IPHA’s ‘Innovate For Life’ Tells Impact And Value Story For Ireland’s Pharmaceutical Innovators

Posted on July, 01 - 2019

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), which represents the originator pharmaceutical industry, today [Monday] launched ‘Innovate for Life’, a public campaign aimed at telling a value story about the impact of medicines in society.

‘Innovate for Life’, an industry-first for Ireland, is a digital-led initiative, organised into three distinct pillars - ‘The Places’, ‘The Patients’ and ‘The Pioneers’. ‘The Places’ captures the industry’s economic impact in communities like Cork and Westport, County Mayo. ‘The Patients’ profiles the human impact of medical innovation told through patients’ eyes. ‘The Pioneers’ celebrates the new science behind the latest treatments and cures.

The campaign, which has been endorsed by IDA Ireland, is captured in a mini-documentary, with six film ‘cutdowns’ and a selection of captioned still images. Digital channels, primarily Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, will deliver the content at intervals from now until the end of the year. The mini-documentary will debut at ‘Innovate For Life’, IPHA’s conference on November 21 in Croke Park, Dublin.

The campaign is voiced by the people on the frontline of community, science and industry. Their stories illustrate the depth of the impact of the originator pharmaceutical industry on Ireland’s society and the economy. Under each pillar, the films tell different stories. These are:

The Places

  • Cork is a thriving biopharmaceutical cluster, with many of the industry’s largest players working on the discovery and manufacture of the latest treatments. The industry has a major economic impact locally.
  • Pharmaceutical innovation stretches along part of the Wild Atlantic Way, including in Westport, County Mayo, where Allergan employs 1,300 people working on medicines for the global marketplace.

The Patients

  • Diabetes patient Eoghan Quinn’s recent attempt to solo-kitesurf from France to Ireland was, in part, enabled by innovation in treatments for the disease.
  • Psoriasis patient Caroline Irwin is able to lead a normal daily life because medicines are helping her to manage her skin condition.

The Pioneers

  • Pfizer’s Orla Cunningham tells us how her drug discovery group is finding new treatments for unmet medical needs.
  • Takeda’s Jennifer Corbett and Ellen Duggan explain how the cell therapy treatment they manufacture in Grange Castle, Dublin, is helping to fight Crohn’s Disease.

Eoghan Quinn, a 31-year-old renewable energy executive from Waterford who has Type 1 Diabetes, is among those featured in the ‘Innovate For Life’ campaign. Eoghan recently attempted to solo-kitesurf from France to Ireland across the Celtic Sea in under 16 hours. The ‘splash of cash’ journey raised money for Diabetes Ireland, though the flight ultimately failed due to changes in wind patterns.

“On the kitesurf, I was able to manage my blood glucose and insulin levels. That’s the dividend of medical innovation - helping to overcome barriers and fulfilling potential. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four. You can allow illness to define you negatively - or you can choose to let it empower you. On the flight from France, the latest in a series of adventure challenges, I definitely chose to be empowered. I was delighted to share my story through IPHA’s ‘Innovate for Life’ campaign and I hope it will help to inspire others with illnesses to reach high,” said Eoghan.

Tommy Fanning, Head of Biopharmaceuticals and Food at IDA Ireland, welcomed the campaign, saying it was an important step forward for Ireland’s reputation as a global centre for advanced manufacturing of complex biologic medicines. “IPHA’s campaign cinematically captures the positive impact of biopharmaceutical innovation. With the support of IDA Ireland, Ireland hosts all the top 10 global biopharmaceutical companies. Their operations create more than 30,000 direct jobs across manufacturing, research and development, supply chain and global services. About as many more jobs are created by spin-off activity, downstream and upstream. Ireland’s biopharmaceutical industry has a bright future, drawing on a rich tradition of innovation and an enterprise policy environment that can attract and keep significant global investments,” said Mr Fanning.

Bernard Mallee, IPHA’s Director of Communications and Advocacy, said: “‘Innovate For Life’ shares an exciting story of pharmaceutical innovation - the science behind the treatments and cures, the passion and dedication of people who work to improve healthcare outcomes, the community impact generated by the presence of significant industry investment, and the strength and resilience of patients whose conditions can be managed by medical innovation. It is an important window on the value of innovation - and a story that can be owned by everyone with a stake in patient care, not just our own industry. We hope the campaign can help us to lay the reputational foundation for the future of our industry which will serve the country well in the right policy and operating environment for the discovery, development and adoption of new medicines.”

Orla Cunningham is among the scientists featured in ‘Innovate for Life’. “The campaign highlights some of the innovative science we are working on towards the development of breakthrough medicines,” said Dr Cunningham, Senior Director of Pfizer Ireland’s BioMedicine Design Group at Grange Castle, Dublin. “At Pfizer Grange Castle, we combine early-stage discovery research, drug development expertise and scale-up manufacturing under one roof which provides a unique environment to accelerate new therapies to patients. In addition to Pfizer disease research units, we are working across the Irish biomedical research network, in collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland, to explore potential new targets for diseases such as haemophilia, fibrosis, Crohn’s disease and breast cancer. This is an exciting time to work in Irish biopharmaceutical research - and ‘Innovate for Life’ helps to draw attention to the promise of science for better patient care.”

For more, follow us on social using the hashtag #InnovateForLife or visit Innovate for Life