In various posts we have been calling for a change within the pharmaceutical industry. Much of that is not new, yet still nothing seems to change on a bigger scale. Sure, the iPad is becoming an essentiell tool in sales, eDetails have emerged, biotech startups are being bought instead of inhouse R&D, but especially with regards to the patent cliff it’s time for a new kind of pharmaceutical copmany and we simply don’t see that happpening.
Here are five parts of todays pharma business that need to be deserve attention and that need be disrupted entirely. Sure, there are many regulatory aspects that need to overcome, but a startup called help! in New York is showing how things can run entirely differently.
1. Sales – The other way round
We’ve previously written about Pharma’s sales savior. Is it the iPad? Is it the Telerep? Pharma needs a radically new distribution approach and entirely new sales channel. Still, most of its sales goes through reps working closely with doctors. Showing some allegdly nifty and worthwhile graphics and trying to convince the physician of some drug. In times of guidelines and EBM those fancy graphics are not enough anymore. Sales needs to be digitalized and pharma has to become the physician AND patient’s partner.
2. Build trust
Especially among patients the pharma industry has a reputation problem. Tons of money going into CSR an branding campaigns do not change the fact that a vast amount of people still questions the ethics of the pharmaceutical industry. In order to create trust it needs to be more authentic, more honest about their scientific research, publish papers that not only proove the effectiveness of its products, but also show problems, obstacles and issues – this, on the long run, creates trust, which in turn will create long term customers – just like in any other business in the world.
3. Enable great design
If you talk to product managers and pharma executives you will hardly find one who has an interst in aesthetics and design. By design I do not only mean fancy packaging but smart ways on how pills are being dispensed. Throughout the last decades we have hardly seen any progress in drug packaging. It’s pretty much an un-touched subject. Both in functional and aesthetic terms there is no unique value propostion between drug manufacturers.
4. The modern KOL
The future KOL will be the patient. The mature patient, who makes use of the internet will be the single most important acceptance criterion, for gaining trust on the market. It will be harder to market drugs that are simply not working, just through physician-catered sales strategies. The patient is already and will question clinical research that is sponsored by the industry.
5. Enhanced registration processes
It takes ages and at least $4 billion for a new compound to reach the market. The inclusion of innovative trial designs embracing pharmacogenomics in the licensing process are highly desirable. Data mining and a more in depth analysis of post-launch effect seen by drugs ought to be an integral part of drug research and getting them to the market.
What do you believe will be elements a pharma company 2.0 needs to entail in order to succeed?