PMSA Member Spotlight: Andy Aiken

Each edition of PMSA Notes will include a spotlight on a noteworthy PMSA member. This's month's Member Spotlight focuses on PMSA Past President Andy Aiken, Commercial Assessment Lead, Pfizer. Andy served as President of the association in 2009, and has continued to play a part in PMSA.

PMSA: How many years have you been in the industry?
Andy Aiken: I've been in the industry for 15 years, and worked in forecasting and management science for seven years in other industries before moving to the pharma industry.

PMSA: What attracted you to the field?
AA: The problems we work on in pharmaceutical management science affect not only the revenues or profits of our employers, but also the productivity of health care providers and the state of public health. We have an opportunity to help bring better therapies to market. The social value of the work is a motivator for me.

In regard to management science as a field, I enjoy problem solving and working with bright people. The work requires a very practical focus, as well as subject matter expertise and ongoing research on methodological best practices. It's a stimulating blend of application and intellectual exploration.

PMSA: How did you first hear about PMSA?
AA: I was recruited to the industry by Shawn Sahebi, who was Vice President of PMSA at the time. Shawn encouraged me to come to the conference and apply for positions on the board.

PMSA: How many years have you attended the PMSA conference?
AA: I've attended 14 conferences since 2002. I couldn't attend in 2012.

PMSA: Do you have any recommendations to make PMSA more effective?
AA: PMSA has made big strides since I joined as a member. Surprisingly, I still meet people within the industry who are not familiar with PMSA, even though they could benefit from joining and attending conferences and other events. So, increased marketing efforts may make the organization more effective.

PMSA: Please describe any current projects you are excited about.
AA: I'm currently working on several projects to enable commercial decision makers to conduct high-quality analytics somewhat independently of the analytics and insights teams. This effort has posed design and methodological challenges, and the solutions incorporate recent thought leadership in forecasting, adapted for Pfizer's organizational structure and culture.

PMSA: Do you have any predictions for the future?
AA: The global economy has been in a productivity slowdown for nearly a decade. The positive effects of information technology have been incorporated into the economy, and the economy has been drifting without significant growth drivers.

My prediction is that if the regulatory and pricing environment do not become too negative for the industry, biopharma will be one of the leading boom industries for the next few decades. It is a good industry to stay in, but the next few years will continue to be difficult.

PMSA: What are your hobbies?
AA: Reading (history, psychology, and economics) and travel.

PMSA: Thanks, Andy!