What might FPM look like in 20 years’ time?

Posted on: Saturday 30 November 2019
Author: Dr Laura Campbell, FPM Trainees' Committee Member

The pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve, and FPM is taking great strides to match, and even anticipate and outpace, this changing landscape.

As the expectations of our roles evolve in parallel, we will continue to look to FPM to provide guidance and support to ensure that our members maintain their central and vital positions in all aspects of drug development and commercialisation.

In the next 20 years, we are likely to see an increase in members choosing to pursue portfolio or ‘lattice’ career paths. These may encompass diverse therapeutic areas, as well as appreciating different facets of the industry. These roles may take us to all corners of the world, where we can learn from other cultures and health systems and bring back these rich experiences to share with each other.

That said, with an increased focus on rare diseases across biotech, as well as ‘big pharma’, and the acceleration of innovative technologies such as gene therapy, there may be increased demand in the industry for medics with the specialist skills required to bring these medicines to patients with significant un-met needs.

Any savvy company of the future will evolve their appreciation for the insight and expertise that medics can bring to commercial roles. More physicians will take up the challenge of influencing decision- making and promoting excellence in patient care from ‘the other side of the table’. As medics we are all driven by continued learning; developing additional competencies through initiatives such as the Gravitas courses recently run by FPM, or formal business qualifications such as MBAs, can add the strings to our bows to help to make these transitions. The CEOs of the future are reading this right now.

To look forward, we must also reflect on the core strengths of FPM and continue to excel in these as a community. We have a strong, cohesive and supportive community. The spirit of collaboration and support is one of the strengths of FPM that I most value, and I see it in the work and interactions we have every day.

Alongside formal courses and training, we should seek and expect guidance from each other. Through developing local and faculty networks of skills and expertise, we can share experiences, best practice and development opportunities, and continue to grow and further better patient care.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in 20 years we will see other countries – as well other local, and perhaps international societies – adopt formalised qualifications and recognition of the specialty, as the value of a group of professionals with shared goals and values is more widely recognised.

Whatever FPM looks like in 20 years’ time, we must all ensure that our community is stronger than ever and continues to speak with one voice about the relevance and importance of pharmaceutical medicine.

Oh, and of course we will all be travelling to work on hoverboards, but as the critically acclaimed documentary “Back To The Future – Part II” tells us, this is long overdue.

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