PharmaTimes talks to some of pharma and healthcare’s most promising young leaders, already making waves in their companies and brightening the future

David Paterson, Chiesi Ltd, Regional Business Manager

What path have you taken to your current role?

I graduated from Teesside University in 2013 with a BSc Hons in Sports Science before starting my career with Ashfield. I worked as part of a dedicated contract team for Chiesi Ltd as an Account Executive, before being taken onto Chiesi headcount in 2016. To improve my business knowledge of the entire region and coaching ability, I then applied for the additional role of field trainer. I was later promoted to North East Account Manager, operating at CCG and payer level responsible for securing formulary and guideline inclusion. During this time, I was nominated to attend the ‘Chiesi Talent Development Programme’ held in the Business School at Bradford University. After a further three years, I then successfully applied for the role of Regional Business Manager overseeing ten direct reports across primary and secondary care.

What attracted you to working in the pharma industry?

Having competed at a regional level in cycling, I am naturally competitive and a proportion of my family are in sales. A close friend has also worked in pharma sales for over 20 years. As I came towards the end of my degree in 2013, we had lengthy discussions around utilising the science knowledge I had gained and my suitability for the industry. Having responsibility for key accounts and the chance to demonstrate sales prowess over colleagues excited me greatly.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?

From first joining the company, Chiesi encourage employees to have a detailed personal development plan that is shared with their line manager. A lesson I try to pass on to colleagues is how much I believe this has played a crucial part in my career development. It allowed me to plot milestones towards my long-term goal and then explore any gaps that needed addressing in terms of experience. Once the gaps were identified, it became easier to liaise with my line manager and the training department to ascertain suitable courses such as ‘Leadership without Authority’, ‘First Line Manager Training’, ‘ILM Level 3 Coaching’ in addition to shadowing opportunities that could help bridge these gaps.

How have you made a significant contribution to your company?

Being a typical competitive salesperson, I have always set myself stretching goals in each of the roles I have worked at Chiesi, the first of which I achieved in 2016 by being awarded ‘Account Executive of the Year’ for the UK. As an Account Manager however, I pride myself on a record of achieving 100% formulary inclusion across the North East region for every product launch we have had. In terms of my current role, it allows me to have a direct involvement in recruitment and do everything I can to support the individual sales performances and career progression of my team members.

What do you hope to achieve in your role at Chiesi?

My first aim is to continue to establish myself as a valuable member of the RBM team in the UK. I hope to coach and support the performance of my own team to ensure the North East significantly contributes to the success Chiesi achieves over the coming years. On a personal level, it would be great if I can return the favour by inspiring those who have an ambition of climbing the career pathway.