From the session: Welcome Address
Presenter: Paul Simms, Chairman, eyeforpharma 2017
Paul Simms, 2017 eyeforpharma Chairman, opened day one by outlining a lofty goal: to see the pharmaceutical industry become more open and valued. Accomplishing this goal, he says, means creating a massive movement within the industry where prioritizing the patient becomes synonymous with healthcare, and the pharma industry is trusted implicitly.
However, Simms points out, there is a hurdle to jump. “While scientific innovation may be improving at an exponential rate, the innovation of actually reaching patients is far slower.”
Put another way, there is a gap between understanding human biology and disease, or the potential benefit of what’s being created in the lab, and actual patient benefits.“The difference is not only large but growing larger every day,” Simms says. “It is our job to bring what’s in the lab to our patients and close that gap.”
Summarizing the situation, Simms quotes Professor Richard Barker, founding director of the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI): “For too long, the spread of innovation has been left to a woeful combination of commercial promotions — and chance encounters between doctor and information.”
So…how can the pharma industry bridge the gap? An answer eludes the experts, although when the gap does close, Simms feels strongly that it won’t be accomplished by a single company. “It’s going to come from an alignment on a massive scale,” he stressed.
While scientific innovation may be improving at an exponential rate, the innovation of actually reaching patients is far slower.”
This grand alignment, he says, means first presenting the pharma industry as a trusted partner. “We need to form more collaborations, including on the commercial side of our business. We need to recognize that our value as pharma companies is more than just our medicine.”
With that, eyeforpharma 2017 took off, with an ever-present emphasis on building trust.