In the last three years alone, the FDA has given the green light to nearly 50 new cancer drugs. We’re excited to see what 2020 has in store for this sector, as biopharma companies continue to bring these novel therapies and diagnostics to market. The fast pace of innovation in the oncology market presents increasingly complex challenges to manufacturers seeking to maximize the benefit that they can deliver to patients. We’re committed to helping our client partners and their customers thrive and ultimately improve outcomes for cancer patients. With that in mind, our oncology practice is focused on three core dimensions that will be central to oncology manufacturers in the year ahead: navigating clinical pathways that drive the majority of treatment decisionin oncology; leveraging AI to deliver more relevant and valuable information to customers at the point of care; and delivering solutions that help customers better support their patients.

  1. Navigate clinical pathways. With the growth of in-class competition in many tumor types and the explosion of diagnostic options, clinical pathways are becoming a fixture in most oncology practices. While providers vary in the degree to which they enforce pathways, a recent ZS study confirmed that at least 50% of oncology patients are treated by providers that already control treatment decisions or have the tools (pathways) and intent to do so.
    That means manufacturers need to ensure that these pathways reflect the best evidence and improve access to their therapies—and don’t limit the medications that are available for physicians to prescribe via provider-based tools like electronic health records. To get there, companies first need to understand how the treatment selection process is handled across different providers. And then they need to develop the right strategy to bring clinical and real-world data and relevant offerings to the decision makers responsible for setting the pathways. 
  2. Leverage data and advanced analytics to predict and provide. With access to rapidly expanding data sources and channels, manufacturers are better equipped to understand their oncology customers’ needs. The next step is to leverage that data to predict and deliver the right offerings to the right customer at the right time, and thereby create the “next best experience” for their customers at each interaction. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools will help manufacturers to anticipate their customers’ needs and suggest which channels and actions will have the most impact on their customers.  
  3. Deliver a seamless customer experience. Many oncology companies continue to stress the importance of customer centricity, and yet most oncology customers have a negative perception of manufacturers.To stand out, oncology manufacturers need to transform the business model and break down the silos that hinder a good customer experience. Companies need to design, and more importantly execute on,customized engagement journeys that create a positive experience at every step in the journey. This cross-functional and tailored approach will help improve customer perceptions of oncology companies and their offerings—and shape and drive much-needed behavior shifts.

Our plan for 2020 is to explore these three themes in depth. We’ve made investments in novel research, analytics and innovation teams to be able to help manufacturers on their journeys to navigate complex providers, leverage AI and ML to anticipate their needs and ultimately deliver a positive customer experience. Stay tuned as we share our progress throughout the year.