5 Things Pharmaceutical Sector should focus in Post-Pandemic Era

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COVID19 has eclipsed almost every aspect of product development and service delivery in the health care and pharmaceutical industry. While it has caused innumerable losses to mankind, it has accelerated the pace of digital transformation as well. Under Covid 19 and lockdown conditions, many of the industry’s core activities had to move to the virtual sphere. Working remotely accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, both within the pharmaceutical industry and in the healthcare systems.  

A recent global survey by Ipsos and the World Economic Forum (2020) found that there has been a marked increase in digital heath users by 43% as compared to last year [1] . Unknowingly, COVID19 has opened new doors of digital revolution such as Big data, Social Media Analytics for pharmaceutical companies which has changed the conventional growth models of the industry. Hence, it is pertinent to explore five important to-dos for the pharmaceutical sector in the post-pandemic world.

Rethinking Pharma Business-to-Business (B2B) Models

In the post-pandemic restrained world, the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry are already embracing digital practices to maintain information flow, communication symmetry and brand awareness. COVID19 has compelled the pharmaceutical industries to rethink their business management, supply chain network, clinical trial recruitment and drug reimbursement process.

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The pharmaceutical companies have changed their physical Business-to-Business (B2B) models into online growth models. In the KPMG study (2020) of digitalization in the pharma sector, it was found that almost 37% of healthcare executives are slowly adopting digital practices in business management [2].

Using Social Media Listening for Pharmaceutical Research

Not only the pharmaceutical companies, but even the patients have joined the digital bandwagon. Covid-19 has lent additional impetus to patients’ use of digital technologies in managing their health. According to a Medisafe/Dynata survey of 2,000 US consumers in July 2020, 37% were using more digital technologies, while 42% had turned to digital health for the first time.

Pharma companies need to capitalize on digital mediums’ potential for real-time data generation, to build more holistic and patient-oriented value based tailored products and services.

Social Media Listening, which captures patient, physician and other stakeholder conversations on social media platforms and patient forums to generate useful insights is a perfect channel to count on.

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Social Media Listening can provide a plethora of benefits to the pharma industry. These benefits include

  • Understanding the patient’s unmet needs,
  • Gauging the Brand perceptions,
  • Conducting a detailed Market and Competitor analysis
  • Understanding the patient journeys and various touchpoints during the journey.

In brief, Social Listening has become an inescapable tool for modern Pharma companies to remain relevant as per patient requirements and ahead of the competition.  

Accelerating Artificial Intelligence 

Despite the widespread lack of familiarity, AI is transforming almost every walk of life. The most striking feature of AI in the health sector is the development of e-care applications and healthcare gadgets. The productive use of AI includes the provision of better patient care, promotion of brand voice, diagnostics, chronic care management and more. As per the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), three main drivers of AI in healthcare are [4]:

  • Explosion in the health data such as electronic medial records, health application data and genomic analyses
  • The latest advancement in software and hardware to leverage data for competitive gains
  • Growing pressure for optimization- more benefits with fewer costs
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The AI-driven efficiency improvements can show remarkable benefits across pharma value chain including the research and development, sales, manufacturing, and marketing. The ancillary benefits also include efficient clinical-trial recruitment, market lead optimizations, and data algorithms for target identification.

Incorporating Big Data Analysis

Data is the most precious commodity of modern times. A large volume of data is available in the form of e-medical record bills, websites and health applications’ history and multiple other sources. This volume of data provides the companies with the necessary patient information, inputs into their current unmet needs and competitor trends to make a workable business strategy. Pharmaceutical companies can use big data analysis to create internal and external value for a range of healthcare stakeholders and assist them in better catering to the patient needs. Big data analytics also provides technological tools to a firm in data driven strategic decision-making, which can further assist the firm in improving the sales of the products in longer run. It also provides a 360 view of the physicians and patient needs to improve the personalization and efficiency of pharmaceutical treatments. [5].

Reinterpreting Marketing and Human Resource Techniques

Nowadays, traditional techniques of marketing such as billboard and commercial marketing are diminishing.  Instead, the wave of digital transformation has opened avenues for digital marketing in the pharma sector. The increased adoption of digital marketing has widened the scope of recruiting trained personnel for pharmaceutical companies. It has also encouraged the conduction of health webinars where pharmaceutical companies can showcase their new products. Internet users can also install applications where they can avail E-healthcare opportunities without being physically present.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is inevitable, Covid 19 has further accelerated it. The pharmaceutical industry must adapt itself to digital practices such as social media listening, artificial intelligence digital marketing and Big Data analytics. These are must for a company to remain in touch with the patients and remain ahead of the competition.

References

BCG, 2020. Artificial intelligence and Pharma sector. Boston council Group, 01(01), pp. 11-15.

Charity, E. I., 2021. The Pandemic and Pharmaceutical World. European Pharmaceutical Review, 02(25), p. 11.

Marta Vila Ramos, B. L. B. M. G. F. M. G. M. J. d. S. U., 2021. Digital Transformation in Pharma Sector. Pharma Times, 01(01), pp. 11-17.

Moa, A., 2021. 5 Pharma Trends for 2021: Disruption and Transformation in the COVID Era. Tribeca Knowledge, 02(02), pp. 11-19.

Till, S., 2021. Importance of Social Media Listening on the Pharmaceutical Industry. American Library of Medicine, 02(02), pp. 11-19.