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FPM Conversations

The Commercial and Medical Partnership


A Marriage Made in Heaven, or Fraternising with the Enemy?


Event Details

Date – Tuesday 11 February 2020
Time – 18.30 to 21.30
VenueVoysey Room, Mary Ward House Conference and Exhibition Centre, 5 - 7 Tavistock Place London, WC1H 9SN

Event description

The role of Medical Affairs has evolved considerably in the last two decades, but one thing has not changed: Medical and Commercial often fail to engage fully and Medical Affairs can play a "husband/wife of..." role rather than being an equal partner in this "marriage".

A recent survey of Senior Medical and Commercial leaders shows that a lack of mutual trust, failure to understand each others' roles, inability to work as complementary partners and lack of good communication underpin the key challenges in this relationship.

And yet there may be a better way – just as in any marriage getting the basics right can help; there is an opportunity to step up the Medical contribution from one of “Support Function” to a true “Strategic Partner”.

Bringing together a panel of senior Commercial and Medical Leaders this FPM conversation will cover the following topics:

  • Developing shared strategy with commercial partners

  • Executing against the strategy

  • Execution and measuring added value

  • The leadership mind-set and language necessary to be a strategic partner.

This essential FPM conversation will debate the issues and opportunities and look at practical solutions to heal and improve the often-fissured Commercial-Medical relationship.

Meet the panellists

Dr Bobby Mulrooney
General Manager UK & Ireland, Portola Pharmaceuticals

Dr Rav Seeruthun
Medical Director, Roche UK

Event schedule

6.30 – Arrival, dinner and drinks
7.15 – Welcome by FPM and introduction by the chair
7.25 – Opening statements from the panellists
7.45 – Discussion and debate led by panellists
9.00 – Drinks and networking
9.30 – Close

CPD: 1.75 points

Registration fees:
PMST trainee £60
Member £80
Non-member £120



The booking deadline for this event is 17:00 on Tuesday 4 February 2020. See our Terms & Conditions for booking and please note our privacy policy.

Queries: If you are unable to complete your booking online or you would like to be invoiced, please email or call 020 3696 9040.

About FPM Conversations

FPM conversations are designed to give members the unique opportunity to engage with eminent figures in industry, government, regulation, academia and clinical practice. The evenings consist of a buffet dinner, followed by around 1½ hours of discussion and debate, with drinks and networking to finish - a perfect combination of the professional and the social.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on who could lead conversations and on what topics then please get in touch with us (

Our last event:

Trust and transparency in the pharmaceutical industry: How far have we come?

Date – Tuesday 10 September 2019
Time – 18.30 to 21.30
Venue – Dickens Library, Mary Ward House Conference and Exhibition Centre, 5 - 7 Tavistock Place London, WC1H 9SN

Event description

It is 2019 and the pharmaceutical industry still struggles to be trusted. Reports of falsifying data, bribery and corruption, price hikes and manipulative patent litigation have steadily soured the public’s view of the pharmaceutical industry. Yet, the drugs that pharmaceutical companies produce save millions of lives a year and improve the lives of millions more. So, what is going wrong?

Pharmaceutical companies have made only modest progress in improving trust over the last few years. The Edelman ‘Trust Barometer’ shows that, globally, public trust in the industry has edged up marginally from 55% in 2015 to 57% in 2019. In the UK the figure is 50% in 2019. Why is it not higher for an industry whose business is saving lives?

• How can the industry restore its credibility in the eyes of patients, policymakers and the rest of the taxpaying public?
• Are prices too high? What can we do about it?
• Is moving from clinical medicine to a job in industry still thought of as moving to the ‘dark side’? Why?
• ‘Patient-centricity’ and ‘patient engagement’ How can it make a real difference? Can familiarity breed trust?
• Do companies adequately and accurately warn patients and clinicians about the risks as well as the benefits of taking medicines?

These are key questions that the pharmaceutical industry continues to grapple with, as trust and transparency holds more weight among the public than ever before. We, as doctors working in all aspects of the industry – companies, regulators, academia – must do more, in the interests of patients and wider society. We must strive for greater engagement and understanding, and further development of appropriate regulations and guidelines.

In this FPM ‘conversation’ event we brought together a panel of leaders in this field to discuss issues around public trust and transparency:

Mike Thompson, Chief Executive, ABPI
Alastair Benbow, Chief Development and Medical Officer, Norgine
Fiona Fox, CEO, Science Media Centre