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FPM Vice-President Election 2021

Voting for the election of the post of FPM Vice-President is OPEN.

The candidates are:

  • Dr Philip Ambery
  • Dr David Jefferys
  • Dr Sheuli Porkess
  • Prof Penny Ward

Candidate statements are published below (in alphabetical order).

Instructions on how to vote can be found below the candidate statements.

The statements have been prepared by the candidates and do not reflect official FPM views or the current status of FPM.

Dr Philip Ambery

I intend to use my tenure as Vice President of the FPM to ensure the faculty is on the firmest footing possible with respect to its finances and the breadth of membership as we look to the future. It’s essential that we appeal to the broadest church possible of medical professionals in our industry and make what we do relevant not only to a few individuals who practise in the UK but also expand our remit to beyond the shores of post Brexit Britain. This is particularly important to those doctors who join our speciality who may have trained out of the UK or may have moved out of the UK for work and now practice in another country. We can’t afford with respect to the standing of our organisation for these individuals to be disenfranchised and disillusioned with the support the faculty gives them.

As we all age as Fellows it’s important that we support others as they begin their journey in pharmaceutical medicine. Medical students and junior doctors know little of how we practise medicine, yet to keep the UK at the forefront of pharmaceutical development and innovation it’s essential that they feel involved. I’ll endeavour to raise our profile with medical schools and champion opportunities for juniors to see how we work. We should all strive for a future where barriers for physicians to enter our industry are broken down.

These aims will directly support those of our president elect, Flic Gabbay, who shares similar aims around modernisation, ensuring monetary stability for the faculty, increasing relevance of our work to our membership and engagement with those outside our direct sphere of influence. In the event I’m elected I would relish the chance to work with Flic, the executive and the faculty board to build a great future.

Dr Philip Ambery
Dr Philip Ambery

Dr David Jefferys

The FPM has greatly enhanced its profile and reputation during the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has shown the vital role Pharmaceutical Medicine plays in Public Health. As a Trustee and Member of the Board it has been a privilege to pay a small part in this achievement.

If elected as Vice-President, I would see my primary role being to support Dr Flic Gabbay and deliver her programme as President.

My priority would be to increase the membership of the Faculty both nationally and internationally.

This is key to the future of our great organisation. We need to reach out more widely as the stakeholders in medicines development change. We need to enhance our engagement with colleagues working in heath technology evaluation, drug safety, digital health and medical technology. As chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Faculty I have a good understanding of what needs to be done. I have volunteered to oversee the introduction of the FPM membership IT system on behalf of the Board, this will by fundamental to delivering our future objectives I believe my international perspective and experience will be helpful to increasing the global outreach and impact of the Faculty.

I would like to further grow our engagement with patients. This is essential as the role of the patient expands with patient centred development, and in benefit/risk determination.

We need to ensure that all members of the Faculty can play a full part in all aspects of the organisation.

I was involved in the creation of the Faculty, serving as the Government Representative on the original working party. I have been a member of the Faculty since its inception as a Fellow and have been involved in many ways over the succeeding years. This has included serving on several working parties, speaking at, and chairing workshops, writing articles and much more.

I was elected to the FPM Board in 2016 and have endeavoured to play a prominent role.

My career has given me a wide perspective on the Life Science Sector, covering medicines and medical device regulation as head of the UK Agency, member of the CHMP and the EMA Management Board. Within the industry I have wide experience, and have chaired major committees in EFPIA, ABPI and IFPMA. I currently sit on the IFPMA Council and chair the Regulatory Science Committee. I have been heavily involved with IMI and served for 5 years on the ICH Management Board and the General Assembly. This experience may be very valuable to the Faculty as it seeks to expand its international role. My experience as the President of both RAPS and TOPRA may be helpful to the Faculty, as my experience of governance serving on a range of public and private sector Boards.

As the government and the MHRA seek to establish the UK as a “Life Science Superpower”, my extensive experience of both Central and local government may be insightful for the Faculty to influence and harness this agenda to enhance our profession. So too may my experience as a member of an NHS CCG and as a Foundation Trust Governor.

This is a time of great challenge but also of great potential for the Faculty and our Profession, therefore I have decided to put forward my nomination to help realise these opportunities.

David Jefferys
David Jefferys

Dr Sheuli Porkess

The FPM mission is to advance the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine. The best way to advance pharmaceutical medicine is through collaboration with others in medicine and healthcare, which needs to be built on trust and understanding of what we do and how we do it. If elected, my focus would be to ensure that FPM represents its members needs and concerns and, through representing its members externally professionally and credibly, brings pharmaceutical medicine into the mainstream of medicine and healthcare.

The past year has really shown that FPM members have relevant expertise to address unmet medical need. This is going to remain important going forward as health systems across the world rebuild and refocus in the wake of the pandemic and the transition of COVID to becoming endemic. We need to work to support all patients across all conditions, not just COVID and I truly believe that pharmaceutical medicine can make a big difference to how to achieve this going forward.

However, the importance of pharmaceutical medicine and the work of FPM members is not consistently recognised by the outside world. We have all seen and heard about academic researchers discovering medicines but the work of pharmaceutical medics can be unrecognised. We also know that trust and credibility are critical. FPM sets robust professional ethical standards and we need to ensure that those outside FPM understand and value the specialty through their interactions with FPM. I was part of the group who set up the partnership between FPM, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the ABPI with an aim to help support medical students in their understanding about medicines – this positive innovative collaboration is one we need to build from.

Through my previous work at ABPI, as the Executive Director of Research, Medical and Innovation, I have first-hand experience of working within a membership organisation. I understand the importance of ensuring that members feel understood, supported and represented, across the breadth of membership and I would bring that to the FPM. It is particularly important for FPM to understand from members the priority needs and how best to work with members in a caring and supportive way. This needs to be done in an inclusive way and must engage the diversity of membership across the many aspects of pharmaceutical medicine and the many ways in which members work – from drug discovery through to medical affairs and from working in large companies, CROs, SMEs, regulators to those working independently. If elected, I would be the first senior officer in FPM who has been through the PMST programme and gained a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) so I understand the demands of the programme on trainees. I am committed to supporting members at all stages of their career. I have worked with members on strategic, policy and operational issues bringing different perspectives together to present a clear set of recommendations and I would apply this to advancing the practice of pharmaceutical medicine for the future.

As the current Chair of the Policy and Communications group, and a former member of the Office of the Board of Examiners (OBoE), I have first-hand experience of the work that the FPM does to support pharmaceutical medicine, for its members and for the wider life sciences community and the public. If elected, I would build on this by engaging with stakeholders. Through my work with ABPI, I have extensive experience of representing members and working with senior levels of government, MHRA, HRA, NIHR, AMRC, NHS Research Scotland, NHS England, MRC, UKRI, AMS and other stakeholders, within the UK and internationally. I have bought together stakeholders around critical topics and worked to bring pharmaceutical medicine and the work of the industry into policy discussions on issues ranging from clinical research, women’s health, antimicrobial resistance, patient and public involvement, Brexit, COVID, multimorbidity and others. This has given me the opportunity to appreciate the breadth of the amazing work of our specialty, the challenges we face and why it is critical that pharmaceutical medicine has a voice.

Therefore if elected, I would:

a. Bring my experience of working in a membership organisation to ensure the diversity of FPM members are understood and supported;
b. Raise the profile of FPM in order to ensure FPM members’ needs, concerns and expertise are represented externally, continuing the development of the FPM as a recognised source of authority;
c. Develop FPM’s collaborations with stakeholders to enable FPM and members to contribute pharmaceutical medicine expertise to address key issues.

Dr Sheuli Porkess
Dr Sheuli Porkess

Prof Penelope Ward

I joined the industry in 1991 after working in the NHS for several years in general practice and hospital based obstetrics and gynaecology. My career has spanned every aspect of pharmaceutical medicine, from early phase translational research to over-the-counter medicines, diagnostics and devices. Most recently this broad experience has been put to good use by several small biotech companies and investors via my consulting practice.

I am actively involved in the work of the FPM via being Chair of the Education and Standards Committee and of the Expert Group on Governmental and Healthcare Policy relevant to Pharmaceutical Medicine (incl. drug safety and regulatory). I undertake revalidation and am a revalidation appraiser supporting physicians working in a variety of settings. The experience gained has persuaded me that the FPM has a significant role to play supporting physicians and non-physician scientists entering the pharmaceutical industry to become proficient practitioners in the field of pharmaceutical medicine (in its broadest sense) and in supporting them throughout their career. I believe that FPM can and should advance further and with ambition to become the foremost, internationally recognized leader in pharmaceutical medical education and training, the ‘go to’ place for everyone seeking to enhance the competence and skillset of their translational medicine, clinical development and medical affairs workforce wherever they practice. This ambition aligns with the first of the two priorities announced by the President Elect, Dr Flic Gabbay and if elected will actively work to support this objective. This ambition cannot be achieved without ensuring financial stability and future growth of the membership of the Faculty. I will support the President and the Trustees with the ongoing and future work required to ensure these critical objectives are achieved.

Penelope Ward
Prof Penelope Ward

Election schedule

Wednesday 2 June 2021 – Voting opens

Monday 21 June 2021 – Voting will close at 17:00

The Registrar will contact each candidate to inform them of the result on Tuesday 22 June 2021 and will ensure that they understand that the results are embargoed.

The Registrar will announce the new Vice-President on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

Please submit your vote below. If you have any queries about the process or technological issues please contact the FPM virtual office at fpm@fpm.org.uk.