Skip to content

Ashfield's Greg Flynn was featured as the cover story for the recent edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce, sharing insights on who Ashfield is and answering questions about the commercialization industry.

Greg Flynn - Ashfield US

Here’s an excerpt from the original publication – click here to view the full article.

UDG Healthcare plc is a global provider of outsourced services for life sciences and healthcare; from its Dublin, Ireland headquarters, this publicly traded company manages business units and services in 50 countries, employs more than 8,000 and passed $1 billion in revenue in 2016. UDG Healthcare’s Ashfield Healthcare division, now celebrating its 20th year in business, provides field and contact center sales teams, healthcare communications, patient support, market access, audit, advisory, medical information and event management services to more than 300 healthcare companies.

Recently, UDG Healthcare announced the appointment of Greg Flynn as regional president of Ashfield in the US, responsible for commercial, clinical, medical information, pharmacovigilance and market access operations. Previously, he was regional president in Japan and representative director of CMIC Ashfield, a joint initiative between CMIC Holdings Co., Ltd and UDG. Under Greg’s leadership, Ashfield became an industry leading partner with more than 650 staff across 44 clients in five years.

Pharmaceutical Commerce sat down with Mr. Flynn to find out where Ashfield is going in the US. Here’s what he had to say.

1) Ashfield is a large multinational organization, and part of yet a larger multinational organization, UDG Healthcare. Can you put Ashfield in context for us? What role does it play within UDG Healthcare?

UDG Healthcare operates across three divisions; Sharp, Aquilant and Ashfield.

Sharp Packaging Solutions is a global leader in contract commercial packaging and clinical trial packaging services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, operating from state of the art facilities across the US and Europe. Sharp is also a world leader in ‘track and trace’ serialization services, which will require all prescription drugs to have a unique serial code for authentication and traceability.

Aquilant is a leading provider of outsourced sales, marketing, distribution and engineering services to the medical and scientific sectors in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Ashfield is a global leader in commercialization services for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, operating across two broad areas of activity: commercial and clinical services, and communications services. It focuses on supporting healthcare professionals and patients at all stages of the product life cycle.

Ashfield represents the largest division of operations within UDG Healthcare with 6,000 employees globally, representing 61% of the overall group profit for UDG Healthcare. UDG Healthcare has a huge stake in Ashfield’s success in the near-term, with nearly $500m dedicated to the acquisition of strategic companies—the most recent acquisitions of Vynamic and Cambridge BioMarketing being prime examples—focused on commercial and patient services. We see a tremendous opportunity to help our clients along the entire value chain—not just big pharma either; emerging biotechs and small pharma companies are very much companies where we can provide value in their commercialization and patient support services.

2) Do pharma companies contract with Ashfield for a global service, or country by country? And second, how does the range of services Ashfield offers represent a unified offering? Do clients hire Ashfield for its full range of services, or do they order ‘a la carte’?

Ashfield operates in more than 50 countries with offices in 22, and our corporate structure manages these operations territorially: US/Canada, the EU, and Japan. We’ve been providing an outsourced sales force, nursing and contact center solutions for more than 20 years, and in the last year, significant progress has been made in evolving our service offerings, introducing new innovative commercial models and winning larger contracts, particularly with global clients.

Ashfield offers a suite of services that work together along the entire value chain of a product’s lifecycle: Access to medicine, knowledge about the medicine, support to patients on medicine.

Through our Market Access team, we enable access to treatment by helping manufacturers navigate the challenges of bringing their medicines to market. For example, clients looking to go to market with late phase products are often unsure whether to commercialize the product themselves or to outsource. In order to create the most successful strategy for pharma and biotech companies, it is critical for them to know how payers are going to react to the product in the marketplace. They ultimately need a real-life view to see how the product would be reimbursed by payers.

Once a product is in the market, we are the conduit of knowledge to HCPs, helping them make informed treatment decisions that directly impact patient care. We can accomplish this in a number of ways, most notably by deploying commercial teams to educate HCPs and developing medical information resources to enable meaningful scientific discussion. Our healthcare communications companies help communicate brand and disease messages, while our event management company provides a means of educating physicians or organizing an internal sales meeting prior to product launch.

Most importantly, our mission is to support the patient to help achieve positive outcomes. Our clinical teams, comprised of clinical educators, connect HCPs and patients with impactful solutions such as adherence risk assessments and in-home instruction to help manage their condition.

The level of service we provide really depends on the need of the client and its respective product along with its internal capabilities to drive commercialization. Oftentimes biotech and smaller pharma companies do not have the bandwidth to solve some of the more complex challenges with bringing a product to market. In this case, we would operate as an extension of their organization, leveraging our market access relationships or rapidly deploying a sales force needed to achieve their financial goals. When it comes to some of the larger pharmaceutical companies, our focus tends to be more commercial or clinical in nature, delivering field and contact center sales or patient support teams. However, in all engagements, we match our tailored services to the opportunity the brand is afforded. In many instances, the brands we service need highly customized solutions and a unique skill set to achieve success.

The intrinsic value Ashfield brings to each engagement is our ability to draw upon the market knowledge and field experience gained globally within our multiple service offerings. For example, our healthcare communications companies can draw upon our field experience to improve their messaging or our event management experience can help sales teams better tailor their message to each specialty.

Click here to read the rest of the article originally published by Pharmaceutical Commerce. 


Receive all of our latest blog entries straight to your inbox!