Austerity measures have loomed large in healthcare over the last year, with every country in Europe juggling the introduction of effective novel drugs with the need to reduce healthcare spend.
This balancing act has enabled real collaboration between healthcare providers and life science companies, as they both looked to identify and drive these healthcare efficiencies. Interestingly, the greatest competencies have been achieved when there has been a sole focus on aligning outcomes for the patient, payer, provider and pharma companies.
Within these confines, each entrant to PMEA showed how they were tackling at least one of the following strategic and market shaping questions: how to value drug innovation when austerity is the prevailing force; how clinical studies can become real world to improve dialogue with patient and healthcare professionals; how patient experience can be optimised to improve clinical outcomes; how additional services - beyond the pill - can provide greater confidence in achieving outcomes.
Following a number of years of marketers piloting new communication channels and determining how to integrate plans geographically and functionally, we saw three commonalities across the entrants.
This year the judges observed that the winning marketers excelled in three areas:
On behalf of all the judges and PMGroup, thank you to all the entrants for continuing to show the power of thought-provoking, ethical marketing that makes a difference for patients.
Chair of Judges for PMEA 2015, Daniel Mathews is the UK partner of EY's Life Science Practice
[AbbVie's] collaboration within patient education goes far beyond the industry norm and their results are outstanding
AbbVie: Company of the Year
AbbVie picked up the top award at PMEA 2015 for the second year in a row, this time seeing off strong competition from fellow finalists Astellas, Genzyme and Allergan.
The firm won the Open Health Award for PMEA Company of the Year at the ceremony in the Lancaster London Hotel, thanks to its patient-focus.
Commenting on the company's win, the PMEA judges said “AbbVie won because they truly put patients at the centre of everything they do”.
They added: “Their collaboration within patient education goes far beyond the industry norm and their results are outstanding. Along with the patients, payers and HCPs, AbbVie are truly part of the healthcare system.”
This year entries were assessed by a panel of experienced, independent industry judges from the likes of EY, Quintiles, Engage, PA Consulting, Cello Health Consultancy and PwC, as well as patient charity Whizz-Kidz.
Also scoring well in the Company of the Year was Astellas Pharma EMEA, which took home a high commendation.
The company earned particular praise from the PMEA judges for an “impressive growth rate in 2014”, which the judges said “created a tremendous working environment and delivered some compelling solutions”.
They added: “The presentation team showed great teamwork and were a fantastic example of the teamwork at the centre of Astellas' culture. All the judges concluded that it looked like an exceptional place to work.”
Improving diabetes outcomes for children
Novo Nordisk's programme to improve the availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of care for children with type 1 diabetes won the EY Award for Socially Responsible Initiatives at this year's PMEA Awards.
The Changing Diabetes in Children programme establishes clinics where children are diagnosed and receive specialist care, and trains healthcare professionals and educates patients and families about caring for a child with diabetes.
The PMEA judges said: “This entry is a great example of partnership working and a project which has been sustained over several years.
“It had a huge impact over the long term and had great uptake with the number of new children enrolled (3,489 last year), 33 new clinics established and almost 3,000 training new healthcare professionals trained. We were all hugely impressed; congratulations to all involved.”
To overcome financial hurdles, it offers free provision of insulin and blood glucose measuring equipment for the children.
The programme saw Novo work in partnership with Roche, the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF).
Together they're working to improve care for some of the estimated 497,000 children with type 1 diabetes worldwide - about half of whom live in low-income countries, often without the necessary treatment. These children have high mortality rates, and in some sub-Saharan African countries life-expectancy is less than one year after diagnosis.
In winning the EY Award for Socially Responsible Initiatives Novo saw off competition from Astellas Pharma EMEA and the Astellas Innovation Challenge, J&J's wide-reaching CSR strategy and Reckitt Benckiser - with support from Tonic Life Communications - and the #IGiveA campaign.
The greatest competencies were achieved when there was a sole focus on aligning outcomes
Behavioural change success
AbbVie and Genzyme both scooped prizes at last week's PMEA Awards for their behavioural change programmes supported by Lucid.
The London-based agency picked up The Cello Health Award for Launch Excellence for work on behalf of Genzyme and its multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada.
There was also an award in the Excellence in Physicians/Healthcare Provider Support Programmes category for its support for AbbVie's PEER: Psoriasis Expert Exchange FoRum.
PEER is a long-term, global programme to improve standards of care in psoriatic disease and the award was received for the four-year initiative's first phase.
This focused on mapping clinical barriers to change - specifically choosing the most appropriate treatment for each patient and measuring their progress against patient-focused treatment goals - and then working with advocates of the desired behaviours to create toolboxes for addressing each barrier.
Fleur Moseley, Lucid programme director, said PEER was the product of “a unique partnership between the expert community, the client and Lucid”.
She added: “It leverages the latest thinking in behaviour change to support the dermatology community to improve standards of care in psoriatic disease and advance patient outcomes.
“Mostly powerfully, measurement of actual clinical practice was integrated throughout the programme so we can truly say we have advanced clinical practice on a global scale as a result of PEER”.
PEER reached 3,200 physicians in 25 countries, driving an intended change in practice in 100% of respondents.
Self-audit data demonstrating that those implementing treatment goals observed a 33% increase in patients successfully achieving goals, with a 13% increase in appropriate use of systemic treatments.
Commenting on the programme the PMEA judges said the PEER work “showed an excellent understanding of the market and took a patient-centred approach from the outset”.
Lucid also picked up the Cello Health Award for Launch Excellence Award for supporting Genzyme Therapeutics' Lemtrada in a programme that used brand advocates and clinical experience at Centres of Excellence (CoE) to drive message dissemination.
This used a considered approach to effect real behaviour change and maximising patient numbers, which may ultimately lead to an improvement in outcomes.
Austerity loomed large, with every country juggling the introduction of effective drugs with the need to reduce spending
New models of care
A rheumatology project run on behalf of Pfizer saw Quintiles pick up the inaugural Excellence in New Models of Care Award.
The outsourcing services company's CMFT Rheumatology Transition pathway project was developed as a joint working initiative between Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and Pfizer, with delivery managed and led by Quintiles.
Starting from a position of no formal pathway for children transitioning from Paediatric to Adult Rheumatology Services, the project was initiated to address this service gap and to ensure a quality experience for young people while also impacting on waiting times and 'Did not Attends' (DNAs).
The PMEA judges said: “Quintiles worked effectively with the NHS to make this pathway project fit for purpose, addressing a key unmet need. It is a fantastic collaboration on an important topic, with a model that can be extended further.”
A real first and a bold move
A groundbreaking way for healthcare professionals to quickly, easily and securely access medical product information was awarded the Innovation prize at this year's PMEA Awards.
Lilly's Medical Information Cascade was produced with support from Blue Latitude Health, which said the initiative is set to become the de facto standard for delivering verified medical information.
The Lilly Medical Cascade, which is currently being rolled-out throughout the industry, across brands and around the world, can be used for both on- and off-label information.
Fred Bassett, co-founder and head of strategy at Blue Latitude Health, said: “We're thrilled to have won the prestigious PMEA Award for Innovation and see our work honoured at PMEA 2015.
“Our customer experience, creative services and strategic teams always look to transform how our clients engage with healthcare professionals and patients.”
The Lilly Medical Cascade makes new uses of search engine optimisation and provides a secure online service that remains compliant, and can still provide healthcare professionals with answers to their medical product queries in one step.
It eliminates the time-consuming and costly standard processes involving call centres, medical advisors and long, written letters.
And Lilly has decided to open-source the technology of Medical Cascade for the common good.
The PMEA judges said: “This was a real first - a verified product information source for patients and HCPs that takes away the risks of Google. And it is open source - an inspired and bold move - allowing others to add more content to become, hopefully, the de facto platform for such information. We believe this could be game changing for our industry.”
The PMEA programme, run by PMLiVE publisher the PMGroup, is specifically designed to recognise and commend excellence, best practice and innovation in local, European and international markets.
Its categories reflect current business practice of striving for customer and patient-centric education and support programmes; brand lifecycle excellence; and outstanding work.
Full results from PMEA 2015 and photo galleries from the night can be found online via PMLiVE.com/Awards