Cancer Care: A Collaboration of Science and Technology

by Emmanuel Blin, Chief Strategy Officer

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s the healthcare environment rapidly evolves, there are significant implications for companies whose main drive is to discover life-saving medical treatments and deliver them to patients.

I had the pleasure of participating on a panel this week during the Financial Times Pharmaceutical and Biotech Conference, “The Future Commercial Models of Pharma” with Laurie Olsen, EVP, Strategy, Portfolio and Commercial, Pfizer, and Michel Vounatsos, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Biogen, to provide our perspectives on how the transforming healthcare treatment landscape affects the commercial approaches we take as we seek to get our medicines to patients faster, with greater efficiency, to all corners of the world.

Immuno-Oncology research has ushered in a new treatment paradigm in cancer care. In today’s environment, medical and scientific innovations are moving at unprecedented rates, driven forward by a convergence in science and technology.

Our drive is to create medicines that will change the face of disease and see patients living longer, with a greater quality of life.

It’s changing the way we look at cancer. It’s changing patient expectations and how information is disseminated. Regulatory bodies are moving faster and acting as a collaborative force to bring critical medicines to market sooner. Patients now have access to an immense, sometimes overwhelming, amount of information. The imperative nature of education throughout the spectrum from patients to healthcare providers has become more apparent than ever. Treatments are moving from the lab to the community at an accelerated rate, requiring local oncologists to have a working knowledge of vastly different treatment paradigms. In addition to conducting the research and development needed to discover treatments that improve the health of sick patients, innovators are increasingly required to produce evidence of not only safety and efficacy, but also value. Costs and access play a determining role in delivering these treatments to the patients that need them most. It’s also changing the way we operate as a company, towards increased nimbleness and efficiency across all operating entities.

Commercial models do not operate in a silo. Rather, they are intricately connected to the overarching engagement process, from R&D to IT and Medical through an increasingly efficient supply chain. The focus is less on the model itself and more on how commercialization is underpinned by the entire corporate structure. We’re becoming more focused and streamlined to match the pace of rapid change. We’ve integrated or aligned our thinking in R&D and Commercial, as well as planning across areas to close gaps and accelerate development of medicines that will continue to transform care.

We are able to embrace change because the core focus of our efforts as a company has always remained the same. Our drive is to create medicines that will change the face of disease and see patients living longer, with a greater quality of life. We never forget who we’re working for – patients who are waiting.