Philadelphia 2015

Apr 7, 2015 - Apr 8, 2015, Philadelphia

Collaborate to succeed in customer-driven healthcare

Celebrating Genuine Innovation: Barcelona Awards

Celebrating our winners is important. It makes genuine innovation visible, setting the bar higher for others while broadening possibilities through showing what can be achieved. It also creates incentives for (friendly) competition; we are all driven by recognition from peers.

March 24th saw the second edition of the eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards, where the spotlight shines on those who are working towards transformative customer impact over short-term profit. The Awards have five categories designed with a unifying theme; to increase the focus on the value that pharma is creating for its customers. This year, we celebrate: Lifetime Value Achievement, Customer Innovation, Most Impactful Emerging or Global Initiative, Most Valuable Patient Initiative, and Most Valuable HCP initiative.

The judges

Of course, it would not be credible to host a customer-centric awards ceremony and allow only industry representatives to pick the winners.  So, of our panel of 19 judges, we gave just 9 seats to industry; they were joined by a range of customers including HCPs, patients and patient groups. 

The Awards

Winner: Most Valuable Patient Initiative

Janssen Healthcare Innovation; Care4Today™ Orthopedic Solutions

Sir Michael Hirst, International Diabetes Federation with Sylvain Goblet, Commerical Trial Leader of Janssen Healthcare Innovation.

Janssen Healthcare Innovation collaborated with DePuy Synthes and the orthopedic department of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital in London, to improve the care experience of hip/knee replacement patients.  Through a printed pack and an interactive website, the initiative was designed to engage and educate patients throughout their surgery and recovery. Importantly, creating responsive design allowed for two-way communication between the patient and their healthcare team.

Our judges viewed this project as a potential game changer, with patient and advocate Heidi Floyd enthusing, “as patients, we are often overwhelmed and unable to absorb required data while preparing for life-changing surgery. This resource appears to be the perfect tool to allow and encourage patients to educate themselves about the intense process at their own pace. Health information such as this will change the future for patients and caregivers worldwide.”


Floyd raises a key point that was recognized in each of our finalists’ projects as well. Patients have real issues sifting through disease information to find resources that are meaningful to them and their personal care needs. Our other submissions focused on using different channels to deliver this service, with most combining both website and mobile platforms to give support. Particularly impressive was the impact that Abbvie managed to create with their education campaign ‘don’t turn your back on it.’ Over 136, 000 people visited their website in just the first 5 months, and the project has now been rolled out globally.

Winner: Most Valuable Patient Initiative

Janssen Healthcare Innovation; Care4Today™ Heart Health Solutions

Sir Michael Hirst with Mirren Mandalia and Nayanabhiram Kalnad, Solution Leaders for Janssen Healthcare Innovation. 

Janssen Healthcare Innovation’s second award was for a project that improves cardiac rehabilitation. Through digitalizing health records, referrals and recruitment of patients onto cardiac rehabilitation can be vastly improved. This is supported by interactive exercise programs that adapt to the patients in response to real-time data to create maximum engagement. Impressively, patients and HCPs have both received benefits. Patients have a reduced waiting time to start rehabilitation and have been more engaged throughout the care. With this tool, staff have seen a reduction in care time, increasing the amount of patients they are able to attend to.

The entry impressed judges with its consideration in design for each key stakeholder, with Judge Steve Turley of Lundbeck calling it “an excellent project based on deep and meaningful insight, making a real difference to the company, HCPs, and patients.” His comments we echoed by Dr. Julian Spinks, of the NHS, who stated, "An excellent example of partnership working between pharma and HCPs. A need was clearly identified, a solution found and there are objective results available from review.”


Other projects focused on educating HCPs to become better equipped to managing disease areas, or appreciating the perspective of the patient throughout treatments. While tools were mainly digital platforms, Astellas has actually taken the steps to invest in a physical training institution to improve the capacity of Turkey’s healthcare system to meet the demands of liver transplant needs. Another particularly innovative project that caught our eye was entered by Sanofi, called the ‘Connecting Nurses Program. This included a tool that enabled nurses to crowdsource solutions for mutual challenges.

Winner: Most Impactful Emerging Or Global Initiative                        

Sanofi Pasteur; Break Dengue

Sir Michael Hirst, International Diabetes Federation with Caroline De Bie, Programs Director, The Synergist ASBL and Karen Batoosingh, Associate BP Dengue Communications, Sanofi Pasteur

Break Dengue is a non-profit, open platform connecting dengue health workers worldwide to each other, with the goal of sharing knowledge and supplying the power of solutions to scale. Notably, Sanofi’s team took a particularly innovative approach to identify and design the initial pilot, through analyzing conversations about dengue through twitter. Sanofi then engaged the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who are leaders in global health, to convene a group of 7 partners crossing private and public sectors to support the project. This combined expertise has shown strong results; in its first week alone, Break Dengue had over 10,000 Facebook followers, reaching 100, 000 after three months. After one year, it boasted a quarter of a million followers.

The use of social media to connect voices and initiatives from around the globe was what struck the judges the most. Judge Marco Mohowinkel of Janssen Healthcare Innovation commented: “This project has a strong mix of successful ingredients: great concept, smart origination, great leverage of social media, significant reach and strong partnership approach”.


The other finalists included projects from Bayer and AstraZeneca, and focused on education within disease areas. AstraZeneca actually took the steps of developing regional capacities, by training ‘Patient Navigators’ in their Phakamisa project who were able to, in turn, spread awareness and best practice within the disease areas of Breast and Prostate cancer.

Industry Leaders

Our awards also include categories to recognize individuals, not just teams. As with every industry transformation, the changes that are currently being implemented across pharma have been in many cases initiated and driven by prescient individuals who have been able to see through the old model of pushing, to understand that pharma must refocus around the patient.

The purpose with these awards have been to put the spotlight on people who have been leading the way, in order to encourage others to step forward.

Winner: Customer Innovator Award

Christi Marsh; UCB

Sir Michael Hirst, International Diabetes Federation with Christi Marsh, Medical Communications, UCB. 

Christi developed UCBCares – a one-stop-shop for patients which combines all callcentres and sources of patient and customer services under one number and office space. Instead of having a confusing array of points with which to engage the company, patients are assigned a solutions manager to personally address their concerns from assistance, medical information and healthcare referrals to clinical study guidance and event non-UCB medication and treatments.

John Pugh, Head of Digital Innovation, BoehringerIngelheim had high words of praise for our winner saying, “Very patient centric. This candidate shows a high degree of empathy with patients and subsequently drove forward a solution that best met their needs rather just the company’s.”

Winner: Lifetime Value Achievement

Roch Doliveux; Former CEO, UCB

Sir Michael Hirst with Roch Doliveux, Ex-CEO, UCB.


Under Roch’s leadership, UCB has developed into a focused, patientcentric industry leader recognized for growth and a strong pipeline. In 2012, Roch unveiled UCB’s new tagline – ‘Inspired by patients. Driven by science.’ This focus on empathy and innovation reflects the core of what UCB has become under Roch’s leadership, with the company annually surveying all 9,000 staff to determine the level of patient-centric employee attitudes. Roch thinks the industry risks may be losing sight of who its real customers are and what it can learn from them. “I associate patients as individuals, people that live with diseases. Am I doing enough? No. But I am as connected with patients as I am with top KOLs.”

During his acceptance speech, Roch said: "Whatever we do, whatever we say, it's about delivering value to patients. And it's the right way; UCB tripled its market cap in 10 years".

Special mention

We should recognize also achievements of Koen Andries the VP Scientific Fellow in Research & Development, Janssen, who battled successfully to develop a new antibiotic for the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis called bedaquiline. According to Koen, it was sheer persistence and the ability to convince the heads of R&D to stay the course that secured the eventual success of the project after almost 15 years. When questioned on whether he had seen, at first hand, the effect this drug has had on the lives of patients in Africa, he became very emotional: “I’ve seen it [the devastation] in the eyes of patients and it’s very hard. We never realise what happens in developing countries until we actually go out there and witness it ourselves”.

Your Challenge to Change

As the first company to win across more than one category, the work of Janssen Health Innovation deserves a special mention, particularly as they won in two of our most competitive awards. The takeaway from this achievement is that progress sometimes requires big bets. The creation of Janssen Health Innovation was a big breakaway from their previous model of business, a brave decision given that this model has given them success over so many decades.

Speaking on the dual Award at the ceremony, a jubilant Marco Mohwinckel stated: "We are delighted and it's testimony to the vision and perseverance of the Janssen Healthcare Innovation team. We continue to believe in the importance of being patient-centric and building services and solutions that improve healthcare delivery. We want to be pioneers  and this dual award is proof that we're on the right track".

The point of the Awards is to give you the encouragement that pharma can extend its culture of innovation beyond products and to its practices of doing business. So here is your challenge: Try something new, present it to your boss and show them these examples that taking a new approach can deliver results.

Who knows, maybe we’ll see you next year at the Awards.

To view the full results brochure, click here.

To see videos of the finalists and winners, click here.


Philadelphia 2015

Apr 7, 2015 - Apr 8, 2015, Philadelphia

Collaborate to succeed in customer-driven healthcare