The U.S. healthcare ecosystem has faced a myriad of changes in just the last decade, and pharmaceutical companies continue to face the effects of those changes. The players have become more diverse, and today’s target audience for pharmaceuticals has expanded to include healthcare organizations, payers, government agencies, pharmacy benefit managers and, most importantly, patients.
The role of the physician has changed, too. Provider organizations continue to consolidate, and the resulting integrated delivery networks dotting the national healthcare landscape present new multilayered customer challenges to drug manufacturers—and those customer challenges often are localized, varying from market to market. Moreover, the pharmaceutical business model is shifting from volume to value as the healthcare ecosystem increasingly focuses on how all links in the chain improve outcomes for the end user, requiring drugmakers to rethink—and ultimately reinvent—their value propositions.
All of this is occurring against the backdrop of great social change in the healthcare debate. Patients are empowered consumers and expect to have more influence over their healthcare decisions while demanding more transparency when it comes to costs and outcomes. Pharmaceutical pricing remains under fire. Public perception of drugmakers remains poor. In fact, a Gallup Poll in 2016 put Americans’ distrust of the industry just above how they felt about the federal government.
So what does this mean for today’s pharmaceutical companies? As the U.S. healthcare ecosystem continues to evolve, with changes significantly impacting the many stakeholders in the industry, and perception and reputation issues continuing to be problematic, pharma companies need to take a new approach.