Home Insights Looking back at Reuters EU: Key topics we’re still talking about

Looking back at Reuters EU: Key topics we’re still talking about

Although it’s been a while since Reuters EU, there are a number of key topics that left a lasting impression.

Hear from Tom Griffiths, Head of PX+CX and Isobel Donaldson, Chief of Staff, Head of Strategy, Inizio Engage below, who share key insights into topics we’re still talking about at Inizio post-Reuters. You can also contact us to learn more.


1: ‘What can’t we do?’ The industry is seeing a mindset shift when it comes to embracing challenges such as access, launch strategy and patient and customer centricity. We’re now in problem-solving mode, instead of being stuck at ‘it’s too complex and buzzwordy, my customers prefer the good old days’.

Across the product lifecycle, we’re moving towards a capability problem, which is much easier to fix than the generational skepticism towards anything ‘new.’ As more sales reps, MSLs, brand marketers, and medical leads embrace technology, customer-led planning, omnichannel and AI, they are realizing that, when you ask, ‘what can’t we do?’, the answers are reducing.

All the above means we can work smarter, and in an industry so grounded in data and proof, we can start pragmatically; we can test, learn, refine, and use these planning frameworks and automation tools to make better decisions with our customers.

Nazaré, an Inizio Engage company, ran a workshop looking at the future skills gaps in customer engagement and how the industry might address them, and although the focus was on ‘what’s most important?’ across new hires, outsourcing, building internally, and the F2F vs omnichannel debate, we reframed this as ‘what’s stopping you?’.

In some instances, it’s mindset, in others, it’s capabilities. Either way, these are fixable and as Isobel Donaldson highlighted on day one: “The future is already here. We know what good looks like, it’s just in pockets of excellence and needs to become more mainstream and universally adopted.”


2: Data is nothing without action.

Whether you’re at the discovery phase, launch strategy, on-the-ground CX planning or empowering patients, it’s what you do with data that counts.

Focusing externally (through data and insights), on the real world, with real people, will help you succeed internally; making informed decisions that achieve your strategic objectives more efficiently and effectively.

Getting your activity ‘right’ first time means starting with the customer. Continuing to succeed, means staying with the customer; continuously working to understand the otherwise ‘unseen’ patient, and ensuring that all audiences have what they need, where and when they need it, to make the best decisions so we can all achieve the best outcomes.

In summary, what’s the point in listening to your customers if you’re not going to do anything good with what you’ve learnt?

Dr Christian Veltens made the above points, as he spearheads a Voice of the Customer workstream at Roche. The industry has moved on from saying it’s patient-centric; it’s beginning to live it and prove it. Don’t just turn data into insights, or use it to prove a singular point, change what you’re doing and do it better. Get it right first time and continue to evolve with your customers.


3: Launch time already? Walk with the patient, work with the customer

What’s the key to a successful launch?

Damien Bailly at Astellas said “Follow the patient, follow the customer”, and asked “What do our patients and customers need from us?”. Our answer: To be heard, to see themselves and their unmet needs in the treatments we develop, and the information we share. They want useful and valuable materials, grounded in a strategy, realized through a plan that is built with them, not for them.

“And what do we need from them?” Damien answered this perfectly: “The style, content, and usefulness of the people (reps, MSLs) I’m interacting with should have me interested in the next interaction. I want to know about patient stories and the real-world information that isn’t included in standard sales materials.”

What’s in it for me?

Broadly speaking, Nicola Bedlington, former Secretary General, European Patients’ Forum agreed when discussing the European regulatory environment; changes need to be about public health, ensuring patients have access to medications, that unmet needs are driving changes in the regulatory framework, and that patient involvement is harnessed to improve the regulatory environment ensuring it’s fit for purpose. We need to consider personal needs as well as clinical needs; quality of life should be pushing access and availability at the sharp end, so consider this at drug discovery.

The definition of clinical unmet needs could lead to the declassification of diseases, and mean patients with certain conditions have no treatment for a condition that has a huge negative impact on their quality of life.

There are, of course, advances in rare disease but 95%* of patients living with a rare disease don’t have access to the right medicines. Patients can help us change this. Involving patients is crucial.


And although there was much more to highlight, we will finish on where to start:

When a panel of product launch experts, including our very own Antonio Iervolino from Putnam, an Inizio Advisory company, were asked to consider one thing we should get right when launching a new treatment (regardless of TA or market), here’s what they said:

Get ready for the launch

  • Globally, keep an open mind. We need to be innovating these drugs in lockstep with our customers (HCPs and patients)
  • Locally, follow the 80:20 rule (focus on the 20% of tactics which will result in 80% impact), highlighting the value we will deliver to the healthcare industry
  • Start early, even when you don’t have any data to talk about yet
  • Really understand your customers unmet needs
  • Reimagine your #GTM model based on the above
  • Engage and collaborate with your healthcare ecosystem partners/stakeholders to accelerate patient access


And finally, some quickfire takeaways:

  • Digital where possible, human where necessary
  • Embrace data and analytics capabilities; do something with the insight
  • Use AI to highlight the human
  • Continuously develop your script with your patients and customers. What’s stopping you?

To learn more about our key takeaways, and how we can support you in your commercialization and clinical development journey, contact us: https://inizio.com/contact/


Written by Tom Griffiths, Head of PX+CX and Isobel Donaldson, Chief of Staff, Head of Strategy, Inizio Engage.

* https://www.rarecoalition.com/wp-content/uploads/ODA-Overview.pdf