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Hottest information about 9th Annual Pharma Commercial & SFE Summit

6 AUGUST 2019


Head of Franchise Rare Disease
Sanofi Genzyme

4 Questions For Serena SAGGINI

What are the most significant digital transformation trends?

The digitalisation is by now in our daily life, and the Pharma can’t escape it, but have to be maintained as “source of support” not as substitute of human intelligence, in particular in the disease management. The Companies and Institutions have the responsibility to guarantee the circulation of right and appropriate information in the diseases and treatments, and exploit all opportunities that the new technologies can offer.

What are the new channels that increase the access to the physician?

In my opinion, the sources that can simplify the physician operation are the most appreciated (patient management, diagnostic algorithm, database collection…).

What can commercial leaders do to have better customer-centric approach?

The personalisation of approach is increasing every day. The standard solution for many in the healthcare isn’t enough, in consideration that even genetic disorders affect differently each single patient.

How to develop high performing sales teams and improve sales productivity?

Probably my answer can be perceived as rhetorical, but the motivation of each single member of team and the motivation collective of the team is the most important element of the high performances and strong productivity.

48 years , with 22 years of Pharma experiences:  2 years in Schering Ploug in the Field and Marketing of Oncology and Dermatology, 7 years in GSK,  again in sales and maketing   segment but in different therapeutic areas: Asthma and COPD, Neurology diseases and finally in Cardio Critical Care .
Now and in the past 13 years in Sanofi  ( in the  Sanofi Genzyme Division) responsible for different rare diseases.
By  2010 Responsible as BU Director for Pompe and MPS I Disease in Italy and then Fabry and Endocrinology .
With more than 10 products launched with high performances in Italy.
Woman in Health Pharma Winner in 2017 at the Global level.
In the free time dedicated to my wonderful family and horse riding.

25 JULY 2019


Commercial Director
Astellas Pharma

4 Questions For Sotiris BOTOZIS

What are the most significant digital transformation trends?

Today, we experience a burst in digital transformation that we cannot (and should not) ignore. Now, when most businesses understand what digital transformation is and why it’s needed, we’re moving into a time when many of them are starting to (or planning to) innovate through:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in data mining and insights generation, also in ‘not-so-expected’ areas like HR, with AI-powered talent attraction & acquisition tools (candidate communication and screening tools)
  • Big collaborations: Microsoft recently announced >$1 billion investment in artificial intelligence project co-founded by Elon Musk & Tesla
  • By 2022, nearly 40% of core IT spending will be cloud-related, while by 2028, the cloud will account for >80% of IT spending
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality Marketing

What are the new channels that increase the access to the physician?

Some of the channels most widely used are Automated Emails, Webinars and e-learning, Self-led content Marketing and the Use of Social Media.

What can commercial leaders do to have better customer-centric approach?

They should work not only with their external customers, but also with the internal ones. They need to empower employees to help creating customer belief, as great employee experience leads to great customer experience. And also, ask them to listen to their customers, understand their real needs and build a sustainable, win-win interaction.

How to develop high performing sales teams and improve sales productivity?

Sales productivity increases when we adequately manage all organisational inefficiencies and maximise operational effectiveness. This can range from resource optimisation while enabling new capabilities, employees’ empowerment to customer centricity and the use of technology

Sotiris Botozis is an iMBA Pharmacist with over 20 years in pharma & biotech industry and a proven track record of scientific & commercial delivery. Sotiris has an extensive experience in establishing new departments from scratch, guiding diverse teams, consistently increasing multiple franchise sales in competitive markets and successfully leading new product launches. Inspirational team leader, aligning and engaging staff across functions through innovation, values and integrity.

Hobbies: Everyday living a 24h experience of diversity, being a father of two sons, one daughter, but also having a male dog and a female cat in the house!


Commercial Director, Pain

4 Questions For Ali CIĞER

What are the most significant digital transformation trends?

The most important and irreversible trend is the empowerment of the patients. The patients are already starting to behave more like consumers now. With constant monitoring and feedback tools, managing health is more about getting well after being ill, it is more about being aware of and managing your conditions constantly. As such, the focus is shifting more on prevention phase. Such a trend is also amplified by big-tech moving into the HC system (although their major focus seems to be at prevention and diagnosis, it will then likely shift into treatment/improving health outcomes as well).

Of course, one other major trend with digitalisation is the personalised health solutions. These are mostly getting the headlines by personalised medicine, digital biomarkers and similar, however, there is still room for improvement for the basics (like a customised and optimised customer journey for a specialist appointment).

These changes will of course effect the role of physicians as well. With the massive amount of new knowledge mounting, as well as with the increased demand from patients for customisation, they do need significant support from emerging technologies for decision support as well as for ensuring the continuum of care.

All in all, all these changes will likely result in a major re-allocation of the money spent in the system (by whom, to whom, how much, etc.).

What are the new channels that increase the access to the physician?

Physicians are more and more online and mobile. They are reading online to stay up-to-date, googling for further information before prescribing, connecting with fellow physicians online and seeking feedback for their everyday challenges (drug-drug interactions, etc.) through digital tools. Theoretically, all of these media are possibly new channels to have access to the physician. With a big difference though: as they were used to have it in their offices/hospitals, they do not have office stuff for gatekeeping online. Which means if you would like to access a physician online/through mobile, you are in competition for attention with all the different distractors (including their social media consumption) there.

What can commercial leaders do to have better customer-centric approach?

Pharma had travelled a long way to build customer-centric engagements. The way of communication of the evidence, the way of supporting them in their continuous med-ed and the medium of interaction was all modified throughout the last years. However, change is coming for everyone and the customer-centric approach of today will not suffice in the hyper-connected world of tomorrow. Still pharma will likely have a major role to play there. However, the management and communication of change itself should be customer-centric as well. Pharma should be hesitant in jumping straight into conclusions (“this is how we will work”), imposing their internal changes into the HCPs (“as a result of the recent restructuring”) they are interacting with, but ensure that the changes in the market are understood and embraced by their customers.

How to develop high performing sales teams and improve sales productivity?

Sales is all about persuasion, which needs time and attention from the customer. Pharma is used to crack this problem by increasing number of interactions (more visits, higher frequencies), then improving the quality of the interactions (better training for sales teams, improvement of their communication skills, etc.). Beyond number and quality, what now needs more focus is the continuity (with different channels) and relevance (customisation) of these interactions. As the decision making of the HCPs will be more and more enhanced by decision-support system technologies, so should the sales organisations of pharma companies.

I am very much excited to live and influence what the transformation in healthcare has to offer.

I am currently working as Commercial Director for Pfizer in Germany, based in Berlin. Previously, I have 10+ years of multi-faceted leadership experience in the Turkish and German markets for marketing, sales, market access, pricing and P&L management roles. Being an electronics engineer with an MBA, strong interest in behavioural sciences and a keen learner on the applications of emerging technologies, I am a big fan of operating at the intersection of disciplines.

Being a proud father and husband, I am indulging myself with my family and friends when time allows and love to explore new countries and cultures together.

17 JULY 2019


Executive Director of Global Marketing and Commercial Operations
AbbVie USA

4 Questions For Ignacio QUILES LARA

What are the most significant digital transformation trends?

Pharma is running hard to keep pace with changes brought by digital technology. A few disruptive trends indicate where to build a strategy for a digital success. Clearly, patients are empowered to play an active role in their care, and key outcomes-based care are moving to centre stage as more information is available about any step in the disease journey. Pharma’s commercial model must turn to starboard to have more digital streamlines processes for efficiency, connected clouds, data to analytics to machine learning to artificial intelligence and enhanced drug development to name a few. What are my quick easy wins? Sensors, multichannel, digital ecosystems, data-driven insights and augmented reality.

What are the new channels that increase the access to the physician?

Just a decade ago, the job of a pharma sales rep was much desired among pharma professionals. Direct to consumer (DTC) did most of the heavy work, and sales reps only needed to finish the job. However, the number of health care practitioners (HCPs) having access to an infinity of other communication channels is dramatically increasing. Thus, instead of relying just on DTC, we should have both, adding digital promoting channels. The top channels for pharma marketers to reach HCPs were emails, webinars/conferences and portals, but it is evolving quickly toward social media too. We must ensure contents are optimised to be read on a variety of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones and tablets. This guarantees doctors will be able to look over materials during any down time or breaks they have during the day. Due to involving HCPs at all stages is essential to the success and sustainability to drive change.

What can commercial leaders do to have better customer-centric approach?

Pharmaceutical companies can play a central role in the digital revolution of customer-centric healthcare, it is clear for everyone. But honestly, while it’s about time, it is also the one that has me the most nervous. Countless studies have shown an overwhelming desire to see terrific digital transformation, however, trends are still showing a slow process being too often delegated to IT, and/or marketing. C-suite leaders must finally step up, realising digital transformation must be built over a previously customer-centric organisational culture, never inversely. Thus, let’s operationalise customer empathy, democratise customer insights and facilitate direct interaction with customers. It will unite forever culture, strategy and digital to go hand to hand.

How to develop high performing sales teams and improve sales productivity?

As I said earlier, sales reps who rely exclusively on traditional timeworn selling methodologies will have trouble keeping up. Of course, they compete to meet closed revenue targets and territory penetration objectives, but sales leaders need to implement new initiatives and inspire their teams to succeed in today’s customer-centric approach. First, everyone needs to understand the new realities of their dynamic selling environment and adopt new digital tools and styles which foster an agile and insight driven culture. We all must evolve ways to adopt new confident decisions based on quantifiable facts. Secondly, to ensure the right sales territory coverage is critical, thus, let’s assign top performers supported by digital channels to must-win regions to achieve short- and long-term goals. Third, the most relevant, let’s drive the right behaviours, keeping reps motivated, getting underperforming reps to improve their performance (e.g. rethink commissions, bonuses, gamification, peer recognition, promotions). In the same page, let’s perform guided coaching on an individual basis, optimise customer face time, and equipping them with digital friendly tools as a terrifically effective way to attain that goal.

Highly skilled senior executive with over 15 years’ managerial and hands-on experience in the oncology therapeutic area. Extensive Global and Regional (U.S., EU, LATAM) commercial leadership and business development experience across a variety of operational and strategic roles, including new products and portfolio strategy, launch leadership, business development and licensing, strategic planning, sales and marketing management. A proven direct ability in leading molecules to become leading oncology medicines for helping patients, including Venclexta, Tafinlar, Zykadia, Jakavi, Rydapt, Kymriah, and Afinitor. Led product launches worldwide for oncology indications including breast, lung, kidney, and melanoma, as well as a wide range of hematologic malignancies. Led and built sales and marketing organizations both large and small. On top of that, a passionate of extreme sports, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, chairman forum, doctor of career, mba alma mater, but essentially a strategist, who enjoys creating motivated teams that persevere growing together towards a common vision. A great enthusiastic and confidence that the pharma’s medicines leads to a profound transformation into people, patients and families’ life.

10 JULY 2019


Ass. Marketing Director MS

4 Questions For Alexander ALMEROOD

What are the most significant digital transformation trends?

Deliver successful Change Management and onboard everyone to this transformational journey. Technology is only an enabler.

What are the new channels that increase the access to the physician?

I would not rather emphasise a specific channel but a more holistic approach regarding communication to customers in general.

What can commercial leaders do to have better customer-centric approach?

Striving from standard project management to agile ways of working, especially including and incorporating customer feedback at each and every milestone.

How to develop high performing sales teams and improve sales productivity?

From my experience, driving change at Sales Teams depends on three key pillars: Attitude, Skills and Subjective Norm. Especially Subjective Norm, i.e. behaviour of peers and senior managers, it is most important to drive behavioural change. If you tackle on all three crucial success factors, I would expect a significant improvement in sales productivity.

  • Two times in high potential programs in two different companies
  • Five years in central functions, working with 10 different Business Units for TEVA and Amgen (OTC, Gx, Rx, Biosimiliars)
  • 10 years budget & 6 years personnel responsibilities
  • Transformed one company, from #15 MCM to #1 MCM Benchmark
  • Onboarded, trained and developed over 1.000 Sales Reps
  • Several awards for integrated campaigns
  • Jury Member in biggest digital jury in Europe
  • Co-Founder and Board Member of Young Excellence Association with over 250 delegates across industry and healthcare companies
  • Frequent Key Note Speaker and Industry Leader



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9th Annual Pharma Marketing Summit - Digital Marketing & CEM
Global Medical Affairs Summit