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A Different Appoach

By Eric Perakslis, Sr. VP, Informatics, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Eric Perakslis, Sr. VP, Informatics, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

What changes have you seen in the Pharmacy during the last five years?

The change I have noticed most over the past several years with respect to the pharmacy is the move toward consumerism in the healthcare industry. Today, patients are more involved in and exert more control over their own health and wellness than ever before. For example, in the past a patient might not have purchased a blood pressure cuff to keep tabs on their hypertension. Today patients willingly monitor their symptoms on their mobile device and pay attention to the results. They turn to the internet right away to search for their symptoms, and download health and wellness tracking apps. They know, understand and value their health, and are willing to invest in and engage with it unlike we’ve ever seen before.

"Today patients willingly monitor their symptoms on their mobile device and pay attention to the results"

This movement to patient consumerism in health affects us in the healthcare industry because we understand that patients are interested in their health and make many of their own informed health decisions. At Takeda,we are working to determine how to deliver on that interest and provide a value that the consumer patient will realize and appreciate.

Which growing or future technology innovation are you personally excited about?

The most exciting thing for me is seeing innovation and momentum in pharmaceuticals that is brought about by enhanced patient empowerment. What does this mean? Many patients today have access to health information that makes them informed, engaged and knowledgeable about their health. This means they make their decisions based on the value they see for themselves.

In an ideal world, Takeda and similar organizations would deliver products that patients will see the value of—but value hasn’t always noticed and appreciated as it is today. Now, the need for therapies and treatments that provide direct value to patients are driving innovation and encouraging efficiency through agility. We must be willing to quickly change course based on what patients want. It’s empowering to realize that patients are more important than ever to the evolution drug discovery and breakthroughs.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles faced while working in the Pharmaceutical industry?

Traditionally, people working in the pharmaceutical industry could specialize in a particular skillset or niche for the foreseeable duration of their careers. This path is no longer as reliable, and the rigid processes we used to employ organizationally now hold us back. To me, the biggest obstacle challenging those of us working in the pharmaceutical industry is remaining agile and being willing to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

More than ever, we are being asked to exceed our skillsets and take on tasks that may be outside our immediate purview. We are also welcoming a new generation workforce that relates to technology much differently or who comes to us with backgrounds beyond medical science. We as an industry must adapt to these changes at a fast pace, and invite unconventional candidates to join our mission. Those who can adapt and change in any moment will have the most success anddeliver greater value to patients.

What set of skills do you think is required for the leaders to be successful in the Pharmaceuticals industry?

As I just mentioned, this changes every day! For example, at Takeda, we often use devices in our clinical trials—but have never used the same device twice. It would be a futile effort to spend time mastering one method, when needs are bound to change in an instant. You have to be agile, and as a company, you must commit to hiring architects and orchestrators that can weave themselves into different scenarios and flexibly deliver efficient results. Your organization’s network should be dynamic and fluid.

Additionally, I think it’s important to be open to externalization by leaning on others and acknowledging that, at times, an outside organization may be able to do better. At Takeda, we’ve engaged with several outside organizations that we knew could further our commitment to solving some of the world’s most unmet health needs. One example is our unique partnership with PRA Health Sciences. We engaged with PRA because we were bold enough to realize the benefit of joining forces with an external specialist and we’re encouraged by the results.

We are all dealing with technology every day. How does technology drive your life?

For me, technology has made it easier for me to do my job both in and out of the office. In my role at Takeda, I’m excited to know that while technology changes constantly, we are optimizing it in a way that can deliver innovative therapies to patients faster than ever before. We have resources at our fingertips that only embolden our discovery and I can only dream about what may be on the horizon.

Outside of the office, I use technology to achieve a better work/life balance, which enables me to do by job better—especially when I travel, which is often. Technology enables us to carve out free time even though we are more connected than we have ever been. This connectivity helps us do our job better and allows us to quickly meet to share ideas on how to bring value to patients worldwide.

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