaine O’Hara
Chief Commercial Officer, Sanofi

Both Elaine and John Young, Group President, Chief Business Officer at Pfizer spoke about how the work done to bring the new COVID-19 vaccines to market has shown that vaccines can be made with both speed and urgency, without compromising safety. John spoke about areas beyond COVID-19 which could also benefit from this type of approach and it would be a shame to move back to the old ways of working.

Teresa Bitetti, President of the Global Oncology Business Unit at Takeda spoke about how, having been forced into speeding up their adoption of digital by COVID-19, they have revamped their communications from an historically ‘push’ mode to a more ‘pull’ model ensuring they are leveraging data and insights to tailor their content to the preferences and needs of the physician.

However, she stressed that using new technology is about empowering relationships, not just taking them over, and to ensure we don’t lose the importance of local knowledge with on-the-ground field reps. Her advice was to think about what is the most actionable and meaningful data that a physician needs and how can I bring it to them, not just what is best for your company.

What is the most actionable and meaningful data that a physician needs and how can I bring it to them?

Teresa Bitetti
President of the Global Oncology Business Unit, Takeda

Julien Pahud, International Digital Health & Marketing Analytics Leader at Lilly was asked about how he decides which areas to focus his innovative work on. His advice was to find the right business problem in a geographic area where you can do something about it and with a team that is willing to engage with you. Once you see the results from pilot work like this it is easier to scale-up.

It was great to be a part of Pharma USA 2021 and hear the positive changes that are coming from COVID-19. It was great to also hear how pharma are really embracing both digital and new technologies to ensure that all parts of the business are able to enhance the way they work which is something we are passionate about at CREATION.co.

If you would like to find out more about how we are innovating to better understand and support your digital HCP customers then get in touch, we’d love to talk with you.

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Meet the Author

Katie Kennedy

Katie has a background working within health organisations and continues to champion the work we do at CREATION.co amongst our current and future clients. When not at work Katie enjoys being a mother to her two little girls, a dog, a cat, and a tortoise.

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