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PMEA 2009: Event coverage

Excellence in the integrated process of pharmaceutical marketing was recognised and rewarded at this year's prestigious Pharmaceutical Marketing Effectiveness Awards (PMEA), held at the Hilton Park Lane in London, on November 26

Andrew Marr hosting the 2009 Pharmaceutical Marketing Effectiveness AwardsExcellence in the integrated process of pharmaceutical marketing was recognised and rewarded at this year's prestigious Pharmaceutical Marketing Effectiveness Awards (PMEA), held at the Hilton Park Lane in London, on November 26.

Organised by PMGroup, the PMEA are widely acknowledged by those in the pharmaceutical and support industries as "the one to win", according to PMGroup's managing director, Mark Savage. In his welcome address, Mr Savage said: "Congratulations to all our finalists tonight. You are all winners. Your work carries a huge responsibility and we could without doubt use the work represented here tonight to demonstrate the health benefit that our industry continues to provide for us all, be we consumers or patients – to say nothing of the NHS itself, with more and more partnerships proving successful in improving delivery of healthcare to people all around the country."

With the objective of rewarding the pharmaceutical industry's contribution and commitment to improvements in patient care, how patient outcomes can be improved through high quality and cost effective treatment and management, the PMEA have gone from strength to strength in the nine years since their inception. Chairman of judges, Dr Roger Watson, commented: "This year we have grown – both in the size of the venue and in the awards themselves. There are five new categories and three of the existing categories have been updated following feedback."

One of the new categories added is an award for Lifetime Achievement, presented this year to William (Bill) Burns, chief executive officer, Roche Pharmaceuticals. In his 40-year career in the pharmaceutical environment, Bill lead some of the industry's most successful marketing programmes and has contributed significantly to the acceleration of Roche's growth. Colleagues describe his "unparalleled knowledge of the business and unwavering commitment to patients," and say that he is "warm, approachable and brilliant with people." Hugely proud of the industry, with a vision to encourage excellence, Bill's philosophies were seen as perfectly aligned to the values of PMEA.

Host for the awards this year was political commentator, Andrew Marr, who entertained the 600-strong audience with stories that ranged from his experience as a novice journalist through to being a reporter in the House of Lords. A well-received new addition to the event's proceedings was a live interview with ABPI president, Chris Brinsmead, conducted by renowned communications expert and managing director of Lionsden Communications, John Clare. Chris Brinsmead's main message to the industry was "walk tall and tell our story".


John Clare and Chris Brinsmead

John Clare (left) and Chris Brinsmead during the live interview


"We must differentiate between education and promotion and work in true partnership with the NHS," Mr Brinsmead stated. "In the last year there has been tremendous engagement between the ABPI and the NHS, but we can't do it on our own. We must work together to shape our environment or other people will shape it for us."

PMEA chose to support Sightsavers International this year – a charity that works with partners in the developing world to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. Since its inception 60 years ago, Sightsavers International has provided 200 million treatments and restored sight to 7 million people.  According to fundraiser, Katrina Scaife, who represented the charity at the event, 45 million people worldwide are blind, yet 75 per cent of blindness is preventable or treatable, often for as little as £17. "We are very grateful to PMGroup for choosing to support our charity and to everyone who donated. With your support we can bring hope and change the lives of some of the world's poorest people," Katrina Scaife said.

£4,000 was raised for Sightsavers International through donations on the night.

The full list of winners, commendations and finalists has now been published and photos of the Award winners can be viewed in the PMEA awards gallery on PMLiVE.

27th November 2009


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