Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Major Changes in Healthcare Affecting Pharma Today

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Following the chairman’s opening keynote at ePharma Summit 2015 today in New York City, Paul Ivans, founder, president & CEO at Evolution Road Consulting lead the 11th Annual Thought Leader Panel.

The panel of industry pioneers discussed the major challenges in healthcare affecting pharma these days, and what the future holds for the industry. In the panel, we learned from industry leaders already adapting to the new healthcare ecosystem in the areas of EHRs, patient engagement, improving health outcomes, pharma’s new customers, and the paradigm shift from volume to value.
The panelists included Jonathan Gordon, director, Strategy at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Craig Kemp, Innovative Partnerships at Merck Vaccines, and Monique Levy, Vice President of Research at Manhattan Research.

One of the key challenges in healthcare affecting pharma is understanding that decision making is getting stricter; marketing is optimized to the point of sale. This, in turn, brings up questions of how you need to evolve and understand new markets. In fact, one in five patients say that cost is a deciding factor for choosing a drug. So, according to the panel, on websites and digital material, pharma marketers need to help patients understand what to do when they run into price problems and how to navigate those issues.

Although these are all real challenges for today, the question is where will we be tomorrow? What will the challenges be then? How do we establish value upfront that drives the decisions that we are dealing with today. Pharma marketers need to be thinking about what does is look like in six years and what do I need to bring to the table. The question is how do you change the game moving forward about who should really make the decision? The patient who is the sufferer should have a bigger role. If we are true innovators, we have to be looking at where we will be in three to five years, not just where we are today.

Overall, the pharma marketing industry has a sense of where they need to go, but they aren’t quite sure exactly how to get there. The value is really about the shifting of risk, and the risk presiding purely on the payer has caused a major hazard.  The theory going forward is for pharma marketers to put more risk in the hands of the providers like the doctors.

Another big challenge in this industry is how to integrate all of these different silos in a way that can tell a comprehensive story and a value proposition to customers. Today, in both big pharma and little pharma, it’s really about the ability to make informed choices and make them a responsible way.
What other challenges have you seen?

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
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