Reflections on Reuters Pharma Europe 2023

02.05.2023 | News

Reflections on Reuters Pharma Europe 2023

It was lovely to be back in Barcelona last week, and back at Reuter’s Pharma Europe.

The conference was a little smaller than I remember it, but it turns out the fewer the participants the nicer the food :).

Here are a few reflections: 

  • Best new word coined at the conference: ‘automagically’ (it’s what AI does).
  • Term that is most mentioned by pharma delegates: ‘omnichannel’. Some within the industry are tired of this term. AstraZeneca UK has banned it. The emphasis needs to be on being in the right places, in an empathetic and intelligent way. Be in the social media platforms your customers are using and with the content/data they need. We advise our clients to consider where your eHCPs are active, and which are the Digital Opinion Leaders (DOLs) in those places. When you are identifying your DOLs, make sure the right channels are represented. For many chronic diseases, where doctors amplify public health messaging, there is likely to be a vibrant conversation in TikTok and Insta. Stay current with the HCP conversation in the traditional channels too (Twitter, LinkedIn), and know that doctors are sticking with Twitter, despite the recent turbulence. Although a few tens of thousands have gone to Mastodon, the value of being able to disseminate the latest data on Twitter has proved too compelling for most to walk away from (792,000 confirmed HCPs are still on Twitter).
  • Top 2 learnings about the conference conversation within our domain (which is social listening among healthcare professionals, and Digital Opinion Leader engagement):
    • Pharma delegates had huge appetite for understanding how to engage with Digital Opinion Leaders. At a session by Christina Kotsi (Digital Lead, Global Medical Affairs, at Bayer), I’ve never seen so many phones in the air snapping slides. Our recent webinar introducing this topic is here. This appetite is driven by the realisation among pharma Medical Affairs and Commercial teams that prescribers are influencing each other online. There is an urgency to ensure the data being shared is accurate, and that the dialogue reflects the truth, and the best interests of patients.
    • There is real interest in some rich methodologies to understand how customer beliefs drive behaviour. These include ‘anthropological methodologies’. This really means querying your data set to find the ‘why’ that drives behaviour. Doctors are a data-driven species, committed to evidence, so finding the why can point you to the right data.
  • Most striking relational learning: I’m always struck by how warm and human our pharma clients are. I sometimes expect industry people to approach consultants with an ‘us and them’ tone or attitude. But I never discern that. It might be because of the very special way that sells our services, with a genuine ‘love the client first’ (or ‘loving comes before selling’) approach. Or it might just be that our customers are a nice bunch!
  • Most prevalent fashion item: pink velvet jackets.

Thank you Reuters for some great topics and a really enjoyable couple of days of networking and sharing ideas. are already looking forward to our next events which will include Reuters US later in the year.


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Meet the Author

Mary Fletcher-Louis

Mary has been serving the global pharmaceutical industry for 25 years in many roles. Mary has a particular interest in human flourishing, and helping to deliver excellence.

In her free time, Mary loves to gather and feed people.