Events - Exclusive Event CoverageASMA 2024: Becoming One Voice of Medical Affairs for the MEA

ASMA 2024: Becoming One Voice of Medical Affairs for the MEA

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Dubai, UAE – May 2024 – The Annual Summit on Medical Affairs (ASMA) launched its second edition of an in-person Middle East summit in Dubai on May 24, 2024, to facilitate discussions on the best practices being implemented industry-wide, share strategic insights, and strengthen the network among Medical Affairs Professionals.

The 2024 ASMA Middle East Chapter convened 150 Medical Affairs Professionals from more than 30 global healthcare and life sciences companies. This invitation-only summit-themed “Connect-Collaborate-Create” featured 32 speakers and panellists and 9+ hours of interaction and knowledge-sharing sessions.

Future of Medical Affairs in Middle East

The summit commenced by highlighting the immense opportunity that the Middle East region holds for Medical Affairs Professionals in this environment of positive economic growth and technological acceleration, as well as the government’s desire to invest in research and innovation.

The keynote session on “Five Trends Shaping the Future of Healthcare in the Middle East” deliberated on the evolving healthcare landscape in the UAE and KSA, the shift from digital to smart healthcare, radically different approaches to care, the importance of data in the context of connected care, and the rise of transformative technologies shaping a sustainable future.

In the Business Leaders’ Panel, the summit brought together the business heads from four Pharmaceutical and Medical Device companies to discuss the mission and impact of Medical Affairs. The panel discussed that Medical Affairs, in addition to its scientific leadership role, is influencing business strategy and preparing them to take on enterprise leadership within their organizations.

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A panel comprising Medical Affairs and Market Access colleagues discussed key areas of collaboration between the two functions for faster and sustained access to health solutions for patients. Furthermore, key external stakeholders, such as healthcare professionals and patient groups, also joined to discuss meaningful partnerships with Medical Affairs to unlock the value beyond the pill for comprehensive patient care and improved outcomes across the patient journey.

Further discussions ensued on the potential of generative artificial intelligence in Medical Affairs to enhance personalized patient experiences and streamline crucial workflows. The delegates shared several practical examples and discussed ethical considerations.

Workshop and Career Forum in ASMA 2024

The summit organized a hands-on workshop on Omnichannel Engagement, where delegates enjoyed the opportunity to work in groups on the provided case study and create an Omnichannel strategy for a hypothetical new molecule.

The summit ended with two breakout sessions tailored to suit the needs of the delegates. Through the career forum “Navigating your Career Path in Medical Affairs” the delegates picked up insights on the possibilities that lay ahead of them and sought answers to their career dilemmas. The second breakout session was a fireside chat on adaptive leadership in healthcare, which advocated dealing with constant changes, navigating ambiguity, and rising above as disruptive leaders for their teams and organizations.

The ASMA 2024 Middle East Chapter was a success under the patronage of the Steering Committee and Session Leaders – Chair, Eva Turgonyi (Medical Director, GCC & Pakistan, AstraZeneca), Co-Chair, Maha Matta (Head of AMEA Medical, Medical Director, BioMarin), Ahmed Baly (Head of Medical, GCC, Biogen), Ammar Raza (Regional Medical Director, MEA & Thailand, Allergan-AbbVie), Dania Choucair (Senior Director, EMEA-RLM, Medtronic), Nadine Tarcha (Medical Director, Gulf, Pfizer), Nivine Borg (Head of Medical Affairs, Gulf, Bayer), Mohamed Meshref (Regional Medical & Regulatory Director, India,
Middle East, Turkey & Africa, Boehringer Ingelheim), Jihen Toumi (Head, Medical Affairs, Innovative Medicines, Gulf, Novartis), and Sam Kozma (Pharmaceutical Industry Professional, Ex Johnson & Johnson; Ex Gilead).

In conclusion, the well-attended and highly successful 2nd ASMA Middle East Chapter echoes the expansion of the Medical Affairs Community in Dubai. This professional group is well-positioned to serve as a capability development powerhouse to work together to build a future-ready Medical Affairs in the Middle East region.

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