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5 Trends in the Pharmaceutical Industry in 2021

5 Trends Impacting Pharma in 2020

In 2020, the pharmaceutical industry continues its transition to value-based outcomes. There are five trends that are driving transformation this year.

In 2020, the pharmaceutical industry continues its transition to value-based outcomes and a focus on gathering more real-world evidence. Leaders will center strategies on outcomes by conveying the value of medications to providers, forging strong partnerships with payers, and establishing direct patient relationships.

But that’s the 30,000-foot view. When you really dig into what’s going on in pharma, five trends are driving transformation this year.

My prediction? Better internal and external communication, more collaboration and smarter, data-based decisions that will not only improve customer engagement, but will also increase the understanding of how to best serve these customers. Let’s take a look at each trend.

Trend 1: Closer patient connections

Every pharmaceutical company is talking about patient engagement. A greater focus on the patient gives way to valuable real-world data and insight into therapy performance and medication adherence. Pharmaceutical companies want to understand how patients respond to therapies and identify subpopulations to ultimately improve health outcomes.

Enhancing patient engagement means creating opportunities for closer connections. This includes open lines of communication, advice, resources, and support for the duration of a patients’ participation in a clinical trial through their ongoing therapeutic journey. Here are ways pharma organizations can improve engagement:

  • Offer a patient portal for fully engaged enrollment and participation in clinical trials and use it as a scalable information center throughout the patient journey. Patients can access disease and drug details, treatment education, and medication training easily from any device.
  • Use a common platform for patient support programs across therapeutic brands for a single view of the patient. This drives awareness and support for programs while increasing loyalty, prescribing habits, and serves as a model for patient engagement at scale.
  • Prioritize the patient in customer support strategies by giving service agents the ability to coordinate onboarding, verify insurance, and assist with copay-related inquiries.
  • Deliver personalized messaging with automated campaigns based on their medication or disease state that educate patients, offer helpful reminders, and check in on progress.
  • Use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict which patients are most likely to stop following medication regimes and suggest intervention methods. Predictive analytics can also help identify the best trial sites and even recruit candidates for clinical trials.

Trend 2: Evolved commercial strategies and models

Face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers or HCPs are declining. At the same time, a greater burden is being placed on pharmaceutical reps to understand and convey complex therapies and their value. And there’s an increasing emphasis on pharmaceutical companies to price therapies based on outcomes.

Improved commercial strategies and models require access to better data. Unifying data across provider, patient, and partner information on a common platform gives all stakeholders a single view into valuable operational and customer insights. Here are some approaches pharmaceutical companies should consider:

  • Build a truly patient-centric strategy across marketing, sales, and support — including medical affairs — to be more efficient and coordinated in your messages and interactions.
  • Transform the HCP relationship to combat the decline in face-to-face relationships. Drive business model transformation through omni-channel engagement with providers and payers.
  • Leverage intelligence for immediate insight into competitive data that helps sales teams create stronger targeting strategies and personalized, highly contextual customer experiences.

Trend 3: Going beyond the pill

Services that go “beyond the pill”  help bolster revenue growth, especially in the face of drug patent expirations, generics, and biosimilar products entering the market.

Pharmaceutical companies must now deliver value beyond therapeutics while continuing to help patients. [Yet less than half of patients (47%) said pharma companies understood their emotional, financial and other needs related to their condition.] Providing additional value-added services and support provides pharmaceutical companies an opportunity to overcome this perception.

Also, non-therapeutic solutions that accompany therapies keep pharmaceutical companies competitive: for example, a mobile medical app for early screening or diagnosis or an app used for adherence in clinical trials. Developing these solutions quickly is possible if you use a flexible platform that allows for easy app development.

Trend 4: AI and the cloud

To increase operational efficiency and deliver business and scientific insights across R&D, manufacturing, and commercial operations, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using cloud technology.

Consolidated and standardized data reduces complexities and inefficiencies while increasing the pace of possible innovation. Additionally, whenAI is used to analyze and garner insights from that data, R&D is accelerated, clinical trials are optimized, and patients achieve expected outcomes. Here are some AI use cases:

  • Predict outcomes and recommend next best actions
  • Automate workflows
  • Predict patient adherence and suggest methods for intervention
  • Source and recruit candidates for clinical trials
  • Deliver personalized engagements and support programs to help patients navigate their health journey
  • Provide deeper insights for sales teams to better target physicians

Does such a system exist? A customer relationship management (CRM) platform built for healthcare and life sciences with AI capabilities can connect to existing systems while engaging with a broad range of customer stakeholders.

Trend 5: Cross-industry and enterprise collaborations

With market changes pointing toward a strategic focus on deal-making and external innovation, cross-industry and cross-enterprise collaboration — particularly in R&D — is becoming the new normal operating model. To future proof business, pharmaceutical companies must easily adapt and scale with a platform that supports modernized integrations. A full view into supply chain and manufacturing allows for seamless internal and external collaborations that support cross-team and cross-industry partnerships.

Get started

For each of these trends, you may have noticed a repeated message: a flexible, scalable solution gives stakeholders the visibility they need to make sure your customers are getting meaningful information at the right time. To find out more about how a CRM platform powers pharmaceutical companies, discover 360 Degrees of Healthcare, a comprehensive how-to guide on better patient and customer engagement.



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