Life long learning 

How do you lobby in life science?

July 2018

How do you lobby in life science?

We have asked Peter Mose, Partner at HEGELUND & MOSE and author of the books Lobbyistens Lommebog (The Lobbyist's Wallet) and Flyt Magten (Move the Power) what characterizes the successful lobbyist and how you should act as a lobbyist in life science. Read on to find out how you lobby in life science.


What characterizes the successful lobbyist?

To succeed as a lobbyist today, you have to act super professionally, also as a company.

In the past two decades, the demands for professionalism have grown, and more players have entered the scene. Today, we see both companies, organizations and NGOs, all working strategically and fighting for the same attention, resources and power. In other words, if you do not have a strategy yourself, you become the victims of others’.

As an employee in a company, it is important to understand the greater context when it comes to well-executed lobbyism. You must be able to make a sensible division of tasks for the company and tasks for the industry organization that you are a part of. Lobby activities must be coordinated so they do not interfere with one another.

Companies are often driven by profit and preferably on the short run. The time horizon does not always match the often slow political process. Impact work takes time. Here, we sometimes see a tensions between the industry organization and its member companies. Companies can be impatient at times, as they want political results fast!


If we look at life science, is there anything that differentiates this field when it comes to lobbying?

No, overall it is the same principles that recur across political areas. Earlier, one could find that the healthcare industry was more humble, and perhaps too humble, in its political act. On the contrary, i.e. agriculture has been strongly present in the politicians' minds because of their more aggressive approach to lobbying.

However, it has changed much in recent years, as the pharmaceutical industry has become a more significant player and has managed to focus on the industry not only as a contributor to new treatments, but also as a provider of jobs and Danish exports. Thus, they are not only acting professionally in the Ministry of Health, but also in the Ministry of Commerce. This development has only been possible because the pharmaceutical industry has been working strategically to document its societal value in a broader field than just a decade ago.


What do you regard as the most important skill for a Market Access employee who wants to contribute to the lobbying work?

As a Market Access employee, you are first and foremost a specialist and that is a strength in lobbying, but the crucial thing is that you know how to work with generalists - with those who understand the strategy of power and know how to move that power. The cooperation between specialists, communication and public affairs must be in order, and you must understand that you are part of this chain. If you are able to do this, you can make a significant difference to your business and industry.


You can learn more from Peter Mose on our course Medical Market Access: The Political Healthcare Sector on 30 Oct - 1 Nov 2018.


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