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Seizing opportunities with perfectly pitched messages

Personal relationships have been the dominant force in sales for generations but the pandemic has ripped up this
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Personal relationships have been the dominant force in sales for generations but the pandemic has ripped up this conveyer belt of convenience.

More than 60% of clinicians are happy to either connect solely via technology or via a hybrid arrangement and there is no going back.

The pharmaceutical industry became stuck in a groove of letting doctor-rep relationships obscure the challenge of delivering complex information in perfectly pitched presentations.

“In many cases, the value wasn’t the information they were getting. It wasn’t that they were being challenged or being shown new or interesting ways to treat diseases, it was almost ‘lunch is here’ and it is delivered by a rep,” observes Rob Crossan, a pharma sales veteran with senior roles at MSD and Mundipharma

“We neglected how to ensure that our reps were relevant and engaging, and knew their stuff when they went in front of people. Genuine value rather than arriving with the coffee and sandwiches at lunchtime.”

The imperative to have messages and information well-honed before meeting a clinician is amplified in the whitepaper  Genuine Transformation: Preparing for Pharma’s New Sales Coaching Reality which examines sector dynamics and highlights practical solutions.

The pharmaceutical industry is busy re-calibrating how it does business in the wake of the pandemic and the acceleration of digital take-up. This provides fresh challenges and opportunities for sales forces.

“ I think we’re beginning to wake up to it now because it’s getting so hard to see people,” adds Rob Crossan. “Products are getting much more sophisticated and a lot more companies that were generalist are now focused on complex areas of oncology and nuanced treatments so you really have to work hard to find ways to be more relevant.”

Luis Medina, marketing manager at Nestle Canada, who has a wealth of experience across pharmaceutical, healthcare and food industries, believes coaching from the 60 Seconds app and its suite of tools helps prepare for those now rare ‘moments in the spotlight’ in front of clinicians.

“I believe that what 60 Seconds does is great because it is easy to use and adapts to the way the sales representative is interacting with clients on a daily basis – it adapts to your ecosystem. It is not asking you to connect with a new platform as it integrates with current systems.

“They work collaboratively and always trying to understand how your sales strategy development works and how they can add to that plus the support is really great.”

Pharma has been experiencing upheaval for the last decade and a new wave of innovative, novel therapies places a huge burden on sales and marketing to frame complex information and tailor it to specific audiences.

Communication channels have been limited during the pandemic but virtual connections will be a permanent feature of the sales environment even when restrictions are relaxed.

Getting the message right, rehearsing it and delivering it in often a narrow time-frame is now an essential skill.

To read more about how training and coaching changed during the pandemic and how to prepare for what is coming next download the whitepaper below.

 

About the interviewees

Rob Crossan B.Sc. (Hons) MRSB. Is companion animal business manager at Virbac Australia. Following a brief career in Marine Biology, he has spent the last 32 years in Pharmaceutical sales, predominantly in Sales Management.  Currently combining a lifelong passion for animals with pharmaceutical sales and coaching as the Companion Animal Business Manager at Virbac Australia.

 

Luis Medina is marketing manager at Nestle. He has +13 years of experience in the Food, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry in the roles of marketing and sales. Based in 3 different countries in Europe, Latin America, and North America supporting the development of the Medical Sales teams and executing marketing strategies in the medical channel.

 

About 60 Seconds

60 Seconds is a remote coaching app designed to help users communicate with greater clarity through practice, coaching and measurement. It was built by a coach for coaches to deliver measurable learning momentum. For more information visit: 60seconds.com

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Tesla’s Situation In Shanghai Is An “Epic Disaster” For Its June Quarter, Wedbush’s Dan Ives Says

Tesla’s Situation In Shanghai Is An "Epic Disaster" For Its June Quarter, Wedbush’s Dan Ives Says

As Elon Musk continues to publicly melt…

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Tesla's Situation In Shanghai Is An "Epic Disaster" For Its June Quarter, Wedbush's Dan Ives Says

As Elon Musk continues to publicly melt down on Twitter about his proposed buyout offer and the left's "dirty tricks" and political attacks that he is expecting, Tesla stock has been plunging.

The automaker's stock came under pressure weeks ago, ostensibly after some investors started to do the math behind Musk's proposed buyout offer of Twitter.

This morning, it's under pressure again thanks to a price target cut by Wedbush's Dan Ives, who has cited Shanghai's lockdowns as his reasoning. 

Ives called the situation in China "an epic disaster" for Tesla's coming June quarter and said he expects to see "modest delivery softness", according to a Bloomberg note out Thursday morning.

Ives also said he is expecting a "slower growth trajectory" in China into the second half of the year and called the headwinds out of Asia "hard to ignore".

He also commented that the ongoing Twitter drama "may be a distraction" for Musk at a time when his attention should be focused on dealing with Tesla's issues. 

Recall, we noted days ago that "no vehicles were sold in Shanghai last month" as a result of the lockdown, according to an auto-seller association in the city. 

We also noted that Tesla's plans to restart Shanghai to its pre-pandemic production levels had been pushed back another week. Citing an internal memo, Reuters wrote just three days ago that Tesla is still planning on just one shift for its plant this week and a daily output of about 1,200 units.

Tesla is aiming for 2,600 units per day by May 23. 

Additionally, it was reported Monday that Tesla would be recalling over 100,000 vehicles in China. 107,293 vehicles in China will be recalled "due to safety risks", according to the China People's Daily

The recall, which relates to a defect in the central touchscreen during fast charging, "involves Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced in the country between Oct 19, 2021, and April 26, 2022," the report says. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 08:26

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Joined up thinking needed for joined up data plans

Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come
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Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come – but the route to change is far from smooth sailing.

Without careful consideration and full stakeholder input, the EU’s plans for a connected data system could end up being counterproductive.

That’s the view of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), which has published a list of recommendations aimed at helping the sector get the most of out of the data it holds.

“If the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and the rules surrounding access to the data are not carefully thought through, with the involvement of all stakeholders, there could be unintended consequences that limit the utility of the data for developing innovative medicines,” said the organisation.

Huge potential

The EFPIA Recommendations on a Connected Data System in Europe, published at the end of April, welcomes the proposals, which are part of the European Strategy for Data, to create common data spaces.

Said the authors: “A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.

“This, combined with value-based healthcare, can result in better allocation of resources and more sustainable healthcare systems.”

The value of this approach, which places real-world data in the hands of the right people at the right time, was demonstrated in abundance over the last few years, they went on.

It was, they explained, stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystem coming together to share insights, whether from clinic, research, or genomics, that changed the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applying the same ethos to healthcare in general, then, could give the drug development sector all the information it needs to contribute to a fitter, healthier Europe.

“For the research-based industry, access to data is critical at every step. From accelerating drug discovery to understanding patients’ behaviours and the outcome of treatment, the availability of data is essential to testing hypotheses, identifying trends and assessing proposed treatments,” they said, adding that improved access to, and transmission of, health data could “transform the pharmaceutical industry”.

“A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.”

 

Significant challenges

While EHDS is a lofty ambition, bringing it to fruition will not be without its challenges, both practical and regulatory.

As the EFPIA paper points out, health data is currently held in a wide range of repositories, from clinical notes and electronic health records to insurance claims, patient registries, patient-reported outcomes records, and continuous patient monitoring data from apps and wearables.

Unlocking their value, then, requires a high level of interoperability between different IT systems, providers, data sources, and software, all based in different countries with different levels of infrastructure maturity.

“Healthcare system information must be better connected. This will allow stakeholders to use this data for optimising and improving health outcomes,” said the paper, adding that interoperability was a “critical enabler of the digital transformation of healthcare in Europe”.

Conflicting national laws could be another important barrier to data access and use. Varying interpretations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, present challenges for clinical development of innovative medicines, said the authors.

“Conflicting interpretations of Article 9 of the GDPR, and the additional limitations on processing of health and genomic data that member states have enacted under this article, cause significant delays in study start-up and patient enrolment.

“Some member states take the position that the only lawful basis for processing health data is when individuals have given their consent for its collection and use. Others… take the position that processing this health data, when necessary for scientific research, is lawful.”

EU Data Protection Supervisors, the paper recommends, must reach a common understanding of key GDPR terms if citizens are to enjoy the same rights across the EU.

Practical solutions

The EFPIA paper makes a number of recommendations on how the EU could embrace the full potential of the proposed EHDS.

First, it says that developing a shared understanding of the relevant requirements in digital health is essential, and calls for an EU-wide approach to how data is accessed, pooled, compared and used, while also protecting privacy.

In terms of possible solutions, it points to the use of Federated Data Networks (FDN), in which separate networks share mutual RWD resources.

“In an FDN, data is not moved from its host source, though hybrid models can exist with local and central data hosting. The research question or query moves to where the data is originally hosted, with results aggregated centrally or delivered to the researcher,” said the authors.

This, they went on, could unlock the power of data in primary or secondary care settings, in clinical care decision-making, and in research, whilst preserving the privacy of the RWD at a local level.

Common data models (CDM), which standardise the logical infrastructure of software systems to enable interoperability, are also required.

“CDM is essentially a construct, a means to an end to help organise RWD into a common structure, formats, and terminologies across diverse, heterogeneous, and multiple source datasets,” said the paper.

“It addresses a central need to be able to curate data for analysis on a contemporaneous and continuous basis (not on a per study basis) or for largescale, geographically diverse, network studies of multiple data sources.”

 Joined up approach to joined up data

Ultimately, building a usable EU-wide health data system requires input from all stakeholders, and decisions on FDNs and CDMs should be taken internationally, as a sector.

Because, as the EFPIA says, we all have one goal: using the power of data to improve the health of the citizens of Europe.

About the author

Amanda Barrell is a freelance health and medical education journalist, editor, and copywriter. She has worked on projects for pharma, charities and agencies, and has written extensively for patients, HCPs and the public.

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Large UK study suggests vaccination helps treat long COVID

An observational study in the UK has found evidence that COVID-19 vaccination can help alleviate the lingering symptoms
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An observational study in the UK has found evidence that COVID-19 vaccination can help alleviate the lingering symptoms that afflict some people who contract the virus, often referred to as ‘long COVID’.

There have been persistent anecdotal reports that vaccines can help people with persistent symptoms get better, but the study published in the British Medical Journal is the first to explore the connection in large numbers of patients.

It is based on responses from more than 28,300 adults who are taking part in the UK’s COVID-19 Infection Survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, and focused on individuals who reported symptoms that lasted for 12 or more weeks after infection.

The likelihood of long COVID symptoms was found to decrease after COVID-19 vaccination, and evidence pointed to an even greater improvement after a second dose. However, the authors say more data is needed before vaccination can be considered a treatment for the condition.

The team, led by ONS’ Daniel Ayoubkhani, found that before vaccines were available, the chances of experiencing long COVID were fairly constant after infection, but fell around 13% after a first dose, and a further 9% after a second.

The trial completed before the third booster doses were rolled out, and researchers say there is no data yet on whether the improvements reported after vaccines will be sustained with further follow-up.

They speculate that vaccination may “reset” immunity in people with long COVID who are thought to develop dysregulation of the immune system, similar to an autoimmune condition.

“Although causality cannot be inferred from this observational evidence, vaccination may contribute to a reduction in the population health burden of long COVID,” says the paper.

Further research is needed to look at the long-term relationship between vaccines and long COVID, and to gauge the effect of boosters and reinfection with SAS-CoV-2, particularly with the now-dominant Omicron variant, which had not emerged when the data was collected, according to the researchers.

Commenting on the results, Prof Penny Ward, visiting professor in pharmaceutical medicine at King’s College London, said: “These data broadly support prescribers encouraging patients with ‘long COVID’ to be vaccinated, or to complete the course of vaccination if they have not already done so.”

Meanwhile, Dr Peter English, a retired consultant in communicable disease control, said it is likely that long COVID is, in fact, a collection of different conditions, only some of which may respond to vaccination.

“The large scale of this study means that we can be fairly confident about what has been observed; but it does not mean we can be sure what it means,” he cautioned.

Nevertheless, faced with the potentially very significant consequences the condition could have on the health of the population, “anything that can reduce the burden of disease from Long COVID at reasonable cost is…important and valuable”.

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