PharmaTimes talks to some of pharma and healthcare’s most promising young leaders, already making waves in their companies and brightening the future
Mark Butcher, Accord UK, Director of Marketing, Communication & PR
What is your background, and what does your current role involve?
I’ve had several different roles in different industries, giving me a very broad experience for my first role in pharma at GlaxoSmithKline as an Account Manager. I joined Actavis in 2013, now known as Accord UK, where I am Director of Marketing, Communication & PR and a member of the UK commercial leadership team. My responsibilities include developing and executing strategies and campaigns across integrated channels that deliver tangible results which ultimately help us achieve our mission to increase access to high quality, affordable medicines to patients.
Where have you made the most significant impact in your career so far?
When I joined Actavis (now Accord UK) it was a much smaller company than GSK but one with big aspirations. The marketing function was rudimentary and underestimated. I brought my experience of working for a large pharma company to build the marketing department into the cohesive high performing team it is today. It was a fantastic opportunity and as I lead my team in a company that has not only grown to be the largest supplier of medicines to the NHS, but is now evolving to create added value products that go beyond generics to create innovative patient-centric solutions, I am hugely proud.
What inspires you to succeed?
In the words of Frost “I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference” – I was a headstrong youngster and left my university course early. In a graduate-heavy industry, I’ve been driven to demonstrate that there is no one right way to success. That motivation has given me the confidence to think differently and forge my own path; an attribute that is very much supported by our senior leadership at Accord and has empowered me to build a successful department.
What do you hope to achieve in your role at Accord?
Every year, as the UK’s largest supplier of generic medicines we manufacture over five billion tablets in the UK, yet our research shows we are not getting the brand recall we should. My goal is to stop Accord being the biggest success secret in the pharma industry! Secondly, I am passionate about sharing what I have built to cultivate the next generation to come through and succeed. I aim to do all of this with a smile on my face and a sense of fun!
What is your vision for the future of healthcare marketing and PR?
The industry has come a long way since its bad boy reputation in the 90s, yet perceptions among the media and public haven’t caught up. My vision is to continue to change hearts and minds. For example, the UK writes the highest number of generic medicine prescriptions but has the lowest average prices in Europe. Last year, Accord UK supplied over 231 million packs of medicine at an average price of £1.10 per pack – that’s almost a month’s worth of prescription medicine at less than the price of a cup of coffee. I want to use stories such as this to continue to change outdated perceptions and to tell the story that those working within the industry already know with a view to making the healthcare industry THE place for ambitious aspiring marketeers.