The 21st annual PMEAs returned to host attendees gathering in-person for a live awards show to recognise the achievement in pharmaceutical marketing excellence.

The annual PMEAs, now in its 21styear, saw a high number of entries with a variety of companies vying for each of the 12 awards. This year’s PMEAs welcomed an excellent turnout and the excitement from the participants was palpable following the COVID-19 restrictions experienced last year.

The awards this year welcomed back NHS GP and media medic Dr Zoe Williams as its host. In her opening speech, Dr Williams encouraged guests to take a moment to reflect on the 18 months that had passed with regards to both their work and their personal lives.

She acknowledged the losses faced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on her own experience as a GP but also as a volunteer at London’s Nightingale Hospital during the first wave. In her reflection, Dr Williams recognised the importance of events like PMEA in celebrating achievements in scientific excellence after so much uncertainty.

Each year, the categories for PMEA are carefully reviewed in order to meaningfully reflect and demonstrate the continual changes happening within the pharmaceutical and medical fields.

This year there were 12 categories and a high number of entries, with many companies hoping to take home an award. Among them was a special category for 2021, the award for Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis.

The winner of this award was the National Clinical Homecare Association (NCHA) and the National Homecare Medicines Committee (NHMC) with support from their sponsor Mednet Group.

Their entry On the Front Line - Behind Extraordinary Achievement You’ll Always Discover Extraordinary Collaboration underscored the importance of improving homecare medicine services for patients and was a testament to the achievements that are possible through teamwork.

The judges presiding over this category congratulated the NCJHA and NHMC on their entry, commenting “it was highly collaborative, innovative and very quick off the mark. The feedback from the NHS was impressive and the execution was outstanding”.

AstraZenenca, MHP Communications and GCI also reaped the rewards of a successful partnership when their campaign titled ‘New Normal Same Cancer’ won the award forExcellence in Collaboration and Partnerships.

It was celebrations all round for Novartis UK, winning not one but two awards for Excellence in Patient Education and SupportandExcellence in Engagement through Digital Channels. The company took to Twitter to share its success online.

In the same Tweet, Novartis took the opportunity to celebrate Takeda UK’s win as PMEA Company of the Year, while the judging panel added that Takeda UK was “authentic and honest about the challenges they faced and it was clear that their customers and their people were at the core of many of their decisions. It was refreshing to listen to how they managed the challenges of remote working and the significant changes in the NHS”.

All eyes were on which company would be named as PMEA Support Agency of the Year. Entrants include any healthcare agency, group or consultancy working in UK, European or global healthcare environments that contribute a support service to clients of pharmaceutical companies.

The sponsor for the 2021 category this year was Makara Health, who won this category in 2020. Competing for this award were earthware, GCI Health, MHP Communications, Purple Agency, and Attigo.
Ultimately, the award could only go to one winner and after much deliberation, Attigo was awarded the trophy for Support Agency of the Year.
The award for Excellence in Capability Development sponsored by Havas Life Medicom was awarded to Allergan Aesthetics (an AbbVie company) for their entry The World of Knowledge Race. This win saw a shared success between Allergan Aesthetic’s campaign supporters Makara Health and Actando.

The World of Knowledge Racewas a game created by the team at Allergan Aesthetics, Makara Health and Actando as an innovative means of providing interactive online training and support to employees during lockdown. The game reinforced the importance of collaboration and healthy competition with the judging panel remarking that it was “innovative and showed a fresh approach to learning”.

An evening of celebrations followed with dancing and networking continuing into the early hours of the morning, marking the end of another very successful PMEA show.

The full PMEA 2021 results can be viewed here.