After months of preparation and much more time spent loosely imaging what it would be like to travel through 25 countries in as many days, four select That’s Nice team members decided to embark on an arduous trek in search to explore the future of healthcare across Europe — during a (hopefully) once in a lifetime occurrence. Despite COVID-19 ravaging the world, upending travel and daily life alike, Nigel Walker, Phill Neill, Jordi Castan, and Mark Gostick decided to take matters into their own hands and go directly to the source for a comprehensive, first-hand account of Europe’s COVID-19 pandemic, unmet medical needs across the continent, and how pharma and biopharma are innovating to create a brighter future.
In addition to meeting pharma industry executives, students, investors, and healthcare workers, the team spent time with everyday European and British nationals, asking for their honest take on the pandemic and the other outstanding healthcare needs. The responses ranged the gamut from caution over COVID-19 to the feeling that the response was an overreaction, and even utter rejection of the disease’s existence. Meetings with industry insiders generated some more sophisticated takes, including how the pandemic will help to spur an emphasis on personalized medicine, the need for direct-to-patient trials, the ability to flexibly manipulate the supply chain for drugs to be delivered on time, and an emphasis on mental health — a focus that recurred throughout the month-long excursion.
The team traveled nearly 7,500 miles across the continent by planes, ferries, and a pair of Mini Coopers wrapped in chrome, facing tough weather and an uncharted landscape of a continent in the grips of a pandemic. Here’s what happened each day on The Road to 2021.
Mr. Walker is the founder and managing director of That’s Nice LLC, a research-driven marketing agency with 20 years dedicated to life sciences. Nigel harnesses the strategic capabilities of Nice Insight, the research arm of That’s Nice, to help companies communicate science-based visions to grow their businesses. Mr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with honors from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, England.