eyeforpharma Philadelphia Awards

May 2, 2016 - May 2, 2016, Philadelphia

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

Meet the Companies and Leaders Defining the Future for Pharma in the USA

The results of the eyeforpharma Philadelphia Awards 2016 are in.

This year’s eyeforpharma Philadelphia Awards saw submissions with audacious vision and ninja execution.

Finalists were thinking big with collaboration, proving that for all the talk, pharma can actually come together around areas of mutual value. One standout that just missed an award was the phactMI medical information (MI) initiative, that brought together 19 big pharma to consolidate all product MI into a centralized place for HCPs.

Another close runner up was Sanofi’s ‘Diversity in the Workplace’ campaign, that proved that clunky pharma MNCs can effectively execute on bottom-up grassroots strategies. They took a hands-off approach to empowering workers throughout the supply chain to take ownership over quality in production, and managed to engender free-forming creative initiatives to improve standards.

Runner-up AstraZeneca also deserves a special mention for the clarity of execution and value-creation model behind their patient support service Fit2M. In a category of value-added services where ROI has been opaque and notoriously hard to define, they managed to generate profit through new revenue from their positive impact on adherence for patients with diabetes.

It was an inspiring evening, and these are just some examples from many more. But before we digress, it is time to announce the winners of the eyeforpharma Philadelphia Awards.

Winner of ‘Most Valuable Pharma Collaboration’ Award:

TransCelerate BioPharma

What is Transcelate?

A consortium of 19 of the biggest pharma companies worldwide, working closely with the FDA and EU regulators to accelerate industry progress through collaboration.

Why did they win?

Knowledge sharing between pharma has been batted around for decades, with precious little case studies of success. So when TransCelerate launched in 2012, many thought we were heading down a well-trodden and ineffective path.

What has been achieved in just a few short years is nothing short of remarkable. In particular, they have made huge strides in reforming the colossal inefficiencies and duplications of effort within clinical trials.

Standards have been set for data collection, risk-based monitoring, trial protocols, as well as training procedures and for data platforms for site investigators.

TransCelerate attributed their success to leadership buy-in, unity around a single stakeholder and the discipline to scope realistic projects.

Winner of Customer Innovator Award:

Dennis Freire, Patient Portal, Pfizer in Association with ICON Firecrest

What is the ‘Patient Portal?’ 

Pfizer’s Dennis Freire project managed a collaboration with ICON Firecrest to rethink the onerous expectations placed on the patient in clinical trial registration.

Why did they win?

We were really impressed by the commitment to patient-centric design throughout the project lifecycle. Freire and his team started with a participatory research process to uncover frustrations that were impeding registrations and found they all centered around archaic paper registration forms that were extremely hard to understand.

Pfizer partnered with ICON Firecrest and Carnegie Mellon to solve this problem bringing together academics from engineering, public policy, and behavioral science to design more concise methods to communicate complicated information.

They created a sleeker animated video and assessed its effectiveness in randomized trials where participants scored aesthetic appeal and information content. Unsurprisingly, given the mind-numbing complexity of the paper-based predecessor, it outperformed on both counts.

Winner of Most Valuable HCP Initiative or Service Award:

ASK Claire, Teva Pharmaceuticals in Association with Next IT Healthcare

What is ASK Claire?

Meet Teva Pharmaceuticals and Next IT Healthcare’s new Intelligent Virtual Health Assistant. This groundbreaking patient support solution is one of the first to apply AI principles to patient education, helping Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients access disease information online and via an app.

Is it better than Siri? Why did they win?

Definitely. Claire is able to communicate with patients using voice, text and graphics, and with the support of a dedicated analyst mining chat logs and adjusting responses, Claire applies principles from ‘Machine Learning’ to constantly adapt and improve.

In an area where patient support is a huge driver of cost for new product launches, Claire is an important step forward for the industry. By reducing the cost of delivering quality support, Claire lowers the pressure of cost constraints in the design of support services that actually meet the patient’s needs.

As this and other projects develop, patients have a future of higher quality concierge support to look forward to.

Winner of Most Valuable Patient Initiative or Service Award:

The Report Cards, UCB

What are ‘The Report Cards’?

It is an interesting initiative to lobby decision makers for better access to innovative treatments for Epilepsy. The Record Cards ups the pressure on under-performing state health networks, by increasing transparency on state performance.

Why did they win?

We were impressed by the way UCB managed to execute on a strategy to empower others to advocate for better care. It is a well-known truth that pharma is often perceived unwelcome in negotiations for access to innovative medicines. It is a reality of the industry business model that pharma has to battle to overcome access decision makers distrust of increased expenditure on new products.

UCB opened up the data on specialty care and newer anti-epileptic therapies and collaborated to issue independently peer-reviewed literature documenting the health benefits of a comprehensive up-to-date approach to manage this condition.

They then worked with local advocacy groups to share this knowledge along with transparent evaluations tracking the individual state performance on health outcomes. Armed with this information, patients were given the tools to challenge under-performing institutions and demand patient-centric change.

Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award:

Christi Shaw, U.S. Country Head, President of Novartis

For many in the industry, Shaw’s achievements need no introduction.

She has open the eyes of the industry to the possibilities of organizational change through her re-alignment of Novartis USA around patient-centric values.

As a rare female leader in a C-suite position in American pharma, Christa Shaw’s career has also been about challenging gender inequality in an industry that has been woefully slow to change. Countless women in pharma have benefited from Shaw leading the way, and through her advocacy and support for young women leadership programs.

Shaw is also credited with engineering several landmark advancements in innovation for pharma, notably, through her creation of the ‘Signature’ program Shaw managed to shorten clinical trial recruitment from an average of six months to just six weeks.

We couldn’t think of a more worthy winner, and we’re sure we all be inspired by Shaw’s continued contributions in years to come. We were lucky enough to interview Christi Shaw just a couple of weeks ago, so you can find out more about her achievements here.


See the results from the eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2016 and learn about other innovative initiatives that are changing the industry.

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eyeforpharma Philadelphia Awards

May 2, 2016 - May 2, 2016, Philadelphia

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