Words by Helena Beer
December is always a time of reflection and resolution on the year just gone and looking ahead to the next. The concept of winding down for the festive season can be somewhat of a pipe dream as successes are celebrated, failures are pondered and learned from, challenges are determined and action planning becomes the name of the game both personally and professionally.
One of the things that’s stood out this year compared to the previous two has been the return of in-person conferences after a long hiatus during the pandemic. This issue of GOLD contains highlights from two of the most recent: Reuters Pharma 2022 and FT Live’s Global Pharma and Biotech Summit, both of which offered fascinating insights for marketing and medical affairs executives. We’ve picked out some of the recurring themes, including how pharma can collect and utilise real-world data for rare diseases, navigate the complex world of generics marketing and support inequalities caused by the so-called postcode health lottery.
The latter is something that particularly caught my eye when putting together this issue. The fact that health outcomes are often determined by someone’s postcode – or ZIP code for our readers across the Atlantic – more so than their genetic code is a stark reality. Healthy life expectancy can differ so much between countries, counties and localities and this is evidence enough that pharma must act. We’ve spoken a lot this year about the benefits of decentralised clinical trials, and this is certainly a good place to start to ensure greater accessibility and diversity in all of its forms.
Refocusing on patient centricity could be another key strategy in this area. It’s something that pharma has embraced and championed a lot over the years, after all, everything the industry does is for the benefit of patients. But as our patient insights feature explains, what starts as a good intention doesn’t always translate into successful, concrete action.
As 2023 moves ever closer, I would urge you all to assess the difference you can make to patients over the coming year. Positive health outcomes shouldn’t rely on a postcode, so what strategies can you implement in your role to ensure patient centricity really is at the heart of everything you and your teams do?
I hope you have a wonderful festive season, whatever you’re celebrating, and from the GOLD team, we wish you a very happy and healthy new year.
This Editor's Letter features in GOLD 25 – read the full issue here.