Follow-up: What have I learned at the Anti-Crisis Pharmaceutical Strategies conference at InterContinental Hotel Bucharest, 17th of June 2009?

On the 17th of June 2009 I took part at the Anti-Crisis Pharmaceutical Strategies conference at InterContinental Hotel Bucharest. This blog post is about my thoughts on the conference. The presentations in Romanian are available for download on the official web page (and I also have links for them). If you know Romanian, this article is also nice.

A. Radiography of the pharmaceutical market in 2009

1. “Medicine with human use in Romania – a law perspective” – Robert ANCUCEANU, General Director of the National Medicines Agency (Agentia Nationala a Medicamentului – ANM) (download PPT)
– While Wikipedia has a different approach on the “Chinese word for crisis” (basically saying that it’s most of the time misquoted), Robert ANCUCEANU quoted a thing also said wrongly by president John F. KENNEDY, who said: “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and one represents opportunity.”;

2. “Health status of the pharmaceutical market to the crisis impact” – Petru CRACIUN, General Director, Cegedim (download PPT)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– There is no try to signal from other players that “low price” implies “poor quality”;
– The market went down with a 2.5% in volume, but in the same time the market rose with 8% in value;
– The Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines market fell in volume, and had a slight increase in value (EUR);
– For the drug stores there will be a pressure on liquidities in the following years;
– Hospitals have a financing and credits problem;
– A lot of profit will be made by distributing products;

3. “Medicine distribution from producer to the drug store. Frame of laws and non-competing behavior” – Raluca VASILACHE, Associate lawyer, Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii (download PPT)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– From a fixed exchange rate, each of the two parties involved in the money exchange lose some money;
– In a cartel, the competition meets and establishes a minimal level, a certain margin, they split the market between each other or they have unfair auctions;
– It takes 5 years for such a bad action to lose its validity;
– Any practices like these are obviously forbidden;
– There are some grey lists – imposing or recommending maximum prices;

4. “Sales force management” – Nicolae IORDACHE IORDACHE, Independent Consultant (download PPT)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– In the ’80s and ’90s a lot of emphasis was put on medicines for treating heart diseases, ulcers, infections; After this time passed, those diseases offer little advantage for growth;
– In the recent times, more emphasis was put on tobacco, hair loss, erection – helping others living a better life;
– Nowadays a lot of emphasis is put on rare but grave diseases – these are niche medicines, very expensive;
– The blockbusters are influenced by the generic sector;
– Industries in China and India determined price reduction of 50% from one year to another;
– Estimate: prices for medicines will fall;
– In Romania the crisis mentality is a standard; Nothing’s new on this side;
– Something to take home: in a few decades, we’ll all be dead; You should learn something from the crisis;
What’s to be done?
a. Returning to the clients;
b. Do the boring stuff well: processes, performance management, talent development, team work, passion for work, responsible management, discovering and keeping values;
c. Develop the companies;

B. Crisis versus development opportunities

1. “Can the crisis change the pharmaceutical industry in Romania?” – Adrian LAKATOS, President, AL Pharma Consulting (download PPT)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– The market has a lot of rulings in place;
– The dependency to political decisions leads to instability;
– There is a dependency to system financing;

2. “From current crisis challenges to future opportunities” – Monica CRACIUN, People & Organization Manager, Expand Health
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– There are both opportunities and challenges in any crisis;
– Focusing on opportunities can yield better results;

3. “Success recipe: protect your client from the crisis” – Andreea IONESCU, Marketing Retail Director, A&D Pharma (Sensiblu)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– People need to connect to real examples;
– If you need a sudden change, you have to take into account: Where are the hypotheses you start with and How do you do it;
– Sensiblu is recognized as trust in counseling and recommendation;
– Sensiblu has 94% brand awareness;
– Clients of Sensiblu have 1.4M fidelity cards;
– They did a complete redrawing of the shopping experience (they can differentiate with that);
– Stop talking about the product, talk about the lifestyle – “You will not get sicker anymore”, “You should live a healthy life”;
– You can’t go wrong with a client-focused strategy;

4. “Adapting the organizational branding process during the economic crisis” – Marius URSACHE, Chief Creative Officer, Grapefruit (download PDF)
Pharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris StrategiesPharmaceutical Anti-Cris Strategies
– Grapefruit worked for brands such as Banca Transilvania, Dacia, e-On, NNDKP, OTP Bank, Petrom, Prigat, Renault;
– Brand is what the client says and thinks about you;
– You should invest in leadership;
– A good idea is to recruit good people at reasonable prices;
– Charles DARWIN was quoted to have said “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” I found an interesting article on this quote on Cosmos Magazine, which basically says that this famous quote of Darwin is not his; This is the second misquote for the day;

______________
Bottom line: Quite a nice conference, good speakers, nice location; I’d try to involve the audience a bit more, I felt a certain distance between the speaker and the audience, and perhaps a little bit more follow-up, like the previous events had;


P.S.: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar events: Conferinte recomandate To join, email conferinte7-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and reply to the confirmation email.

You will find videos made by me on my YouTube channel, and photos on my Picasa Web Albums accounts.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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