Ebony Samuels, Parexel International, Vice President

What attracted you into the pharma industry after completing your PhD in psychopharmacology?

I have always been interested in health and medicine, and the Pharma industry was an ideal way for me to focus on progress and innovation in this field. I knew I wanted to be in a role that would make a real difference, and benefit patients globally. Being able to contribute in a small way to patients all over the world having access to new medicines that can improve their lives is extremely satisfying, and makes the hard days worthwhile. I also knew I wanted to work in a team environment that was varied and challenging, with continual opportunity for self-development and learning.

What are you most proud of having achieved in your career so far?

I have focused during my career on value strategy, and how a product’s value story is developed, evolved, and communicated. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to build a completely new approach to this type of activity, ensuring a focus on strategy and value from early in product development that evolves through to product launch and beyond. This approach is now our gold-standard, and we use the value framework to support many clients and products around the world.

What do you hope to achieve next at Parexel?

I plan to continue to focus on value strategy, pushing the boundaries of the ‘traditional’ approach and finding new ways to identify, support, and strengthen a product’s value story more broadly. At Parexel we work as a close team, and my hope is that I will continue to support our team to achieve their own career goals and successes. I am proud to work in a team that truly cares about what we do, both for our clients and for patients, and this focus on quality is hugely important to me and something I will continue to focus on in the future.

How do you continue to drive progress, both personally and for your team?

We have the advantage of working in an environment that encourages new ideas and allows for innovation and progress. We are continually working as a team to drive progress in pricing and market access, and within that I personally will continue to focus on innovation and improvement in the approach to defining a product’s value. I work closely with our team to foster personal development for everyone. One of our core values is that “we care”, and this really underpins all progress – the desire to succeed and improve in all we do.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

That the smallest activity contributes to improving patient lives. The nature of the work we do is that there are some difficult days, short timelines, laborious tasks that need completing, and other challenges that need to be overcome. All of this is essential to bring a new treatment to a patient that really needs it, and although we cannot often see the end result our contributions are helping people all over the world every day. What we do really matters, and doing it to the best of our ability is essential in advancing disease prevention and cure.