Welcome to pharmaphorum!
For all those who have taken the time to visit pharmaphorum and read this first article I would like to take the chance to say “thank you” and let you know a bit more about the site and why I set it up. I will do this by answering what I think will be the most common questions, but if you have any further ones please let me know in the website feedback section of the forum.
What is pharmaphorum about?
We all know that even before the current economic difficulties the pharma and broader healthcare industry was facing challenges like never before. The dearth of new blockbuster medicines, increased cost containment and spiralling research costs mean that as an industry we need to be more innovative and more nimble. As a result, I believe the industry has rallied together and there is a wealth of debate on new business models and approaches that will drive the two unique aims of our industry – improvement in the quality / length of people’s lives and commercial sustainability. Currently, this debate is typically held on conferences or within fairly closed groups (e.g. local country / business function groups). However, there is no well used universal site for the industry online where everyone can share constructive ideas and opinions, or just ask others for advice. That is where the vision for pharmaphorum emerged from – this is your site and I hope it will become a hub for constructive industry debate and sharing of ideas.
How is it different to other online pharma publications?
There are a number of sites that focus on industry news and excellent thought leadership articles. However, nowhere seems to be strongly catering for the debate that is driven by such articles or for those individuals wanting to stimulate fresh debate without having the time to write an article / speak on conference. So the focus of pharmaphorum is on debate and discussion, rather than static opinion and it will grow and be driven by you, the users. In addition, when compared to some existing online groups pharmaphorum offers the user the ability to anonymously get involved in the debate where they choose to do so (your username does not need to bear relevance to your real name), which I hope will remove some of the barriers to venturing opinions. Of course, we would always support those that wish to be identified and the user profile allows you to display your real identity if you wish.
Is pharmaphorum associated with any other company?
No, pharmaphorum is an entirely independent venture, which I believe is critical to free discussion. It may be that partners are brought on board in the future, where their offerings are complementary to the ambitions of this site. However, the views on pharmaphorum should not be biased by any company or group to ensure free debate.
Who is the site aimed at?
The site is aimed at all those who are proud of the industry they work in and are driven to improve the way we develop new medicines, diagnostics and other treatments. Notionally, this is likely to be those with several years experience and at the manager level or above in either the commercial or R&,D functions. However, pharmaphorum is also actively encouraging key associated stakeholder groups such as physicians, regulatory officials and pricing and reimbursement officials to get involved, as engagement with such individuals is critical to a successful industry. Ultimately, it is your site and all those who can make a valued contribution to the discussion are welcome, whatever their role, background or geography.
What features are on the site at the moment?
The launch site encompasses the following main features:
The site will be regularly updated with new article content and I am always interested to hear from those who wish to publish here (select the “Write Article” tab on the contact form). Registered users can comment on the articles, with comments appearing post moderation and articles can be commented on for 30 days post publication.
Over time this will develop into a comprehensive listing of live conferences and meetings across different providers. Currently a few example entries are shown, but more detailed descriptions can be included along with the organiser’s logo. To add / amend events please contact me using the “Add / Amend Event” tab on the contact form.
Over time this will develop into a comprehensive directory of companies, associations and groups in a similar manner to the events listing. Companies are invited to request addition of the correct details for both regional and local offices through the “Add / Amend Company” tab on the contact form. Associations and groups are also welcome to be listed and detailed descriptions and logos can be added to the listings.
Intended to be a focal point for the site, the forum will allow registered users to engage in debate on any aspect of the industry, or those who are not registered to watch from the sidelines. See the introductory thread in the forum for more details and ensure you read the Terms and Conditions upon registering and before posting.
New users can register at the top right of the site. Once registered, passwords are encrypted and pharmaphorum will not know your password, nor will you ever be asked for it. You can supply additional information about yourself in your profile once registered which will be displayed to other users. You can also change your password at any time here.
Separate to registration is the newsletter (see the signup box on the right hand side of each page). Signing up to this will ensure you receive regular updates on new articles and features on pharmaphorum. Obviously, you can unsubscribe at any time should you wish to do so.
For any questions over site features or feedback you can either use the feedback section of the forum or the contact form, selecting “Website Feedback”.
How is the site useful for me?
Here are some of the ways in which I hope pharmaphorum will prove useful, but I hope you find many more:
– Share your thought leadership and raise your profile through publishing an article
– Express your opinions on topical issues, either in response to an article or on the forum
– Test your views and thoughts on best practice to see if others agree!
– Ask a question to the healthcare community and see who can help (e.g. do some quick free research!)
– Search for companies, groups and associations of interest, or even add your own company to the site
– Browse a master listing of healthcare conferences and events across multiple providers
This is just a starting point though, and over time the features of pharmaphorum will be shaped by you.
What is your background?
Originally I ventured down the research route, studying novel anticancer compounds during the course of my PhD, before taking this experience into the commercial side working within the oncology team at Datamonitor where I published a number of industry reports. More recently, I have been involved in commercial consulting with both major pharma companies and emerging biotechs in the UK and Europe during my tenure with IMS Health and SmartAnalyst (I still do some freelance commercial consulting to pay the bills!). This has brought me into contact with many different personnel within the industry and driven my fascination for the challenges our industry currently faces. I have always been passionate about the unique facets of the pharmaceutical industry – namely that the work we all do will at some point and in some small way positively affect people’s lives.
What future plans do you have for pharmaphorum?
There is a whole host of new features I would like to add as the site grows. However, it is ultimately driven by what you, the users, would like to see on this site and I am always interested to hear your views. The best way to do this is to post in the website feedback section of the forum and I will endeavour to implement as many of the good ideas as possible as the site develops.
About the author
Paul Tunnah is the Founder of pharmaphorum and is based in the UK.
You can reach him through the contact form and will often find him lurking (unsurprisingly) on the forum under his username of Paul.