Adam O’Sullivan and I attended the first EyeforPharma ‘Emerging Markets – Commercial Excellence’ conference on 15th and 16th November in Berlin. We joined a relatively small but dynamic group and found that the speakers and delegates alike were very knowledgeable, engaged and willing to share their experiences. It was great to meet so many people who embraced the rapidly changing nature of their work and were prepared to challenge assumptions and think in new ways.
The overriding theme that came from many of the speakers was ‘Local first: think and act local’.
Some of the other key takeaways and sound bites are set out below:
- Jorge Wernli, Vifor Pharma Emerging markets does not equal BRIC – think of the long tail
- Ifti Ahmed, Merck Serono There is no substitute for local experience and planning. There are pockets of excellence and local experience is unevenly distributed. Invest in your people and new skills
- Adam O’Sullivan @Blue_Latitude Digital has become a key complimentary communications channel and a huge opportunity for pharma in emerging markets. It is particularly effective when going beyond tier 1 and 2 cities and reaching the remaining 80% of the population
- Len Starnes @lenstarnesThere are big opportunities for Pharma to use HCP social networks alongside their sales force effort
- 49% of Indian doctors online are using social networks but there is no authentication, resulting in low value discussion
- 60% of all Chinese doctors are on dxy.cn and 40% on haoyisheng.com
- Jose Lourenco, Lilly Lies, damn lies and statistics ……… forecasting is not an exact science!
- Tamara Weber, Vifor Pharma Market access is complicated, convoluted and time consuming but it is worth the pain
- Aleksandra Misiorowska, Merck Serono Emerging Markets ARE brand driven despite the push for generics and need of cost savings – particularly for mature products
- Michele Markus @CDMinEM You can learn from outside your territory but geographic proximity is not always the best place to start. Look to learn and work with markets that share similar dynamics – even if they are on the other side of the world!
- Mahesh Satya, Sanofi India is country of contradictions. Doctors in India are regarded as ‘demigods’ and influenced by knowledge above money:
- 30% Indian pop live in cities but account for 60% of pharma business
- There are 688,000 doctors in India (90% are GPs)
- Jiri Hermanek, Genzyme Orphan drugs can find a place and financing in state funded markets
- Pavel Ivanov, Geropharm The Russian market is attractive for foreign companies if you use the right entry strategies
- Levant Aslan, Janssen Turkey Turkish population: Average age 28, 3G, spend more than 30hrs/week online – opportunity to engage with new audience via digital channels. In fact skip the internet and go straight to mobile
- Duncan Trew, Novartis There is no substitution for on the ground, local knowledge. Without this, you will fail.
Best quotes of the conference:
- Satya Mahesh – “You can say what you want about India, and you will be right”
- Pavel Ivanov – “Life expectancy is 53 years for a male Russian. If a man gets to 60 and he gets lung cancer we give him a medal”
- Adam O’Sullivan – “ROI is a vengeful god”
- Ifti Ahmed – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”
If you weren’t able to be at the conference but would like Adam O’Sullivan to present ‘Digital Marketing – Pharma and the Emerging Markets’ over web conference, please email Sophie and she will organise it for you.