Interview Edwin de Fouw: “Pioneering for impact.”


This month, we introduce you to Edwin de Fouw, a professional with over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. As a true pioneer, Edwin has been part of many industry developments. What experiences does he bring to the table, and what are his future goals?

Edwin, can you tell us a bit about your background?

Sure! I started my career at Organon in 1990; so I’ve been around for a while. After my traineeship, I was sent to the UK to learn the trade of being a medical representative and to explore the marketing field. Back at the head offices in The Netherlands, as an International Brand Manager, the Internet witnessed a breakthrough. In the board of directors, the question arose: ‘What should we do with this Internet?’ I started working on this topic and set up a so-called ‘e-Business’ with two coworkers. It was separated, quite literally, from the regular business to ensure we could focus on making these innovations work. We truly were pioneering with digital communication for healthcare professionals and patients. How can you support couples during their infertility treatment? We helped women worldwide to find the best contraception methods, etc. Also, we created portals for healthcare professionals, containing scientific and product information. Also, we helped medical representatives in their digital communication. Ultimately, we built a team of, if I remember correctly, 18 people, which made Organon a leader in the pharmaceutical industry. After that, I became a consultant and focused on multi-channel or omni-channel communication in the pharmaceutical industry, both nationally and internationally.

Pioneering and making an impact, so that we can keep improving healthcare in the longer term. That’s what drives me.

Edwin de Fouw

Any other experiences?

A notable one was at Philips Healthcare. Today, healthcare is Philips’ primary focus, but at the time it was a small part of its business, albeit with a lot of growth potential. With a small team of pioneers, we made the first steps to support the reputation of Philips as a healthcare company through multichannel communication. That was when I worked with Patrick Filius (the founder of Impact Stewards, ed.) for the first time. He was my client at Philips. Not long after that, I moved to Switzerland with my family, since my wife was offered a great job there. It was a good time to step out of the ‘rat race’ we were part of – a life-changing experience. We have been back for some time now. Since then, I have worked on some interesting projects. I analysed the marketing processes for a large pharmaceutical company and worked on product introductions for a biotech company. However, since my time in Switzerland, I have become a bit more selective about the projects I take on. I want to focus on longer-term results and maintain a good work-life balance.

What kinds of projects are you currently working on?

Right now, I am supporting an international pharmaceutical company. They own a product that is increasingly prescribed without any commercial support. We are looking for ways to help even more patients by educating healthcare professionals about the product. In addition, another company asked us to prepare their internal organisation for its ambitions for the coming years. Recently, I also supported a pharmaceutical company in analysing its portfolio of immunology treatments. Because we work towards an affordable, accessible, and sustainable healthcare system, we take all these aspects into account in our analysis, looking beyond profit maximisation.

How did you come across Impact Stewards?

As I said before, I have known Patrick for 12 years. We are a good team. Moreover, I fully support the mission of Impact Stewards. We must future-proof our healthcare system quickly: making it more sustainable, affordable, and accessible. There are many changes to come, especially with stricter European rules and regulations. We must think and do differently in healthcare. Artificial Intelligence and a focus on prevention will help us with that. Pioneering and making an impact, that’s what I want to do, so that we can keep improving healthcare in the long term.

“Edwin is a free spirit and an independent thinker. He’s someone who keeps you on your toes. It’s good to have him on board our team.”

Patrick Filius, Chief Impact Officer

Curious what we can do for you?

Patrick Filius

Chief Impact Officer

Chief Impact Officer