Conversation with Michele Fasola, Sr. Medical Marketing Manager of IBSA Group29 March 2022
What does it mean to work in Medical Affairs, a division of IBSA’s headquarters in Lugano that acts as a liaison between Research and Development and the Marketing-Commercial area? What does it mean to manage and communicate the scientific contents and values that characterise the products from the therapeutic areas Pain and Inflammation, Osteoarticular, Urology, Dermatology, Cardiometabolic, Respiratory and Integrative Care? In a few minutes of reading, Michele Fasola, Senior Medical Marketing Manager, will tell us more about his daily activities, dealing with the products sold by IBSA in over 90 markets (an ever-growing number!).
HOW DID THE ACTIVITIES OF YOUR DEPARTMENT EVOLVE OVER TIME?
Only fifteen years ago, IBSA’s Medical Affairs did not exist. The division was in fact established with the arrival of Giuliana Villa, Department Head, and has since undergone a continuous evolution. Initially, we were very few, then we started growing progressively faster... which was necessary, considering the great innovations that IBSA launched and is launching on the market in recent years, such as the new intra-articular formulations, the intravesical therapy with glycosaminoglycans and the orodispersible films (ODF), just to name a few. All of these products, of course, need maximum support to achieve the right positioning and due success, and the Medical Affairs department has precisely that task.
THE PILLARS OF IBSA ARE PERSON, INNOVATION, QUALITY AND RESPONSIBILITY. WHICH OF THESE DO YOU FEEL CLOSEST TO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES? IN WHAT TERMS?
They are all interconnected elements, that cannot be considered one disconnected from the other. We register and market drugs, devices and supplements that are the result of a great deal of research, Quality products born from IBSA’s Innovation. However, without the People that support them, the passion for work and the Responsibility in conducting our activities, they would remain difficult to market and sell. Personally, I believe that these 4 pillars are synergistic, just like the 4 natural elements (water, earth, fire and air): should even one of them be missing, the key to the company’s success would be lost.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE CORE QUALITIES FOR EXCELLING IN YOUR FIELD?
Quite a few, of course, considering we are a pharmaceutical company. First of all, a deep and continuing scientific preparation, which must allow us to get to know our products in detail, but also to interact with our stakeholders (doctors, pharmacists, etc.). Very important is also verbal and written communication, which must be effective, focused and “unassailable”. And also empathy and, last but not least, humility. An example that combines all these values is undoubtedly JOINT CHALLENGE 2021, an event considered by those who participated (doctors from 22 countries) to be unique in its kind, and which created a challenging context for acute and chronic joint/musculoskeletal conditions.
IBSA IS AN INCREASINGLY INTERNATIONAL COMPANY; HOW DOES THIS PROPENSION FOR INTERNATIONALISATION IMPACT UPON YOUR WORK AS A MEDICAL MARKETING MANAGER?
The impact is extraordinary. Due to the growing number of countries where we operate and products that we launch internationally, we are obliged to give increasingly more, dealing with stakeholders from all over the world with very heterogeneous needs and problems. But this is the beauty: a process of growth – not only professional, but also personal – which is constantly evolving.