Navigating the Complex Cross Currents of Health | Amgen Client Story

Amgen gains valuable patient insights through Harvard Medical School executive education program.

Staying True to the Patient

Today’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries exist in a unique environment. On the one hand, they are enjoying a renaissance. There is tremendous excitement about novel therapies—like CAR-T and CRISPR—which have the potential for dramatic improvements in patient outcomes. But these industries also face challenges from skeptical consumers and policy makers, with suspicion about pricing as well as the efficacy of some treatments.

On Campus Experience

To fully understand this climate, Amgen, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, engaged Harvard Medical School (HMS) to design and deliver a customized executive education program for 28 of its senior medical affairs officers. On the HMS campus, participants learned from faculty thought leaders, while gaining critical insights in digital health, disease-specific therapeutic areas, and the future of health care delivery. They also learned that to succeed in health care, companies cannot simply understand the underlying science of their drugs—they must also understand provider preferences and patient expectations.

Medical Deep Dives

During the program, Amgen participants examined the best uses of enterprise data analytics and patient-reported outcomes; how to mine electronic health records and digital tools for key insights; and consumerism and economics in health care. Amgen executives also participated in disease-specific “deep dive” discussions with physicians, patients, and faculty who brought unique perspectives on the art and science of medicine, emerging therapies, and how Amgen could improve clinical trials for both patients and doctors.

“The strength of this program was the opportunity for in depth sessions with experts in the evolving health care environment, and the opportunity to see and discuss the practical issues patients and clinicians face in accessing new therapies,” said Paul Eisenberg, senior vice president, U.S. Medical at Amgen.

As liaisons to key stakeholders within their organizations, medical affairs leaders are uniquely positioned to disseminate new perspectives and navigate the complex and often inter-related topics affecting their businesses.

Amgen is one of a growing list of leading companies whose leaders are gaining new insights into health care through the expertise of Harvard Medical School.

Customized for Critical Insights

“Our customized programs offer a unique environment for learners at any level, but particularly those in leadership roles, to step away from their offices and gain new perspectives through multi-faceted, learning experiences tailored to their unique needs and goals,” said Dr. Stanley Shaw, Associate Dean for Executive Education at HMS. “In Amgen’s case, this program provided the rare chance to sit with doctors, patients, and leaders from across the company, and ask questions that they’ve been asking amongst themselves for a long time.”

To get this range and depth of insight, our team would need to have gone to at least ten conferences.
John Tsai
Senior Vice President Global Medical & Chief Medical Officer, Amgen (Title at time of program) Senior Vice President Global Medical & Chief Medical Officer, Amgen (Title at time of program)