Editor’s voice: September review

Jacky Law looks at what pharmaphorum got up to in September: live blogging from ESMO, a tweetchat on diabetes adherence, two presentations at an IMS Technology Day in Frankfurt, a range of original articles plus the launch of two new premium media reports.

It is said that pharma is essentially conservative but a glance at our output over the past month shows how companies are being jolted on several fronts to keep up with the profound changes taking place in healthcare.

Live blogging from ESMO 2014, which took place in Madrid, Spain, exemplifies these changes well. The annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology, once a venue almost exclusively for scientists and physicians, is now accessible to literally hundreds of thousands of other people who are in some way connected to the world of cancer via social media and our own live blogging facility.

The need for pharma to keep pace with this infinitely broader communications environment was also stressed at an IMS Technology Day in Frankfurt, Germany. pharmaphorum CEO Dr Paul Tunnah joined Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute, to discuss how technology is changing the parameters of pharma while later jointly presenting with Boehringer Ingelheim on how the industry is finally getting to grips with social media.

Tweetchats are a great example of pharma using social media in a controlled but innovative way. Last month saw pharmaphorum moderating such an event for Atlantis Healthcare, a company specialising in the science of behavioural change, on ‘Managing diabetes in the real world’.

“Companies are being jolted on several fronts to keep up with the profound changes taking place in healthcare”


Partnership with other stakeholders is another serious game-changer for pharma as companies struggle to be accepted as more than just manufacturers of drugs. Louise Bellamy, spearheading a new pharmaphorum initiative to promote collaborative working called Healthcare Partners, took advantage of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the UK to highlight what can be done when different stakeholders come together.

Last and certainly not least, mention must be made of pharmaphorum‘s new premium media business. Following the launch of our first premium media report in June 2014 on patient opinion leaders, September saw two more reports that throw fresh light on issues of central importance to pharma business. One, entitled ‘Reality medicine: How payers, regulators and pharma are working with real-world data‘, examines both the hype and the promise of real-world data from the perspective of people who aren’t necessarily trained in health economics but who have a valuable contribution to make to the conversation not only internally but also in the wealth of partnership opportunities that are opening up externally.

The second, ‘KOL engagement: Authority and influence in a digital world‘, examines how the increasingly complex patterns of influence that now exist in healthcare are producing new so-called digital opinion leaders, who are transforming how pharma companies harness the most effective support for their medical products.

About the author:

Jacky Law is managing editor of Premium Reports at pharmaphorum. Twitter: @jackylaw5