Posts Tagged pharma

How to Shine at an Online Career Fair

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, HealthEconomics.Com is hosting their 5th Online Career Fair specifically for the HEOR, Market Access and Real World Evidence audience.  The Career Fair is scheduled from 10am-2pm, and you can participate from anywhere in the world!  Ten employers will be there to recuit:  Boehringer-Ingelheim, Deloitte Belgium, Evidera, ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review), Ipsos Healthcare, Lilly, PRMA Consulting, RTI Health Solutions, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Washington and Jefferson College.

If you aren’t registered yet, no worries!  It takes just minutes to register and you can interview, job search, or network from your smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer anywhere there is an active internet connection.  Register here.  If you’re an employer and you want to get in on the action, visit here.

To help job-seekers prepare for the unique environment of an Online Career Fair, we wanted to re-share portions of a previously-conducted interview  with Scott Kabo and Michael Litten of Klein Hersh International recruiting, a firm specializing in many areas of healthcare, including pharma HEOR.  Take a minute to read their advice and we’ll see you online!  Happy job hunting and recruiting! Knock it out of the park!

[Patti]  What three pieces of advice do you offer to a Job Seeker as they prepare for a Career Fair?

[KH]  In every job search, job seekers should focus on:

1. Preparation;

2. Due Diligence; and,

3. Creating an agenda with goals to accomplish during the Career Fair.

It is important to know the specific companies that will be present at the Career Fair, and in advance of the event, research the job openings and the individual position description.  Know what company and job you will visit first, second, and so on.  It is recommended that the candidate prepare a specific script targeted toward each job, explaining why he/she would be a great fit for that advertised position and the company as a whole.  The candidate should be strategic in their efforts during the career fair, and if they aren’t sure what the company is looking for, to be prepared with “qualifying questions” that help elicit specific traits, skills, and experience that the company desires in the person who will fill that role.  Conduct due diligence on the company by searching the corporate website, reviewing press releases and announcements, and familiarizing oneself with the product portfolio and strategic focus.  “The art of an interview is your ability to ask questions and engage in dialogue,” emphasizes Kabo.  Moreover, even at a virtual career fair, all candidates should come to the interview prepared with a list of questions that help him or her understand the company, its culture, the specific role, and the skills necessary to succeed.

[Patti]  How should an Employer prepare for a Career Fair? 

[KH]  Michael Litten notes that some of same advice given to candidates embarking on a Career Fair also applies to employers:  namely, Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.  Employers should be fully capable of discussing the corporate goals, areas of focus, and uniqueness.  They should also be prepared to field common questions that candidates in the field of HEOR would ask about the specific job.  Interviewing goes both ways, particularly in high-demand areas like HEOR and Pricing, Reimbursement, and Market Access.  All human resources personnel should know what makes their company “sizzle” and be prepared for delivering a pitch that would make someone want to make the leap from their present company to a new place of employment.

[Patti]  This is a virtual Career Fair.  How should employers and job seekers specifically prepare for this on-line experience?

[KH]  Litten and Kabo encourage everyone to participate because – as they say – there really are no barriers to one attending in terms of location, travel, cost, etc.  This Virtual Career Fair for Health Economics & Outcomes Research is incredibly unique and a fantastic idea.  There are, however, a few things both a candidate and an employer should remember about this on-line experience.  Litten believes that the virtual experience has some commonalities with a telephone interview.  Both the employer and the candidate should be prepared to quickly and efficiently steer the conversation toward a specific role and to be able to say a few words that highlight the skill set needed or that the candidate possesses, up front.  Because this is a virtual environment typing this information, so be prepared for this.  Also, be ready to migrate through the booths to visit as many companies as possible, and make sure to get individual follow-up information with email addresses so you can establish that relationship outside of the Career Fair.

[Patti] What is the most common mistake you have observed in the interviewing process?

[KH]  Litten notes that time delays, including drawn-out scheduling and/or decision-making in the job search process by the hiring company, is the biggest challenge to both the employer and the job seeker.  If the process goes stagnant, the candidate will move onto another opportunity.  Occasionally, a candidate may be uncomfortable stating that they are not interested in a position, but ultimately, this honesty works best for all parties involved.  Additionally, it is important that the company clearly state if they desire a specific type of skill set.  Likewise, the candidate needs to be transparent about what skills they possess and the areas in which they are less comfortable.  Another common fallacy is for the candidate to play their cards “close to the vest”.  Kabo notes that candidates should clearly communicate their enthusiasm for the position and the company, if it exists. The last thing one wants is for the company to have a debrief after an interview and note, “we really liked the candidate’s technical capabilities, but we just didn’t get the sense they were interested in us!”  If you like each other, let it be known!

[Patti] How can a resume stand out in today’s marketplace?

[KH]  The most essential thing to remember is that people are busy, so conciseness is essential.  Your entire work career will likely not be reviewed job by job, bullet point by bullet point.  Litten strongly suggests including an “Expertise or Overall Summary of Profile” statement at the top of the resume, including relevant skill sets and today’s buzzwords.  He also notes that, in today’s environment, it is increasingly common for candidates to hold a series of short-term consulting jobs, often moving from one company to another in short-term contract positions.  If this is the case, it is essential to note that these moves were intentional and part of an organized process of consulting, and to note this at the top of the resume.   This immediately addresses the concern over the candidate being a “job-hopper”, and instead positions the candidate as someone who has chosen a particular tact to their career focused intentionally on short-term contracting positions.  This is acceptable, but an explanation at the top of the resume should indicate this approach.

If you are a hiring company and are interested in exhibiting or recruiting at the Career Fair contact Undine McEvoy at

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Three Things You Need To Know About Personalized Medicine

caitlin thumbnail

By Caitlin Rothermel

I couldn’t decide whether I knew enough about personalized medicine. So I took it on myself to catch up on the topic. Based on what I learned, I think there are three things it’s important to keep in mind.

1. Personalized medicine is great for patients

Let’s quickly define “personalized medicine.” It’s the tailoring of health care delivery to individual patients based on their responses to specific treatments or susceptibility to particular diseases. In most cases, these targeted treatments are based on genetic information.

That’s great for patients. The biggest personalized medicine successes so far have probably been in the field of oncology, with new drugs that are particularly effective in tumors with specific mutations. In a recent study, treatment with the mutated-BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib in patients with BRAF mutation-positive advanced melanoma resulted in a doubling of progression-free survival vs. conventional therapy. Companion diagnostic testing (where testing for genetic susceptibility is required before treatment is initiated) is also key to personalized medicine. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer can take a diagnostic test to find out if they are among the 4%-5% likely to respond very well to crizotinib, an ALK inhibitor.

Personalized medicine also exists beyond genetic profiling. IndiGO, a decision support tool developed by Archimedes takes patients’ individualized health information and calculates their unique risk for negative health outcomes, as well as the likely impact if guideline-based interventions are implemented (eg, lifestyle changes or addition of a blood pressure-lowering medication).

2. Personalized medicine is progressing more slowly than you might think, but it is also everywhere

Some experts think that the term “personalized medicine” is too confusing, and this makes sense. Think of patients or think of yourself – don’t you expect personalized attention from your doctor? Because of issues like this an alternate term, “precision medicine,” is gaining traction.

It has been suggested that personalized medicine should refer to the individual genomic information that can be mined to learn about hereditary tendencies for specific diseases. Precision medicine, on the other hand, uses genetic information obtained from tumors to develop more precise therapies. This distinction helps to explain why change is coming slowly. The most heralded personalized treatment advances have been for cancers where researchers have had access to a large, longstanding repository of genetic samples. On the other hand, although a huge amount of genomic profiling information has been collected (with a lot more likely to come), it’s really a big-data dump at this point, with very few usable, causal associations identified.

There are implementation barriers, too. A recent report from the ISPOR Personalized Medicine Special Interest Group has an excellent discussion of how development incentives differ for pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, making partnerships difficult to establish. Other research has shown that primary care physicians experience barriers to effectively communicating personalized medicine concepts.

3. The financial model for personalized medicine is not clear

According to ISPOR, more than 50% of biopharmaceutical companies now have personalized medicine divisions, with high hopes for the future. Broadly speaking, the economic model for personalized medicine is as follows: targeted approaches will replace the blockbuster drug model, meaning that fewer patients will be able to use specific treatments, but they will use them more efficiently. Therefore a higher price point can be applied, correspondent with the associated benefit.

But there’s reason to suspect that the “sky is the limit” approach to medication reimbursement may be over. Risk-sharing agreements are becoming increasingly common in the U.S. and overseas, and pricing for orphan drugs, traditionally higher than for other treatments, is currently under pushback in Europe. In the U.S. one month ago, Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital announced that it would not use the colon cancer drug aflibercept because of its hefty price tag (in this case, the drug was no more effective than other existing treatments). The manufacturer backed down and lowered the cost.

One thing for certain is that there will be plenty of work for health economists when it comes to assessing the value of personalized medicine. Since each personalized treatment creates its own niche market, cost-effectiveness analyses will be needed earlier in the process.

What do you think? Is personalized medicine a 21st Century game-changer? What are the practical applications of widespread genomic sampling? And what should we be watching out for – how will we know that personalized medicine has really arrived?

Caitlin Rothermel, MA, MPH is a medical and health economics writer. She lives in Seattle, WA with her family. Thanks to genetic sequencing, her husband now knows that he is of Irish extraction (this made him very happy). You can learn more about Caitlin by visiting

, , , , , , ,

No Comments