A degree in chemistry, followed by a PhD, then on to a career in research – that’s the career path when you enjoy science, right? That’s what I thought as I came to the end of my PhD in salt crystallisation at The University of Manchester and struggled with the realisation that I didn’t want to be in the lab anymore. The challenge was that I had no idea what else was out there!
Despite my pharmaceutically sponsored PhD, I had never really considered the ex-laboratory process that drugs went through to reach patients. As I searched for my next move, I started looking into the different pharmaceutical functions, especially marketing, medical affairs and market access. I had a vague awareness that companies needed to show authorities that their products worked and were safe, but who was paying for them and what information they would need hadn’t crossed my mind. I found the need to balance clinical and economic data fascinating. Market access and health economics opened a new perspective and an opportunity to mitigate a challenge I hadn’t even known existed! The need to clearly and concisely communicate the value of a product, both in clinical and economic terms, to audiences with many different backgrounds and knowledge levels really appealed.
My market access journey began at Complete Market Access, part of the Complete Medical Group. There, I was first introduced to a wide range of projects. Through various company takeovers (including a takeover of the group by McCann), I moved with the group as they became Double Helix. Being a part of this agency gave me a wide array of opportunities in terms of project experience, responsibility and global travel.
In 2015, however, I decided to investigate other opportunities and learn more about the broader MedComms industry. I joined AMICULUM, an independent business comprising a cluster of specialised agencies, still owned by its founders, and thus far with only a small presence in the market access space. At AMICULUM, I have provided expert support for market access projects across the different agencies within the business, and driven growth of the area, tapping into pockets of experience and training/educating teams as needed.
In 2020, AMICULUM’s approach to market access evolved with the launch of ‘AMICULUM Access’. I now lead the AMICULUM Access team, which comprises market access experts covering different geographies with a range of specialist skill sets. We still take a collaborative approach as standard and work with other agencies in the AMICULUM cluster to provide the right skills to meet our clients’ needs. Having led the team for 2 years I have loved watching the team grow, expanding our client relationships and service offerings, and our ability to support other AMICULUM agencies. As we go from strength to strength, I am excited to see where the next 2 years will take us!
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, Evidence generation and communication: a guide to getting started in HEOR/market access medical writing, published June 2022