Rewarding the best marketing talent in pharma, the PharmaTimes Marketer of the Year Awards will take place in London on 9 November alongside Communications Team of the Year.

This year’s competition has attracted entries from a wide range of companies, including Celgene, Shire, Bayer, AbbVie, Eisai Europe, Novartis, MSD, Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk, Internis, Sanofi, HFA Healthcare Products, Sandoz and Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals among others. “Don’t miss out on this crucial opportunity to identify and benchmark talent within your organisation and against others in the industry,” says PharmaTimes business manager and competition lead, Luci Chalk.

Providing a way to assess and reward the competencies and potential of pharma marketers and teams, the PharmaTimes Marketer of the Year competition measures and further develops core capabilities, highlighting the crucial role marketing plays in our industry.

Categories include: Aspiring Marketer (someone not currently in a marketing role but who wishes to make the move into marketing in the future); New Marketer of the Year (0-3 years); Marketer of the Year (4 years plus); National Market Access Lead of the Year and Commercial Cross Functional Team of the Year.

Entrants must demonstrate a dynamic combination of knowledge, creativity and strategic thinking in real-time challenges within a protected environment. It’s a unique opportunity for all marketers, from aspiring to experienced, to sharpen their skills and showcase their talents against marketing professionals, industry-wide.

Thomas Weldhen of Napp Pharmaceuticals won Aspiring Marketer of the Year in 2016. He says: “I was delighted to win the 2016 Aspiring Marketer of the Year award, it meant a huge amount to me personally and really boosted my confidence. Internally it also raised my profile at my current company and has helped lead me into a new career as a Brand Manager, which I am thoroughly enjoying. The comprehensive feedback from the judges has also aided my development. Overall I found the whole experience to be immensely positive."

Shire International won ‘Company of the Year’ in 2014, awarded for overall success in the individual or team categories. Speaking at the time, Global Marketing Lead, Renate Specht Gryp said: “The PharmaTimes Marketer of the Year competition should be regarded as an excellent opportunity for companies to showcase and benchmark their marketing skills, expertise and thinking. It is the only competition that offers this opportunity where individuals also receive comprehensive feedback from senior marketers in the industry. It also provides a fantastic opportunity for networking within the industry.”

The Marketer and Communications Team of the Year steering group and judging panel comprises both senior industry leaders and key stakeholders. This esteemed committee of professionals provides a vital role in helping PharmaTimes to design the competition so that its content accurately reflects the latest business thinking and the environment in which marketers are working.

Steering group member Gary Killington set up consultancy firm, PI Partnership following 20 years in the industry covering a broad sweep of sales and marketing experience. There are a number of reasons why individuals and teams should participate in these competitions, he says, but crucially “beyond the usual marketing courses and internal training for marketing (if there is any) there is no real other way of a company knowing how well their marketers stack up in the real world.  The competition itself is a real learning experience and it is a rare opportunity to get independent quantitative and qualitative feedback on marketing competency.”

Neil Archer, regional general manager for central and eastern Europe at Celgene, agrees: “These competitions represent a truly unique way for the brightest and best in our Industry to pit their wits against each other,” he says. “There aren’t many days in the workplace when the full complement of both our technical and soft skills are tested to the max in such a concentrated period of time. The Marketer of the Year and Communications Team of the Year provide the forum for exactly that to happen in a stimulating, exhausting and overall, fun way.”

Designed specifically for agencies, Communications Team of the Year 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting competition with 11 teams already entered. Companies represented include Hanover, Aurora Healthcare Communications, Grace Communications, Porterhouse Medical, inVentive Health Communications, Edelman, AXON Communications, Hayward Medicals Communications and Publicis Resolute.

Once again, judges will be looking for evidence of pioneering thought processes, unexpected ways of using technology and data, and new attitudes towards marketing and communications.

Finalists will be asked to select the category that best suits their skill sets: the NHS Challenge or the International Challenge.

PharmaTimes Business Manager and competition lead, Anna Yeardley comments: “The competition continues to be important because it offers healthcare communication teams a very unique experience.  In a world where healthcare communications are evolving rapidly, the competitions provide the chance for agencies to put together a team to pit themselves against their peers in a challenging and unique environment, developing skills sets, problem solving techniques and creative thought processes.”

Publicis Resolute won the International Challenge in 2016. “At the finals day, the pressure was on! Our leadership, teamwork, and organisational skills were put to the test. But at Publicis Resolute we never shy away from a challenge. We pride ourselves on our serious imagination, so the innovation theme was right up our street!” comments Victoria Wright, managing director of Publicis LifeBrands, Publicis Resolute and Real Science. “I’m so, so proud of the team – in just two hours they came up with a solid strategy, a creative execution and a compelling presentation.  Resolute’s sister agency, Real Science, was awarded Highly Commended in the same category too, I couldn’t have wished for a better result,” she says.

The deadline for entries to Marketer of the Year and Communications Team of the Year is 1 September.  Contenders for Marketer of the Year are invited to submit individual and team entries online at, while agencies should head over to to submit theirs.

Companies are also invited nominate individuals and teams they believe have what it takes to win by using the ‘Nominate’ tab on the relevant competition site.

The finals for Marketer of the Year will be held on 5 and 18 October, for individuals and teams respectively, while the Communications Team of the Year final will take place on 12 October –  all in central London.

Finalists will be invited to celebrate their success alongside leading names in pharma at the awards and gala dinner on 9 November, in London where the winners in each category will be presented with the prestigious pharma.