Many believe personalised medicine is the future for health care. Caris, a pioneer in this field, specialised in personalised cancer diagnostics, discovered that although many agree that this is the future, it is hard to present the service and discuss how this future would fit today’s practices. To overcome this challenge and discuss the whole issue as a common challenge that needs involvement from different stakeholders in health care, Caris engaged Opticom to conduct Future Labs in a number of cities across Sweden.

Caris Molecular Intelligence provides oncologists with the most relevant, clinically actionable and individualised treatment information to personalise cancer care for all solid tumours. While traditionally in the Nordic countries tumours are checked for about 3 or 4 biomarkers, Caris’ solution routinely checks for 70 biomarkers, including those normally only associated with other solid tumours. By doing so, Caris’ Evidence Engine can suggest the drugs that are most likely to be effective for this particular patient, based on the biology of the tumour as well as its global database of the most recent relevant scientific evidence.

Jonas Nylander, Nordic Sales and Business Development Director, Caris Life Sciences

Valuable that participants let go of their usual role
“We decided to organise these Future Labs with Opticom to be able to discuss in a structured way how a hypothetical introduction of our service, that seems to be so far away in the future, would be done and to get a good dialogue in a good forum where it is allowed to be creative and be future-minded,” Jonas Nylander, Nordic Sales and Business Development Director at Caris Life Sciences, explains.

“I think the most valuable part of the method is that, since it is called Future Lab, you create a think tank. Just the title of the meeting allows participants to let go of their usual roles and all the usual barriers can be set aside for a moment. When we discuss the question with one person at a time, the entire debate gets stuck from all sides because everyone refers to someone else. But when we can agree that this is interesting to look at and considered to be the future, which oncologists and pathologists do agree on, while politicians think it is interesting and the patients ask why can we not have this today already, then we can start to discuss how we can reach this future sooner or how we should adjust so that we can also make this a reality in the future in Sweden. Then we can get a good discussion about questions that are relevant already in today’s situation. When a think tank like this starts to discuss the future, they are actually discussing how we can implement the future already today.”

Companies invest too few resources in researching their markets
“I believe companies invest too few resources in researching their markets, not only quantitatively, but especially qualitatively. Many underestimate the value of having this kind dialogue and discussing with the market in a structured way. They just think that doing research provides us with information we already had before we started. To communicate with different stakeholders in this kind of format where the context is quite different from the usual ways we interact with them also contributes to moving forward on the important questions in a very good way. In the normal context, people may get defensive, but in this situation they are asked to consider the product or the service and become part of developing how this can be implemented. There are many companies who just see this as a given and just say why do I need more market research? But this type of projects do not just have the purpose of getting more information, they also aim at changing the way these issues are discussed.”

Positive feedback from participants
“We also got comments from several participants that they thought it was very interesting to get this time and to set aside time in their busy schedules to sit down and take the opportunity to have a meeting where they can discuss the future for cancer treatment and diagnostics with oncologists, pathologists, politicians and patient representatives. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from participants. The most stressed professors we know, who travel a lot and always have lot going on, they have indicated that they considered it valuable to take this time and sit together with others and discuss these questions even though they took time from their evenings, their personal free time, to do this. They may not have expected it to be this valuable beforehand, but have told us that it really was valuable afterwards.”

“All in all, I would say it was well invested money! Conducting Future Labs like this can contribute to changing the dialogue and discuss solutions from a new angle, as a common problem that we need to solve together. The future in health care is a joint problem or a joint challenge, so it is good to discuss it as a common challenge instead of as a company that is trying to establish a service on a market,” Jonas Nylander concludes.

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News_131210With the year coming to an end and days still getting shorter, many of us yearn for the sunny days of summer. And reminiscing over these summer months, a couple of Opticom’s very interesting contributions to the politicians’ week in Almedalen on Gotland come to mind. Read the articles below to find out how Opticom’s studies can, not only help you to improve your results by understanding your stakeholders or markets better, but also to contribute to public debate and let these ideas serve as inspiration for a wonderful year full of opportunities ahead.

Read the full news letter here.

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The pharmaceutical industry is facing both external and internal challenges. The external challenges are a lot about the health care sector’s strong focus on costs and lack of resources, creating a tough market to operate on. The internal challenges are especially about the need to be better at creating a dialogue with the new stakeholders. And LIF, the trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Sweden, needs to work on strengthening the industry’s reputation. These are some of the main findings of the survey that Opticom conducts each year in collaboration with the Pharma Industry magazine and LIF.

Since 2010, Opticom conducts an annual industry survey in the Swedish pharmaceutical industry in collaboration with Pharma Industry, and since 2012 also with LIF. The study is meant to reflect major industry issues and show how attitudes change over time. The study is designed as a web survey among Pharma Industry’s readers and other relevant people in the industry. This year’s survey was conducted in the spring of 2013.

Click here to read the full article about this survey on the pharmaceutical industry (in Swedish).

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The Swedish health care system is mediocre at using innovative medicines compared to other countries in Europe. This is a result that surprises Europeans – but not Swedes. This according to a new survey Opticom has carried on behalf of LIF – the research-based pharmaceutical companies.

A summary article from LIF’s seminar during Almedalen is presented in the report “Vården i Almedalen 2013”. This report is an editorial magazine where the communication agency Gullers Group make sure that what is being said in Almedalen does not just stay on the island of Gotland. Since 2010, the report summarises and analyses the most important health care issues during the week – and how health care stakeholders would like to resolve them. The report is organized according to the themes that dominated the week and shows current trends and developments in Swedish health care.

To read the article (in Swedish), click here.

To access the full report “Vården i Almedalen 2013”, click here.

For more information about the study conducted on behalf of LIF, please contact project manager Marijn van der Sluijs at +46 8 50 30 90 00 or marijn [at] opticom [dot] se.

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During a seminar in Almedalen on the 5th of July, Opticom presented a report on why the use of innovative drugs differs between comparable countries in Europe. The report was prepared on behalf of LIF, the trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Sweden. To provide LIF with a deeper understanding of why the use of innovative drugs differs among comparable countries, Opticom conducted interviews with approximately 200 Key Opinion Leaders and representatives for government authorities and other national organisations, in four core therapeutic areas in six European countries: Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.


For the four selected therapeutic areas, IMS Health provided LIF and Opticom with data how innovative medicines are prescribed in the various countries, which in turn enabled a ranking of countries. These rankings then formed the basis for discussion with the respondents. For the therapeutic areas that the survey focused on – Alzheimer’s, anticoagulants, diabetes, and oncology Sweden landed in positions 10 to 17, when the use of innovative drugs compared to 27 European countries.

The fact that Sweden is relatively low in these international comparisons is something that surprises respondents outside Sweden. The image of Sweden as an innovative country with high welfare is fairly widespread in Europe leads to the expectation that Sweden would be a country that should take more of a leading position.

To access a summary of the results, please choose your language below:
English or Swedish

To access the full report (in Swedish) – click here.

For more information about this report, please contact project manager Marijn van der Sluijs at +46 8 50 30 90 00 or marijn [at] opticom [dot] se.

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