Industry Leaders Share Ideas for Medical Transformation

“The era of specialty medicine is upon us. So the way we deliver knowledge is going to change really dramatically in a very short period of time,” is how Andy Williams, head of global medical information and operations at GlaxoSmithKline, opened the medical affairs track at the recent Veeva Commercial & Medical Summit, Europe.

Citing the exponential growth of scientific data, the significant complexity of science, and the larger variety of stakeholders, he indicated that companies across the industry are grappling with how to evolve to meet the challenges of the new era.

Some best practices emerged as industry leaders shared their ideas for transforming their own organizations.

  • GSK and Novartis enhance the HCP experience:
    Companies are meeting the specialty medicine challenge by rethinking the HCP experience. GSK shared how they think through the HCP journey to deliver the right information in the physician’s preferred channel, while Novartis discussed how data quality helps drive informed conversations with oncologists. Having visibility into a scientific experts’ body of work and past interactions in one place provides a level of value to the HCP that has not been possible in the past.
  • GSK focuses on becoming an insights-driven organization:
    GSK’s approach to becoming insights-driven is to first focus on understanding the HCP journey and then understand how to position its scientific data to align with the medical need. “We want to look at how content is actually used to affect clinical practice. What is the real purpose,” says Williams. “The industry broadly needs to get better at understanding what customers say and translate that into action that will further drive the effective use of medicines.”

    To do this, GSK harmonizes its processes among interdisciplinary teams of data scientists, data analysts, and research scientists. An ‘insights owner’ is assigned to drive the outcomes within the organization. To close the loop, feedback goes back to the MSL and sometimes even to the physician who provided the initial clues.
  • Amgen enables new medical information processes:
    Amgen discussed how companies can use technology to enable new strategic processes that support the HCP mission. While most companies traditionally integrate systems to improve efficiency, Amgen is now connecting their medical information teams into the overall business process as well. By connecting Amgen’s physician portal to Veeva Vault MedComms, approved medical response letters are now automatically available and searchable, allowing the medical information team to address HCP questions rapidly and compliantly.
  • Arena’s medical team drives the voice of the patient:
    As a startup company, Arena Pharmaceuticals is challenging the status quo by ensuring that medical affairs has a seat with R&D from the earliest stages of clinical development. Unlike most other companies, Arena’s medical teams are involved with patients from phase I and study design. “That’s one of the advantages of medical – we can work where no one else can. Strategy is being driven by medical at Arena.”

Medical affairs teams are being significantly impacted by COVID-19 now, with MSLs unable to travel to meet with scientific experts. To hear how leading companies are responding and adjusting their processes, please join us for Veeva Summit Online.