Read the Conversation
EF: There was a conference recently focused on healthcare investment. If you were a speaker there, what message would you like to send?
MM: Think healthier, and more importantly, smart. There is not a better time than now to think about health. With the pandemic, we've seen that there are hundreds of opportunities to work on. Using technology, we enable different segments of the market, speeding up healthcare delivery. Technology is alongside healthcare more than ever, revolutionizing patient experience and maximizing outcomes.
EF: What was the role of IQVIA during these past two years?
MM: IQVIA has taken a protagonist role because of the nature of what we do for our customers, which are the pharma, biotech, and medical devices companies. Our most important assignment is to guide them with the information and insights we have from the data on the market. We delivered newsletters during the pandemic with all these insights, and we were closely measuring their reaction and feedback. We measured interactions for all the stakeholders within the company like the marketing team, sales and medical teams, to understand what was going on, and how they could react with the best information at hand.
At this very time, we understood that this information was of high value for other players in the economy, so we decided to provide free information for the whole market. We opened our doors and provided weekly information of different categories so that the market could understand what was going on. This role of providing guidance to the industry, with the data assets that we have was very well valued by the industry.
Our second role is being the leaders and strategic partners in technology for health. The industry needed to react very fast on their activities. In April 2020, we went from thousands of medical visits to physicians down to zero. All the commercial teams were at home and could not do their jobs as usual. These teams needed technology, guidance, and training to adapt to the new context. We played a very important role in helping the industry to adapt, providing specific tools that helped them engage with physicians in a compliant way, and delivering important messages to them.
We conducted specific primary research studies to understand what were physicians thinking, feeling and what they would expect from the industry. We provided information and technology solutions for the industry was the key role for IQVIA during these times.
EF: What are the lessons learned from managing during these times?
MM: As a technology company, we are a step ahead. We all had to adapt to this new environment. One of the things we learned is that remote working is something real, possible and very productive. One of the challenges we faced internally was to plan out how to stay productive when working remotely. We discovered that we were extremely productive. There is a world of possibilities by really leveraging technology. With the pharma companies, what we've seen is that leadership really made a difference. Some leaders used the pandemic as a catalyzer to accelerate change. Companies where leadership was not prepared or were not forward-looking, suffered a lot with a pandemic. The only thing they could do was to wait for this to go to get past and come back to the old world, which will not be the same anymore. Being flexible, and having the right leadership really made a difference from the companies I've seen that take advantage of the pandemic and the ones that really suffered from the pandemic.
EF: After this last year, what are you most proud of your team for? What message did you send to your team to kickstart the year?
MM: We definitely took care of the well-being of our teams, even throughout these difficult times. We learned to be empathetic with our teammates and their personal environment and lives, especially with those that did not have a working space at home. Our workload increased as our customers needed more information and guidance. We have learned how to set priorities and to respect people's time. We came together as a team. I think that in a way that this hasn't happened before. So we could have very productive calls.
Coming from a year of remarkable results, even with the pandemic, the message for my team was: “How can we build on what we have learned? How can we take this a step further, not just using digital tools and how we produce good results for our clients?”
It's very easy to connect with a purpose because clients are more important than the organization itself. I reminded them that solving our clients' problems generates increasing healthcare impact. So, we feel proud of what we do. My message is, let's continue this incredibly positive momentum that we have, and build on top of what we've learned.
EF: How was it for the northern Latam region in general? How did you see the product portfolio Performance evolution?
MM: We grew in every and each line of business. Information, Technology and Digital Solutions, Consulting, Primary intelligence. On the clinical trial side, IQVIA has more than 60 digital clinical trials. We think of technology transversely across the industry. Not just technology for commercial purposes, but also to enhance clinical study strategies.
EF: What is the role of technology in getting patients back to care?
MM: There are certain trends that got accelerated by COVID. So, in terms of digital, it's very obvious that we've understood the industry can grow a lot. Telemedicine, for example, is very important because it can facilitate access. It can speed up the delivery of care. In diagnostics, technology played a critical role also.
On the commercial side of the industry, the way they approach physicians and help approve educational platforms has also evolved with technology.
There is a big trend of personalized care, where treatments are individualized to maximize the health outcome. Technology has a number of applications. These applications will result in increasing the standard of care for our patients with individualized treatments, earlier diagnostic, and also taking a preventive approach to health.
EF: What were the services your customers were requesting the most during these past two years?
MM: Our customers wanted to understand, first of all, what happened with the market in terms of volume in sales. In certain categories, COVID has been really disastrous. In other categories, it was great.
The Pharma industry wanted to know how their specific portfolios would evolve. The result was clear when we did our first market overview for COVID. The market was not going to be negative. The pandemic is a health problem. People still need access to care, and this helped boost the market in this part of the world.
The second thing that our customers wanted to know was about the physicians' behaviour, and how would patients get access to medication.
EF: How did you see the reception in North LATAM of your latest product?
MM: The industry has been very open to our technology solutions because it's all about integration. Our motto is connected intelligence. If you can orchestrate and connect data, and translate this into information to make smarter decisions and work smarter, then the pharma industry will love it.
EF: IQVIA seems to be a strategic partner for the pharma company of the future. What are you most excited about this 2022?
MM: I am excited about how to build on what we have learned. I am excited about how companies continue to strengthen their digital capabilities. We see physicians wanting to keep a digital channel open with companies. In a research we did with almost 1000 physicians, they agreed that at least 1/3 of the communication should be digital. I'm excited about the long-lasting effect of what we've learned and implemented during COVID.
EF: Do you think these technologies and transformations came to stay?
MM: I think they're here to stay, and our research on physicians says they want them. When you talk to employees, they also agree that they should leverage digitalization and that they can be productive by working remotely. This is why these changes are here to stay. We've learned on different levels and different ways to better use technology. It has been already done in other industries and now it is the time for the pharmaceutical industry.
EF: Five years in the future when we look back to these times. How would you want to be remembered as a leader?
MM: I want to be remembered as a leader that performed well by putting people first. Being empathetic is important. Focusing on teamwork, making each of them feel valued, giving them autonomy. We created a culture of performance but also took good care of our people.