May 01, 2018
Jay Appel, Bristol-Myers Squibb
executive director of Bristol-Myers Squibb
Appel earned his reputation as one of pharma's digital wunderkinds in the mid-2000s. Back then, Facebook, YouTube, and other soon-to-be-dominant social platforms were mere curios to most pharma people. Appel had already been tasked with testing out these new channels and exploring their promotional potential for his then-employer, Sanofi.
More than a decade later, Appel remains at the forefront of digital strategy and innovation. While he has contributed to a wide range of Bristol-Myers Squibb initiatives across therapeutic categories, Appel has become renowned for marketing programs that target healthcare providers. Along those lines, he helped develop Sanofi's iPractice portal, which provides doctors with detailed information about drugs, as opposed to more traditional marketing materials. During his Amgen tenure, he was instrumental in devising a virtual sales rep program designed to more effectively reach otherwise inaccessible doctors.
Prior to his in-house stints at BMS and elsewhere, Appel spent time on the vendor startup and agency sides of the business at software developer Skila and Digitas Health, respectively. While at Digitas Health, he worked on digital strategy for a range of biopharma clients – including some he later joined – and managed a West Coast office.
For more than 20 years, Appel has been a true early adopter and evangelist for a range of digital and analytic tactics. He previously served as head of digital engagement and data sciences in Amgen's digital health unit, senior director of digital engagement at MannKind, and director of HCP complementary channels at Sanofi.