PMLiVE's annual PMEAs, now in its 19th year, had its highest number of entries yet, with the largest range of companies entering the competition in almost two decades. This was reflected in the number of attendees at the event, with an impressive 430+ industry professionals present on the night.
Keynote Speaker Mark Ormrod, an ex-Royal Marine, Invictus Games competitor and author, kicked off the night with a moving and inspiring view of his life since being injured. The main awards ceremony was hosted by broadcaster and presenter Fergus Walsh, who caught everyone’s attention with images of his brain scans!
There were a total of 15 categories this year – the entry criteria and categories are reviewed each year to reflect the ongoing changes in the dynamic healthcare landscape.
In addition to the main categories, there was also a surprise award this year, The Judges’ Special Recognition Award, which reflected the impressively high standards of the entries received.
A brand new category was also introduced for 2019, Excellence in Pharma Brand Management.
Taking home this award was Takeda and Uptake Strategies for ENTYVIO’s Brand Healing, which positively impacted thousands of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease patients across the UK, thanks to an innovative brand strategy.
According to the PMEA judges, this entry "had impressive research, objectives and evaluation and was very impressive throughout. It has classically constructed market insights, converted into brand actions that follow the immutable laws of marketing with a single minded goal."
As well as taking home this new award, Takeda had an impressive night, culminating in winning the coveted Lucid Group Award for Company of the Year. Takeda also won in three other categories: Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships for A Gut Reaction with support from IQVIA, Excellence in Patient Education and Support for NINLARO Patient Support Programme with support from Apodi, and Excellence in Product Introductions for ALUNBRIG with support from Rock Unlimited.
The judges commented: “Takeda is an extremely impressive operation with a fantastic team ethos. The company is forward thinking, leads from the front, exemplifies its values and has an impressive list of achievements while successfully navigating a sizeable integration.”
Also shining on the night was Takeda Pharmaceuticals Europe/EUCAN, with support from Ashfield Insight & Performance and Ashfield Healthcare Communications, which took home the award for Excellence in Capability Development for their innovative campaign, A Fresh Approach to Data Training for MSLs.
The PMEA judges said: “This training programme for MSLs is creative and innovative in its approach to training, such as an escape room, theatre and speed dating. It has clear metrics set from the beginning, which are measured and well researched.”
A big surprise on the night was the Judges’ Special Recognition Award, which recognised two stand-out entries for their impressive work in the industry.
Dr Paul Stuart-Kregor, PMEA chair of judges, said: “This year, the judges decided that they wanted to recognise two particular entries that stood out as interesting, fresh and different. Both these entries had great merit beyond the criteria for the categories in which they were entered. They both demonstrated breakthrough thinking and facilitate hope for future care.”
The two winners of this impressive award were Cambridge Rare Disease Network and Havas Life Medicom for their entry RAREfest, and King’s College London and Four Health for the GLAD I Took Part campaign.
A consistent favourite among the audience is the PMEA Support Agency of the Year. Any healthcare agency, consultancy or group working in global, European or UK healthcare environment that provides a support service to pharmaceutical company clients can enter this category.
In the running for this prestigious award were 90TEN, Brandcast Health, Excerpta Medica, Havas Life Medicom, Makara Health Communications and McCann Health Medical Communications.
However, only one could take home the prize, and 90TEN was ultimately crowned Support Agency of the Year.
The judges commented that 90TEN “is creative, energetic and has strong relationships with its pharma clients, delivering on some high profile, creative campaigns”.
With the celebrations continuing into the early hours of the morning, and attendees networking and living it up on the dance floor, the evening was a definite success!