Meet Pharma’s Biggest Innovators

Check out the winners of the eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards 2016 announced last week.

With projects submitted from Scotland to Togo, the 2016 eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards pulled in a diverse range of incredible projects.

Although we had wide participation from pharma’s top 20 (18 out of 20 to be exact - we’ll get the full set in 2017), UCB once again stood out from the pack. 2016 marked the second consecutive year in which they have taken home two awards; this time in the ‘Most Valuable Pharma Collaboration’ and ‘Customer Innovator’ categories. MSD were also real contenders with the Most Valued Company and as a runner-up in the Most Valuable Collaboration Award.

Many entrants had a strong technology component, with patient support and HCP education apps, tech-inspired hackathons, and the first social network for physicians.

We also saw a huge increase in collaborations across industry and sectors. Projects embraced the wisdom of the crowd, with contributions from HCPs, nurses, advocacy groups, ministers, payers, other pharma, government, and even philosophers.

But without further ado… the winners!

Winner of ‘Most Valuable Pharma Collaboration’ Award:

Joint Working Agreement to improve Epilepsy Care in National Health Systems, UCB

L to R Paul Simms

L to R: Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma, Guy Armstrong, UCB, Emma Goldman, Awards Manager

Notable Partners: Epilepsy Scotland, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, GlaxoSmithKline and Eisai Ltd

The Joint Working Agreement united healthcare stakeholders to design and implement a much-needed overhaul of training protocol for epilepsy care in Scotland. Audits of primary care sites had unearthed huge gaps in care delivery, with 44% of patients without a care plan, 78% of patients without an emergency care plan and 92% without a director to third sector support services.

New training protocols and educational aids have been enthusiastically received and 175 GPs have been reached with new training so far. The future is bright too, having engaged with the Ministry of Health, the office is now recommending national rollout.

Message to others:

“The only blocks are age old perceptions, together we can expand what is possible.” Guy Armstrong, Healthcare Partnership and Government Affairs Manager – Scotland, UCB

Winner of Most Valuable Patient Initiative or Service Award:


L to R:

L to R: Christelle Maitre-Anquetil, Sanofi and Josephine Motte, Sanofi

The MOSKI KIT is a set of educational games that improve awareness of measures to prevent and treat malaria. The program was designed to create advocates in children within communities, and awards participants with educator badges to encourage them to spread acquired knowledge.

The program stood for the discipline they showed by investing in a thorough pilot, co-creating and designing the kit with pupils, NGOs and educators in Gabon, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Cote d'Ivoire before looking at scale.

The patience has paid off too; Sanofi has managed to build strong partnerships at the government and community level, and rolled the program to a total of 15 countries.

Message to others:

“My philosophy has always been that the drug alone is not enough, it is only one part of the solution.” Dr Robert Sebbag, Vice President of Access to Medicines, Sanofi

Winner of Customer Innovator Award:

Marianne Fraiture, Head of New Solutions Development, UCB

L to R: Paul Simms, eyeforpharma Chairman, Mariane Fraiture, UCB and Emma Goldman, eyeforpharma Awards Manager.

L to R: Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma, Marianne Fraiture UCB, Emma Goldman, Awards Manager

Marianne Fraiture was recognized for her leadership in adopting and encouraging new strategies for innovation within pharma.

With Epilepsy a big focus area for UCB, research within Fraiture’s team had uncovered a number of challenges around patient isolation, care awareness, coping mechanisms for day-to-day life and diagnosis support. They wanted to generate new ideas for developing supportive services for these issues, but also wanted to break away from embedded assumptions in company thinking.

Fraiture created a model for UCBs first Hackathon and managed to bring 125 participants together to brainstorm solutions. With an audience built from patients, family members, caregivers and digital experts, and broken into 17 teams, new perspectives were formed and shared.

Program highlight:

With support from Fraiture, 5 teams have taken the step forward to prototype their innovations 

Winner of Lifetime Achievement Award:

Søren Eik Skovlund, Global Senior Manager in Global Access at Novo Nordisk

L to R: Paul Simms, eyeforpharma Chairman, Soren Skovlund and Emma Goldman, eyeforpharma Awards Manager.

L to R: Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma, Soren Skovlund, Novo Nordisk, Emma Goldman, Awards Manager

In 2001, patient studies were showing that although highly effective treatments were on the market, over 50% of patients were failing to hit wellness indicators that showed they were in control of their condition.

Skovlund led a team to uncover why, and launched a huge patient survey to engage 5,426 diabetes patients, 2,194 primary care physicians, 556 specialists and 1,122 nurses across 13 countries.

Although the survey improved debate on gaps in service provision for patients, a retrospective study in 2011 showed that little had changed in key wellness indicators. Under Skovlund’s leadership, the company doubled down and launched an even bigger study.

Skovlund built on the first approach to involve patients in every step of the process, even study design. He also created a clearer strategy for impact, involving partners that could convert knowledge into change in treatment guidelines from day one.  The results have been huge. The team uncovered a range of critical gaps in treatment, as well as shedding light on the burden on family members of diabetes patients for the first time. The recommendations have also been adopted at the highest level, with policy change in Denmark, Algeria, China and US to date.

Message to others:

“The fact that people with diabetes are even in a clinic shows that they are motivated to change something in their lives. Understanding this is hugely important for how we approach care.” Søren Eik Skovlund, Global Senior Manager within Global Access at Novo Nordisk

Winner of Most Valuable HCP Initiative or Service Award:

Comuniti, MSD France

L to R: Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma, Thibaud Guymard, MSD, Emma Goldman, Awards Manager

Pharma have had a cagey relationship with social, but while many companies are still navigating the basics of their approach, MSD France took it to a whole other level with their launch of Comuniti; a social network for healthcare professionals.

The network is designed to connect peers and help them improve their practice by collaboration and knowledge sharing. It comes with a growing set of features to help them achieve that goal, including, instant messaging, videoconferencing and document sharing.

It makes it doubly impressive to understand that the team has made this network work in face of a common perception that their target group were not social media savvy. In order to nurture a healthy community of content creators and sharers, the team worked and developed a highly engaged group throughout the beta phase, adapting the features to their needs. The strategy is working; after just 6-months they’ve hit 65,000 users.

Message to others

“Our customers are the ones who are making this service evolve and become better day after day. The project is organized, inspired and growing around them and with them.”  Thibaud Guymard, Head of Digital Services, MSD France

Winner of Most Valued Pharma Company Award:


L to R: Emma Goldman, Awards Manager, eyeforpharma, Cyril Mandry, MSD, Philippe Kirby, MSD, Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma

MSD joined UCB as a double-award winner by taking home the Most Valued Company’ award in addition to the ‘Most Valuable HCP Initiative or Service’ award.

The award was the only one chosen outside of the eyeforpharma Barcelona judging panel and instead determined by the results of a pan-European HCP survey. The survey asked HCPs to nominate the company who had contributed the most to them and their patients beyond just the product.

The results of the survey commended MSD for their leadership in patient advocacy and education, particularly within Diabetes and Rheumatology.

The award was accepted by Cyril Mandry. Marketing Director at MSD and Philippe Kirby, Director, Customer Engagement Capabilities, who both thanked audience stakeholders for their support. 

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

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