A new emerging event for pharma: NEXT Pharma Summit

21st May 2019 by Asimina Pantazi

What are the most challenging aspects of pharma today? What should be the main focus for the industry going forwards?

These were the key questions behind the very first edition of NEXT Pharma Summit, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in May 2019.

The international experts who stepped on the stage expressed some key reflections: the challenge of gathering and sharing engaging information online, developing digital multichannel excellence, bridging the gap between pharma, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and individual patients, and understanding why pharma appears to be trailing behind all other industries in the race for a digital presence.

In a brilliant talk, Tim Cave (GSK) discussed the need for virtual communication channels in this day and age. He highlighted that in the coming years, 70% of HCPs will be digital natives. In his opinion, the pharmaceutical industry cannot quite capture a key need of this generation: going digital.

Doctors repeatedly express the desire for fast, accessible, digital information, and have been asking for virtual conferences, digital insights and virtual communication channels. However, there are many historical and regulatory reasons hindering the race to digitise pharma. Despite that, the industry must tackle this challenge and ensure it can be up to speed with the ever-evolving and constant technological development. Most consumer industries, such as transportation, communication and fintech have made a gigantic shift into digital – why can’t pharma?

Another great contribution was made by Laura Greco during both a talk and a group panel. A 40-year-old lawyer-turned-patient-advocate, with a stage 4 ALK+ lung cancer diagnosis, made a strong case for the patients’ right to be informed and involved in decisions about their own treatment.

She highlighted the value of social media during her patient journey. This hits home for many stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry – the value of sharing accurate, engaging and relevant content online will enable both HCPs and patients to access information and create closer ties with the community.

Laura Greco also discussed the need for transparency at the R&D stage. She reported often finding herself unaware of her personal patient history data being used in scientific publications, or not knowing the outcome of clinical trials she had personally been a part of. This is another opportunity for the industry to bridge a gap – patients and pharma should be able to work together to find answers and advance research.

Our very own founder Felix Jackson also gave a talk about Dynamic Digital Content & Real-Time Expert Engagement. He presented the growing need to turn data into actionable insights and improve current communication channels. A solution can be found if the pharmaceutical industry expands into new digital options, such as online content creation and Digital Advisory Boards.

Providing a digital space for HCPs to offer expert insights, which also doubles as a place for patients to efficiently liaise with pharma, can overcome some of the key barriers that we know are holding stakeholders back from a digital revolution. This could be a lack of human resource or talent, compliance barriers, or lack of financial support.

Our technology, medCrowd, offers a compliant and accessible option to help pharma transition into a digital route, in order to lead the conversation and easily discover actionable insights with Digital Advisory Boards.

We had a wonderful time at NEXT Pharma 2019, and we’re already getting ready for the NEXT Pharma Summit 2020!

The stunning backdrop of Dubrovnik will be expecting us once again on the 6th and 7th of May 2020, for a weekend packed with influential speakers, new ideas and incredible insights.

Did you attend NEXT Pharma 2018? What did you think of it? Get in touch and let us know!