The greatest ever Pf Awards

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The Pf Awards have become a symbol of high ambition and the 2018 ceremony witnessed yet more dreams become a startling reality.

For nearly two decades, pharma’s finest have made their way to London, hoping to get their hands on a sacred Pf Award and thus send a profound message to the world that they have truly arrived.

For winners, the feeling of having their name announced stays with them forever. In many ways it represents the very point at which life changes and their destiny is rerouted for good. To look at the complete list of winners over the past decades is to look at careers which blossomed, ambitions that flourished and hundreds of promotions that were glitteringly achieved.

For some, it was achievement enough to make it through the Assessment Day in one piece. For others, the only focus was to finish the night on a high – overcoming one last hurdle and seeing their name in lights. Dare they dream?

At the Royal Lancaster Hotel – home of the Pf Awards for several years – there was the usual, unmistakable cocktail of nervous anticipation, the absolutely deafening sound of industry personnel catching up with one another and the sheer joy of being present at the undisputed number one event for recognising industry sales talent.

Perhaps the biggest difference was the sheer size and scale this year. It was by far our grandest Pf Awards ever.



Centre stage

Pf Awards host Hal Cruttenden, star of stand-up comedy and at least three dozen panel shows, revelled in his role and seemed very at home with the buoyant pharma crowd. 

It was gratifying to note that the resonating laughter came from a truly diverse pharma audience. This welcome shift was duly evidenced in the rollcall of winners and, very clearly, our industry is a much better place for it. 

As the victors picked up their awards it was also appropriate that on International Women’s Day, two women were double award winners. Meanwhile, so many of our champions represented the exuberance of youth and the vitality of different backgrounds and different industries.

Furthermore, the new breed of ‘pharmillennials’ have the confidence to demonstrate what they’ve got now – for them, the future is very much in the present.  

This is an industry we can be immensely proud of. We are inclusive, we are progressive, we are finally in every sense what we always claimed to be – a truly global industry. 

Hold onto your hats, folks, there has never been a greater time to work in pharma.



Testing times

After months of preparation for the Assessment Day, one thing that no one could have envisaged arrived – ‘The Beast from the East’. The country was buried in a duvet of snow; 20 inches in some places, four-foot-high snow drifts in others. 

While many were just about able to dig their way to the venue, some were left, quite literally, stuck behind doors; jammed shut by the unforgiving ice.

Mercifully, this is the era of multi-channels in pharma, and the ‘r’ word came to the rescue. 

E4H’s Melanie Hamer, Director of the Pf Awards since their conception, explained: “This year my team and I were tested during the Pf Awards Assessment Day in Leicester, but despite the snowfall covering the UK, the occasion was a great success. For the first time, there were remote candidates and remote judges, combined with site-based candidates and judges, all participating in the rigorous assessment process.” 

Evidently, these days our candidates are as skilled from 100 miles away as they are from five yards.



Toogood to miss: A judge’s perspective

Kathy Toogood is Director at Strengths Focused Leadership


Remarkably, despite the sub-zero temperatures, lots of judges did arrive on the day.

We waited with anticipation to hear which category we would be assessing, and if our candidates would be in the room or dialling in remotely. With expert organisation by E4H, and a highly positive attitude by all, every submission was assessed, whether virtually or in person. 

This was my first year as an assessor and I was extremely impressed by the professionalism demonstrated by every candidate. They all conducted their presentations confidently and seamlessly. 

The presentations evidenced the exceptional work pharma employees are doing to enhance people’s health and there was no mistaking that the patient was the core focus for every case study. 

The standard was consistently high, with everyone demonstrating outstanding achievements, so the assessment criteria were invaluable in ensuring that a fair, consistent and accurate assessment was made and that the award went to the most deserving team or individual.

I also met some lovely people and have already followed up on some new contacts made. From listening to candidates it was fascinating to get further insights into the industry. I am already looking forward to next year!



2018 Honours board


Account Project Award

Sponsored by MSD

Priyanka Trehan & Sandy Lindsey, MSD


Secondary Care Specialist Award

Sponsored by Ascott Blake Specialist Recruitment

Manisha Raja, LEO Pharma


Cross-Functional Team Award

Sponsored by Ashfield 

Melanie Barker, Owen Hopley & Catherine Sidgreaves, MSD


New Account Manager Award

Sponsored by Lundbeck

Chris Maylor, Boehringer Ingelheim


Medical Scientific Liaison Award

Sponsored by Evolve Selection

Catherine Pollard, AbbVie


Learning & Development Award

Sponsored by Qdem Pharmaceuticals

Chris Phillips & Elizabeth Collman, Abbvie


Experienced Account Manager Award

Sponsored by Mylan

Claire Smith, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd


Joint Working Award

Sponsored by Bayer

Jonathan Walker & Ruth Christer, Coloplast


Nurse Advisor Award

Sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd

Dawn Havron, IQVIA 


Best Newcomer Award

Sponsored by CHASE

Sarah Valente-Smith, MSD

Zuchaela Smylie, GSK in partnership with Ashfield


Primary Care Specialist Award

Sponsored by Forte

Ahmed Ghumra, Star

Iram Meharban, MSD


Emerging Talent Award

Sponsored by IQVIA

Ollie Roberts, MSD

Fiona Wallis, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd

Gregory Palin, Star


Commercial Innovation Award

Sponsored by Alveo Solutions Ltd 

Claire Smith, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd


Regional Manager Award

Sponsored by LEO Pharma

Adam Clements, Bayer


e-Representative Award

Sponsored by Republic M! UK LTD

Steven Dailly, Republic-M!


Outstanding Performer Award

Sponsored by Star

Catherine Pollard, AbbVie



Coming soon… 

Full coverage and photos from the Pf Awards 2018 will be in our official Post Awards Brochure, available in May. Subscribe to receive your free copy at


Do you have what it takes? 

Are you ready to compete against the elite in your industry and come out on top? Enter next year’s awards. For more information visit  @pf_awards