eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards 2016

Mar 15, 2016 - Mar 17, 2016, Barcelona

The search for the most valuable and innovative patient-centric initiatives

Make No Small Plans

Five lessons from pharma’s most impactful collaborations in the Barcelona Awards 2016.

We continue our series to profile finalists of this year’s Barcelona Awards by putting the spotlight on pharma initiatives that used collaboration to achieve outsized results.

Take Lundbeck’s Target Depression Global Leadership forum as an example. They set out with the target to reach 150 million people with a message that raised awareness of depression in the workplace, an ambitious target to say the least. By creating partnerships with a diverse group of stakeholders including over 60 MNCs, the International Labour Organization and the office of the Dutch Deputy Prime Minister, they smashed expectations and reached over 2 billion people. 

Merck also collaborated to great effect with the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) on The Make Sense Campaign (MSC), to raise awareness of head and neck cancer with the objective of improving early diagnosis. As well as reaching just over 5 million people with awareness messaging, they managed to convert this outreach into concrete results; over 17,000 patients attended early-screening appointments in response. 


For readers who want to embark on similar initiatives, the path from an idea to such large-scale impact can seem unclear. So, we asked this year’s finalists to share their insights into the ingredients for successful pharma collaboration to demystify the process.  

1. Include as many stakeholders as you can:

Debat Innovation Cancer by BMS France

Patient support groups, HCPs, citizens, health economists, philosophers and payers all have a separate voice. BMS France advocate involving as many perspectives as you can to ensure you do not forget any aspects of the healthcare ecosystem. With the details taken care of, this allows you to stay focused on the real life questions facing the patient.

2. Follow ‘golden rules ’to create standards in uncharted territory

The Global Leadership forum by Lundbeck

The team at Lundbeck committed to three essential principles that they believed would hold them to account throughout an unfamiliar process:

1. Be transparent and compliant about the involvement of the different partners and the sponsorship of industry

2. Challenge yourself to move "beyond the pill.” Think outside the box and grow from traditional pharma activities to show that your work is part of an holistic approach to helping patients and society

3. Measure your success; include KPIs and milestones to keep partnerships on track and manageable

3. Pharma has only one customer - the patient.

Joint Working Agreement by Epilepsy Scotland, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, UCB Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline and Eisai Ltd.

This single message formed the foundation of this coalitions’ Joint Working Agreement to improve epilepsy care in the UK.

The team approached the project with honest realism that the patient is a customer Pharma has struggled to define its relationship with. Compounding this was the fact that the NHS has had little historical basis to place trust in Pharma and accept it as a valued partner. The onus is therefore on pharma to move away from "sponsorship" and take learnings from service provision solutions.

Collaborations are a critical part of this, and the Joint Working Agreement team believe the pharma industry has a new opportunity to transparently invest and collaborate with partners. Guy Armstrong, Healthcare Partnership and Government Affairs Manager at UCB, stated: “The only blocks are age old perceptions, together we can expand what is possible.”

4. State a clear vision at the beginning of the project

DAWN2 by Diabetes Federation, International Alliance of Patient Organizations, The Steno Diabetes Center and Novo Nordisk

To do this, the DAWN2 project, which involved the Diabetes Federation, International Alliance of Patient Organizations, The Steno Diabetes Center and Novo Nordisk, used three questions to govern their project design:

  • How are you going to focus on driving sustainable improvement in outcomes for patients?
  • Who is going to be involved and what are the roles and responsibilities?
  • How can you use evaluation to maintain transparent partnerships?

5. When you don’t know it all, involve the experts.

Make Sense Campaign by Merck and the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS)

Merck and EHNS started out by engaging with KOLs to design the awareness messaging for their campaign. This gave them knowledge of the key challenges faced by people living with the disease, as well as the challenges faced by those who were treating patients with the disease.

They agreed at the start of the campaign that it must be completely unbranded. This ensured that none of the KOLs partnering in the program felt compromised by the support of industry - and resulted in the establishment of deep, trusted relationships. 

Follow these innovators and others as they battle it out for industry recognition at this year’s eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards

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eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards 2016

Mar 15, 2016 - Mar 17, 2016, Barcelona

The search for the most valuable and innovative patient-centric initiatives