Greg Woodley, Marketing and Communications Director at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Guest Post: #Beatboxcough

Greg Woodley, Marketing and Communications Director at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
Greg Woodley, Marketing and Communications Director at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

To everyone at Boehringer Ingleheim I would like to say thanks for supporting Lung Cancer Awareness month this November. We would also like to say a huge thanks to all those involved in the Beat Box Collective Cough Campaign for delivering a truly innovative and impactful campaign  which is really going to make a difference.    I’m the Marketing Director at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and it is some of the best awareness work I’ve seen.  We’re the only Lung Cancer charity in the UK and we’ve been fighting lung cancer for 25 years – I’d like to tell you a little about one of the biggest cancer challenges the NHS faces.  Continue reading Guest Post: #Beatboxcough

Using the WWHAM Pathway in pharmacy to open up a sensitive conversation with patients

The WWHAM Pathway is a tool commonly used in pharmacy to support both pharmacists and counter assistants in opening up a conversation with patients and finding out more about their condition. Generally, pharmacy teams are familiar with the WWHAM questions and how they can be best used in order to deal with common ailments.

Understanding the WWHAM Pathway:

  1. Who is the medicine for? Customers may be asking on behalf of someone else
  2. What are the symptoms? Pharmacy staff can expand on this question to get a full understanding of the symptoms
  3. How long has the patient had the symptoms? Minor ailments can clear up within a few days. Somebody who is experiencing long term symptoms may need to speak to the pharmacist.
  4. What Action has been taken already? This will avoid recommending the same product that a customer has already tried. If a product hasn’t worked it may be best to refer them to the pharmacist.
  5. Are they taking any other medication? This includes prescribed medicines and OTC, herbal or other supplements which can interact with other medicines.

Continue reading Using the WWHAM Pathway in pharmacy to open up a sensitive conversation with patients

Dealing with Change

JLXDNN5BNEAs the world’s largest family owned pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim has been committed to developing innovative medicines since 1885 and as the market has changed, so have we.

We have implemented models into our business that mean we are equipped to cope with the rapid changes in the external environment of the pharmaceutical industry in 2015 and for the years ahead. For example, we are reshaping the way we work with important NHS customers through Account Management – with the focus being on how we work together with them as partners. The well-structured change processes we have in place will help and support all employees to better understand BI culture, values and vision.

Part of that vision comes from what sets us apart from the rest of many other players in the industry. Our driving force is not to please the Square Mile or Wall Street but to fulfil our pledge to improve people’s lives across the globe.

Let me just highlight three projects that give a glimpse into how we are trying to make good on that pledge. Continue reading Dealing with Change

The Changing Face of Pharmaceutical Sales

Anna Race
Anna Race

The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly changing. Our customers and the economic environment are changing. Our family owned structure has allowed us the flexibility to invest over many years in new medicines, our people and our business.

But as we see the pace of change accelerating, we have to prepare ourselves to be successful in the future.

So, as we begin to work differently with our partners in the NHS (see for example our guest post from Fran, our NHS Leadership Fellow), we also need to think differently about the roles our own people do. For example, we are now focussing on the work of the ‘Key Account Manager’. Continue reading The Changing Face of Pharmaceutical Sales

Guest Post: Why blogging is essential for pharma

Paul Tunnah
Paul Tunnah

Solving problems is about collaboration – it’s about finding others with the right skills and inclination to help identify a solution. When people are asked about what they value most in life it’s not uncommon to hear ‘family’ and ‘health’ at the top of their mind, so it’s fair to assume that problems with our health are the most pressing ones we will ever face. Therefore, they are the most important areas for collaboration.

I would argue that many of the health problems facing society today, from chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes through to acute threats like cancer, can actually only be solved by collaboration across all the healthcare stakeholders. The pharma industry may be the one developing medicines, but the doctors and patients need to have access to them and use them effectively for them to have an impact. They are increasingly judged by their value in the real-world that we live in every day, not the clinical trial setting. Continue reading Guest Post: Why blogging is essential for pharma

Health Policy Briefing Document launches at Reception in Parliament

Parliamentary launch of BI Health Policy Briefing
Parliamentary launch of BI Health Policy Briefing

Tuesday 20th October 2015 saw the Communications Team launch BI’s health policy briefing document in the Strangers Dining Room at the House of Commons. The policy document has been developed by the team to outline specific asks of the recently elected Government on issues such as NICE, the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), Specialised Commissioning and in the therapy areas where we major.

Coinciding with the State Visit to Parliament by the President of China, there was a moment when it looked like people weren’t going to be able to gain access to the building, but we remained calm and welcomed over 50 guests to our reception. These were made up of a wide range of our stakeholders, including MPs from all sides of the House, Lords with an interest in Health, staff from the Department of Health and NHS England – including the Chair of NICE and the National Clinical Director for Diabetes – and a range of clinical stakeholders who had come to hear what we had to say, along with representatives from patient organisations with whom we have been working closely over the last few years. Continue reading Health Policy Briefing Document launches at Reception in Parliament

NICE and the Value of New Medicine

The great and good of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are today at their annual conference in Liverpool, so now feels like a good time to look at how the agency has developed since its launch in 1999 and its plans going forward.

NICE says its Health Technology Assessment (HTA) guidances and clinical guidelines help health and social care professionals deliver the best possible care based on the best available evidence and make the best use of their money in the NHS. However, the agency’s efforts to balance clinical and cost effectiveness and the methodology used in its HTAs regularly come under fire, especially by companies who have seen their treatments turned down for use on the National Health Service. One of the reasons for this is often that whilst NICE seek expert clinical and patient opinion, it can sometimes seem as if the patient’s voice is heard as a whisper compared to the weight of academic science taken in to consideration during the process. Continue reading NICE and the Value of New Medicine

Guest Post: My experience working with BI as an NHS Fellow

Fran Lowery
Fran Lowery

I am currently employed by the NHS working as a Cancer Services Manager at Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation NHS Trust (RDEFT) in Exeter. I was seeking a leadership development opportunity and applied for a 1-year NHS Fellow post with BI through the NHS Leadership Academy. Following a successful interview I started working with BI two days per week from 1 July, starting a fantastic opportunity to work with pharma to benefit patients and develop my leadership skills.

Over the past two months I have been warmly welcomed into BI by a variety of teams including the Brand Managers, Account Managers, training team, Public Affairs & Patient Advocacy and Market Access, Pricing and Outcomes Research. I have met a wide range of staff to discuss and understand the issues which BI faces, and offer advice or information aiming to help from an NHS viewpoint. I’ve been involved with a number of really interesting pieces of detailed work. This has included reviewing the commissioning process for one of BI’s medicines which is due to be launched soon. I have also being involved with service improvement days to review the business planning process. Taking the opportunity to review strategic documents and comment on them from an NHS perspective has been useful to try to help to align the language used by the NHS with BI.

Continue reading Guest Post: My experience working with BI as an NHS Fellow

Guest Post: Asthma UK’s Andrew Proctor on “When simplicity can save lives”

Tackling asthma review DNAs with surprisingly easy measures can save lives – and clinician stress

Andrew Proctor - Director of Advice and Support, Asthma UK
Andrew Proctor – Director of Advice and Support, Asthma UK

When former star of The Apprentice, Stuart Baggs died in the summer from an asthma attack at just 27 years of age, it caused ripples across the national news. Media interest focused on his celebrity and relatively young age, but also that he didn’t have a severe form of the condition. The sad truth is that this wasn’t an isolated incident – three people die from asthma every day. We know that every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack. The National Review of Asthma Deaths published last year revealed that over half those who died were being treated for mild or moderate asthma, and many of these deaths could have been prevented with better routine asthma care. It’s frightening to witness a child, business colleague, friend or family member having an asthma attack, and utterly tragic when anyone loses a loved one through a preventable asthma attack.   Continue reading Guest Post: Asthma UK’s Andrew Proctor on “When simplicity can save lives”

Campaigning to raise awareness of lung cancer


The Welsh rugby team and ex Wales player Jonathan Davies OBE are helping to raise awareness of lung cancer. Each year in Wales, deaths from lung cancer account for over one fifth of all cancer deaths(1). As outcomes for lung cancer in Wales are very poor; it ranks 28 out of 29 European countries(2), the team agreed to help us, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff to highlight the problem. Continue reading Campaigning to raise awareness of lung cancer