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The evolution of marketing – the Amgen way

By Nawal Peacock


Nawal Peacock

By unleashing the potential of our people and our portfolio, Amgen has a bold ambition to bend the curve for patients and the European healthcare system. We are working to ensure that more people have greater access to better healthcare, both now and for generations to come.

We are committed to exploring and pursuing healthcare solutions that reinvent and even disrupt the current approaches to healthcare access, cost, value and innovation. To do this, we must maximise the potential of our people.

The right team

Each day, we witness a fast-changing world and an organisation that continuously needs to reinvent its ways of working in order to deliver impact. This is particularly true in healthcare across Europe.

While high unmet needs and under-diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases remain, the complexity of innovation, gene therapy, technology, AI and digitalisation increases. Rather than a challenge, this dynamic environment presents a fantastic opportunity for teams in the pharma and biotech industry.

Commercial functions have been evolving and, beyond traditional marketing, teams are required to develop various acumens, such as access, real-world evidence generation, beyond the molecule services and value-based partnerships.

Furthermore, team members need to demonstrate the ability to orchestrate and influence a complex matrix in a global operating model while working together with a certain degree of urgency and keeping an external focus and patient obsession.

Beyond competencies and experience, individuals are expected to demonstrate resilience, agility and behaviours that foster team collaboration and a functionless approach to navigate the complex European healthcare ecosystem.

Setting the culture and context for success

We all need to have a purpose. Team engagement and successfully serving large numbers of patients depends on how leaders inspire and create a well- defined and charismatic framework.

As leaders, we owe our staff clear guidance along with simple processes and governance. I am a strong believer in a culture of empowerment, accountability and people enrichment. To help our team members perform, coaching and feedback are crucial. Although these are obvious leadership theories, we still tend to forget them.

A couple of years ago I attended a leadership course at INSEAD where I learnt some modern principles of engaging teams as a leader in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. I learnt what truly matters, what energises teams and promotes innovation and, ultimately, success.

These four simple things are:

1. Define purpose and project an inspiring vision of the future: teams need something to believe in
2. Allow teams to focus: set clear priorities

3. Provide support and be physically present

4. Give praise: offer feedback and coach.

Another dimension in culture evolution is an organisation that rebounds higher by learning from past mistakes. We need to convey that you may not always win, but you will always learn.

Ambition for patients

How does all this translate into benefit for patients? Let’s take cardiovascular disease as an example. There has been incredible scientific progress. Yet, cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in Europe, and 80% of premature cases of heart disease and stroke are preventable.

Can we accept a future where the impact of cardiovascular disease is the same as today? I certainly don’t think so.

By being a high-performing, cross-functional team with purpose – marrying the science, the innovation and our partnerships with healthcare professionals and hospitals – we can predict which cardiovascular disease patients are at high risk of a second event, such as a heart attack, and we can work together to prevent this happening and thereby improve the quality of life for these patients and their loved ones.

It is our responsibility to do our best in predicting and preventing life-changing events for patients.

Innovation meets opportunity

At a time when serious illness still impacts millions of patients, their families and society, innovation in the biotech industry is vital. Innovation has driven Amgen’s success for nearly 40 years and it will continue to drive it moving forward.

If we embrace innovation in all aspects of our business, we set ourselves up to deliver on the promise of our early pipeline for patients in the years to come.

There is tremendous opportunity – and a massive need – to bend the curve for serious illnesses, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, which affect tens of millions of people worldwide.

And when we do bend the curve, patients, healthcare systems and our staff will win. It won’t be easy. But it will be incredibly rewarding.

Nawal Peacock is Vice President Marketing and Innovation Europe at Amgen

In association with


12th October 2019

From: Marketing


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