ASMI Media Releases – ASMI Elections, ANZTPA Comment, Diamond Awards, Conference Highlights

Bayer’s Mark Sargent re-elected as ASMI President

20 November 2014 – The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today announced the reelection of Mark Sargent, General Manager Consumer Care Australia & New Zealand, Bayer Australia Limited, as its President.

Speaking on his re-election, Mark Sargent said:

“I am delighted to continue for another term as President to advance a strong, sustainable non-prescription medicines industry and to drive ASMI’s long-term strategic goal of having self care integrated into healthcare.

“I look forward to continuing to work with ASMI’s Committee of Management, the broader membership and key stakeholders to achieve these goals and to further drive growth and innovation in the OTC and complementary medicines sectors.”

Mark Sargent has over 20 years’ experience in senior marketing, sales and management roles, including 15 years in the OTC and complementary medicines sectors in Australia and his most recent achievement has been the successful integration of MSD Consumer Care, which was acquired by Bayer in October.

ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie commented that Mark Sargent had been a great source of strategic advice and counsel for ASMI over many years and members will benefit greatly from his third consecutive year of leadership.

“We are delighted that Mark will continue for another term in his role as President to deliver the programs that will help elevate self care on the healthcare policy agenda,” he added.

Dr Schoombie also congratulated the other ASMI office-bearers for 2015:

* Violeta Delgado, newly elected Vice President (Treasurer),Head of ANZ at Novartis Consumer Health.
Re-elected ASMI Vice President (Secretary)Paul Rose, General Manager ANZ at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.


ASMI pleased Trans-Tasman regulatory harmonisation activities will continue despite shelving of ANZTPA proposal  

20 November 2014 – The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today said it is pleased the Federal Government is committed to continuing its co-operation with New Zealand’s Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) despite its decision to cease efforts to establish a joint therapeutic products regulator, the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA).

In responding to the Government’s announcement, ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie, said: “We have mixed feelings about the Federal Government’s decision. While on the one hand we have been a supporter of the ANZTPA proposal for its potential to pave the way for a single market, we have been playing a ‘waiting game’ for a long time and this has created uncertainty and delays in progressing individual harmonisation initiatives.  

“It’s reassuring the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Medsafe will continue to explore Trans-Tasman regulatory harmonisation activities of benefit to both countries and build on earlier projects such as over-the-counter medicines (OTC) business process reform, which is a great example of collaboration and aligning of business processes.

“ASMI believes that areas of priority for regulatory harmonisation between Australia and New Zealand are the advertising of OTC medicines and scheduling,” Dr Schoombie added.


ASMI congratulates Diamond Awards winners  

Celebrating marketing and sales excellence in the non-prescription medicines industry

19 November 2014 – Excellence in quality use of medicines (QUM) was celebrated at a prestigious Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) gala awards dinner in Sydney last night. The recipients of a QUM marketing award and two new QUM sales awards were announced at the dinner, which was attended by over 150 industry leaders.

The ASMI Diamond Awards, which celebrate best practice in the non-prescription medicines sector, were presented across nine categories: Quality Use of Medicines (QUM), Best Large Budget Campaign (>$1 million), Best Small Budget Campaign (<$1 million), Best New Product Launch and Best Healthcare Professional Campaign, and four sales awards.

ASMI Marketing and Business Development Director Filomena Maiese said: “The ‘Judges Choice for QUM Award’ was won by RB for its ‘Live Well’ campaign.
When an initiative excels in its promotion of QUM, it really focuses on helping the consumer make the right informed choices around their health and wellbeing.

“Innovative and leading-edge creative work was demonstrated in the ‘Live Well’ campaign. This integrated, multichannel communications campaign was category-led and focused on lifestyle, wellness and self care. It promoted health literacy, and included a TV series on wellness, a multimedia ‘Live Well’ platform which included social media, brochures, magazines and in-store promotions. It truly epitomised QUM!”

“GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Boehringer Ingelheim received the QUM sales awards, which are conferred on companies that excelled in ‘promoting QUM in pharmacy’ – through initiatives such as sales representative knowledge and focus on pharmacy staff product training,” Ms Maiese added.

Other award winners included Ego Pharmaceuticals – one for a small budget campaign that aimed to reposition the Sunsense brand, and the other for its large budget marketing campaign to reposition its QV skin brand.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK) received the award for Best Healthcare

Professional Initiative for its healthcare professional campaign to support the launch of Nicabate Oral Strips.

RB also won the award for Best Launch of a Consumer Healthcare product for the Optrex Actimist launch.

This year ASMI reintroduced Sales Awards to recognise ASMI member pharmacy sales teams for sales excellence in retail pharmacy.

Best practice sales performance was recognised with the QUM awards and ‘overall winners’ – the companies with the highest satisfaction metrics as voted by retail pharmacy.

The overall winners of Sales Awards were Ego Pharmaceuticals (for <$100 million pharmacy sales category) and RB (for >$100 million pharmacy sales category).  

The 2014 ASMI Diamond Marketing Awards were judged by a panel of independent experts and the Sales Awards were based on ASMI company rankings as voted by retail pharmacy from specialist pharmacy research company, Industry Pulse.

“ASMI congratulates all winners for their extraordinary performance.
The marketing campaign entries were exceptional, which made selecting the winners immensely difficult.
The sales and QUM excellence winners also need to be congratulated for their outstanding performance supporting the pharmacy channel,” exclaimed Ms Maiese.

The Dinner was sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Pacific and the pre-dinner drinks were sponsored by the Australian Pharmaceutical Publishing Company.


Self care accepted by consumers, but regulatory obstacles holding it back from playing a more prominent role in national healthcare policy

19 November 2014 – Consumers are receptive to the notion of taking more responsibility for their health and well-being and many are practising responsible self care. But there are regulatory obstacles which hamper the expansion of self care as the cornerstone of a national health policy, said experts at an Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) conference yesterday.

ASMI Executive Director Dr Deon Schoombie said:
“ASMI’s 2014 conference attracted a distinguished array of local and international speakers to share insights on some of the many dimensions of self care – healthcare consumer behaviour, consumer access to medicines, regulatory reform, complementary medicines and healthcare retailing.

“Importantly, it highlighted the next steps we need to take for self care to build momentum in Australia if it is to play a more prominent role in national healthcare policy. This includes setting a regulatory framework that maintains public health and safety but also encourages industry innovation; expansion of the professional role of pharmacists; and transformation of healthcare retailing to take advantage of demographic, technological and social trends, amongst others.”

Dr Schoombie spoke about down-scheduling from Prescription Only medicines to over-the-counter medicines (OTC) and said that the Australian regulatory environment is not conducive to encouraging ‘switch’. He announced that ASMI is launching an initiative to reshape the scheduling environment and to develop an Australian switch agenda through a multi-stakeholder and cross sector collaboration.

Dr Schoombie also described a draft new model for creating consumer awareness of S3 medicines, which was jointly developed by ASMI, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The model involves three elements:
Information about the disease or condition, branded product information, and the key element – emphasising the role of the pharmacist in determining whether the therapy is appropriate for a particular consumer and/or condition.

Nicholas Hall shared the emerging trends in global self care markets, drawing on insights from research and international best practice and providing a backdrop for the day’s discussions. He said:

“There is a continued trend to prevention and a focus on lifestyle conditions. There is also a renewed focus on the consumer and a new point-of-care role for pharmacists, focused on health maintenance and lifestyle OTCs.”

Professor Scott Koslow from Macquarie University’s Centre for the Health Economy, discussed Australian consumer behaviour in relation to self care and its current and potential future value to the economy. “One in nine consumers use a non-prescription medicine regularly,” he explained “and the majority of consumers want down-scheduling from Prescription Only to over-the-counter for certain medicines, but several medicines available as OTC in comparable markets overseas still require a prescription in Australia. This means Australian consumers are missing out.”

On the regulatory front, Bill Turner, Head, Office of Scientific Evaluation at the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), provided an update on the latest state of play on the regulatory front for self care and regulatory reforms that impact the industry. He also foreshadowed the potential impacts f the Federal Government’s de-regulatory agenda on the non-prescription medicines industry.    

Steve Mister, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition, shared the latest rends in the complementary medicines market in North America, providing insights on what the ear future holds for complementary medicines

He presented the results of a Frost and Sullivan study in the US which revealed that targeted use of complementary medicines in high risk populations can potentially reduce healthcare costs.
Mr Mister pointed to a similar study in Australia, which demonstrated that certain complementary medicines can lead to reduced individual and societal healthcare costs and productivity gains when taken at a preventive dose by high risk target populations.

Gopa Mitra, MBE, a Board member of the UK Self Care Forum, shared insights into the way the UK is embracing self care and some of the key lessons she learnt along the way from her involvement on the Board of the Self Care Forum.

“Self care had its origins in an unsustainable UK health system, fueled by ballooning demand for a range of healthcare services, an ageing population, and a rising incidence of chronic disease,”explained Ms Mitra. “Australia’s health system faces similar challenges. The essence of self care lies in empowering individuals to become more knowledgeable and confident about their health at every stage of their life.”

Dr Alison Roberts from the PSA, presented the results of the PSA’s Health Destination Pilot study and the latest trends in community pharmacy in Australia.

She argued that “Pharmacies need to reposition themselves as health destinations if they are to survive healthcare system reforms. New business models are needed for pharmacy that are consumer-centric and based on health solutions. The new models need to be built from the ground up rather than just tinkering around the edges.”

Steve Sowerby followed up with case studies of best practice healthcare retailing around the world.
He pointed to the drive to personalisation and what this means for healthcare retailing, in particular,the role of big data in personalised care and promotion; expanding the role of the Pharmacist and increasing the importance of personal advisers.

In the closing session, the ABC’s Virginia Trioli moderated a vigorous panel discussion with several industry leaders that shed light on some of the key issues facing the sector and priorities for the future. The panelists included Grant Kardachi from the PSA, Professor Scott Koslow, Bill Turner,Chris Flood from the Guild and Dr Deon Schoombie.

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