Spotlight Interview with QPS and Patrick Homer, Global Life Sciences Commercial Practice Principal at SAS




Why did you decide to do a webinar with us?

QPS – In addition to the interruption of business as usual across the company, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 has caused significant upheaval in our usual Business Development processes. Under typical circumstances, the QPS Business Development Team visits customers and potential customers face-to-face in a variety of locations, including our local QPS offices, conventions and the client’s local offices. Due to the global pandemic-driven restrictions on face-to-face interactions, the team quickly pivoted to deeper utilization of their digital technology toolkit. Participation in virtual conferences is one way that the team is reaching out, and Webinars are another one of the digital tools that is proving to be a valuable way to share the vast knowledge of our experts across a digital platform. Even within our webinar planning, we have been focused on ensuring a wide variety of options to reach as many people as possible. This webinar series, in partnership with Arena International, is a great way to reach out to those individuals who we might otherwise have met in person at one of the many local Outsourcing Clinical Trials conferences during the year, and has the added benefit of reaching even those people who would not have been able to participate in an in-person conference event.

What will the audience gain from attending your webinar? 

Patrick – Bringing a new product to the global market has become increasingly more complex. There are a range of decisions that sponsors need to make, and they need to ensure that all stakeholders have a good understanding of the implications of those decisions. Over the last eight years, SAS has had the opportunity to help market access professionals optimize global product launch sequencing. Our approach helps sponsors navigate the complexities of international reference pricing and ultimately identify the best order of countries for global launch.

When we deconstruct the problem of launch sequencing, we can understand not only how complex it really is, but also how the insight discovered should be shared to inform decisions that are made upstream. In short, we discovered we could bridge the continuum between decisioning for clinical operations and market access to share the insights that would be critical in determining the first steps of commercial success.

How did you get into the industry and what do you most enjoy about your role? 

Patrick – I always had a passion for the application of science and the desire to join an industry whose mission was noble. The pharmaceutical industry brings products to market that bring life to our years and add years to our life. After graduating with a degree in Microbiology, my first steps were to pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales. That developed into various leadership roles and eventually led to the opportunity to play a pivotal role in bringing contract sales teams to the industry for the ‘90s and early millennia blockbuster era. I then had the chance to change the direction of my career 13 years ago when I joined SAS software to lead the development of advanced analytic solutions for life science companies. It has been a dynamic time listening to our pharma customers and helping them make better decisions based on analytical insight. 

What are you hoping to achieve in the future in your personal and professional life? 

Patrick – Over the last year at SAS our health care and life sciences team globally has been centre stage in helping our customers respond, recover and reimagine their futures in the wake of the pandemic. One of my major projects going forward will be to introduce our customer intelligence solutions to the pharma world. Over the last year they lost their main channels of communication—representatives, symposia and congress—and turned to online engagement, such as webinars and other digital-first strategies. Engagement analytics can help pharma get a better understanding of the digital behaviours of physicians and patients. SAS worked with a major pharma company during the early stages of the pandemic and saw the power of data-driven insights to significantly evolve and improve digital strategy and engagement.

On the personal side – great question. I think the pandemic has made a lot of people look at what’s important in life and what their priorities are going forward. I think that there will be a renaissance period following the pandemic sunset, and I’m still thinking that one through! Before lockdown, I used to travel extensively around the globe, and I really do miss that lifestyle – looking forward to safely returning to that world.

What would someone be surprised to know about you?  

Patrick – I still ride motocross, a KTM 250 Factory edition. It keeps me young at heart.


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