CEO, Servier Canada
Oncology Division Head, Servier Canada
As the world looks to the pharmaceutical industry for hope, Servier Canada is redefining itself as an ethical research leader with a broad mandate.
When Chantal Boucher first left nursing for the pharmaceutical industry, her friends and colleagues questioned her decision of leaving her role as a front line worker, taking care of patients. But, in her new role as Oncology Division Head at Servier Canada, she’s found a team and a company with a patient-focused mission that leaves her confident that her work is actively improving the lives of patients in Canada and worldwide.
Founded in France in the 1950s, Servier has built a name for itself as an independent leader in ethical pharmaceutical research. For over 40 years, Servier Canada has been the company’s primary North American hub, serving as a major pillar in its global operations as it diversifies beyond the fields of cardiology and diabetes care and into new frontiers such as oncology.
“We’re a privately-owned international pharmaceutical company operating in 150 countries and governed by a non-profit organization,” says Boucher. “Our independence is important, because we aren’t driven by the pressure of shareholder interest. We are able to reinvest our profits back into the company and right now, 23 percent of our proceeds go directly to research, amongst which 50 percent will be dedicated to oncology. We can do what needs to be done and remain patient-centric, as per our mission.”
New perspectives for a new mission
Boucher isn’t the only new face to join the ranks of Servier Canada’s leadership during this time of transformation and expansion. The changes go all the way to the top, with Servier U.K. and Australia alum Arnaud Lallouette taking over the reins as CEO, with a vision that carves out a large role for oncology.
“As the prevalence and severity of cancer have increased, the drug landscape has shifted and at Servier, we had to adapt,” says Lallouette. “Oncology drug launches are increasingly critical and require a dedicated approach. To be able to bring innovative solutions to patients in this therapeutic field, we need agility and speed. Operating in an agile governing model is allowing for early entry and faster approvals. To ensure prompt and effective access to innovative drugs for patients, we must know how to demonstrate value, be braced for increasingly difficult negotiations, and effectively manage the evolving stakeholder landscape.”
Our independence is important, because we aren’t driven by the pressure of shareholder interest. We are able to reinvest our profits back into the company and right now, 23 percent of our proceeds go directly to research, amongst which 50 percent will be dedicated to oncology. We can do what needs to be done and remain patient-centric, as per our mission.
A moment of inflection for pharma
For Boucher and Lallouette, the global COVID-19 pandemic has been the backdrop for beginning their tenure at Servier Canada, and the changing role of the pharmaceutical industry in today’s society has played a considerable part in the development of new strategy. “This health crisis has reminded us just how essential our efforts are in the research and development of innovative therapeutic solutions for treating patients and saving lives,” says Lallouette. “During the pandemic, the Servier Canada team has worked diligently to ensure that we maintained support for patients, the health care professionals we serve, and our employees.”
In addition to securing supply and access for the life-saving drugs in its portfolio, Servier also partnered with Innovative Medicines Canada members to donate 100,000 N95 masks for frontline health care workers. It was a move emblematic of its broader mission to put patient and community health first in order to improve health and quality of life in Canada and abroad. For Boucher, it’s just one more piece of the puzzle reaffirming her decision to contribute to the well-being of Canadian patients by joining Servier.
“The mission of our team at Servier Canada is to always do the right thing for patients,” says Boucher. “Being an ethical pharmaceutical company means that we’re really focused on patient needs and driven by our commitment to improving the lives of patients.”