May 26 2020
Recharge and reconnect!
Annual General Meeting Julie Arel
Julie Arel, the President of the PMCQ, opened the first virtual meeting and covered the Annual General Meeting:
- Julie thanked all the educational sponsors and the corporate partners as well as all the supporting partners.
- Regarding the club’s financial standing, the year-end question for the finances is for last season (July 2018 – June 2019). The club’s revenues come mainly from sponsorship and memberships dollars. The major expenses are the monthly meetings and administrative costs are kept at 20% of the total revenue and expenses which is consistent with previous years.
- Julie requested a motion to approve the audited financial statement and to close the Board of Director nominations. The members have approved both motions using the chat function to vote.
- Our next meeting is on June 16th, 2020 and will feature a presentation by Hani Kafoury (Psychologist, Coach, Facilitator, Author) and Vincent Letourneau (Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Immunology) who will be speaking to us about managing stress when the world has come to a halt. Don’t miss it!
- Julie then introduced Iain Boomer who moderated the virtual mixer session.
Virtual Mixer Iain Boomer
Iain Boomer led the virtual mixer session using a new platform called Thought Exchange to gather and share feedback in real time while engaging the members creatively. The top trends identified with Thought Exchange were then further discussed in different virtual breakout rooms.
Looking ahead, what opportunities will post-COVID bring to Pharma/Biotech in Canada?
- The pandemic seems to be pushing the digital trend that was slowly taking place in the pharmaceutical industry. The situation forces stakeholders to be more creative with technology in a continuous effort to support and engage healthcare professionals (HCPs) through different communication channels. Some of the digital solutions and new approaches will stay on long after the COVID reality as we discover and develop new electronic approaches to our daily tasks.
- Most participants have reported that HCPs are quite receptive and open to virtual meetings. This virtual transition also had a positive impact on the quality of interactions as most calls are longer than usual and happen more frequently.
- The impact on pharma suppliers seems to be significantly variable. Some are finding themselves with a surprising load of new projects while others have seen a slowdown in their activities.
- The COVID situation is also impacting how typical scientific information is distributed to HCPs. The printing has been significantly slowed down during the COVID. Meanwhile, electronic documents (e.g. e-prints) are much more requested than before and this brings down the cost associated with information dissemination.
- Sales representative are very enthusiastic about new digital tools and want to make sure they have access to the most up-to-date technology in order to stay relevant and engage HCPs. They are exploring new digital solutions such as prescription e-cards that make it possible to process sampling programs and co-pay services remotely for both patients and HCPs.
- The pandemic has also impacted physicians’ clinical practice and HCPs are looking into adding more clinical tools to their electronic medical records (EMRs). The clinics that had already integrated EMRs in their practice were capable of enabling HCPs to work from home. The other clinics found it more challenging to adapt to this new environment.
- Currently, some platforms involving secure payment transactions have evolved quite rapidly to adapt to the situation. However, other platforms used for presentations are not evolving as quickly, and this is impacting some of the activities/programs planned ahead.
- The COVID situation brought to light the value that the pharmaceutical industry can bring to patients.
- The members see multiple opportunities to do things differently not only during the COVID reality but also once things are back to normal. It’s time to rethink the way we approach things and prepare ourselves to evolve and integrate new approaches for the long run.
- The COVID situation also highlighted the importance to integrate the possibility of working from home in the pharmaceutical industry. Many functions can work from home regularly without impacting their productivity.
If PMCQ goes digital for a large portion of next season, what offerings, topics and services would bring value to you?
- Consider integrating “Walk & Talk” meetings.
- Members have suggested to host more meetings in the morning as people have more energy and will be more engaged in the different discussions. Also, it was suggested to consider shortening the length of the meetings and make sure they don’t go over 1.5 hours.
- Establish a forum where members can continually exchange ideas and share their experience during the current situation. This will allow members to have a consistent platform to connect with others between the monthly events as well.
- Develop a series of short meetings where one subject can be discussed more in depth.
- How the COVID situation is continually evolving and impacting the pharmaceutical industry.
- People’s response and approach to constant change.
- What HCPs and patients are looking for in this new context.
- Provide and share practical information, best practices that can help in daily functions.
- How to compete in a digital world.
- Options to interact with each other.
- Sharing best practices to cope with the COVID world from a personal standpoint.
- Customer journey mapping to optimize interactions.
What are some things we should keep doing once we return to a “new” normal post COVID?
- The top-rated thought was to continue working from home when possible as this can have positive outcomes for both the environment and all travelling expenses.
Freelance Medical Writer