New pharma
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New pharma
Pharma's struggle for a new commercial model
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Private Insurance FINAL YT

Amgen Canada 4 minute video explains the difference between measuring drug cost-effectiveness to private and public systems

rob halkes's insight:

Original view from Amgen in Canada about the benifits and costs of medicine... Learn about the several aspects of it!

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The road to digital success in pharma | McKinsey & Company

The road to digital success in pharma | McKinsey & Company | New pharma |

Pharmaceutical companies can play a central role in the digital revolution of healthcare. But capturing this opportunity requires identifying the right initiatives. A McKinsey & Company article.

Pharmaceutical companies are running hard to keep pace with changes brought about by digital technology. Mobile communications, the cloud, advanced analytics, and the Internet of Things are among the innovations that are starting to transform the healthcare industry in the ways they have already transformed the media, retail, and banking industries. Pharma executives are well aware of the disruptive potential and are experimenting with a wide range of digital initiatives. Yet many find it hard to determine what initiatives to scale up and how, as they are still unclear what digital success will look like five years from now. This article aims to remedy that. We believe disruptive trends indicate where digital technology will drive the most value in the pharmaceutical industry, and they should guide companies as they build a strategy for digital success.[ ..]

Trends reshaping healthcare
Outcomes based care is moving to center stage [...]

Patients are becoming more engaged [...]

New competitors are moving in [...]

More information is available about product performance [...]

Process efficiency and agility is improving dramatically [...]

Four areas of Digital Opportunity

Against this backdrop, we believe there are four main areas where digital developments will drive value for pharma companies, building on what we see as the key components of digital success—an ability to deliver more personalized patient care, engage more fully with physicians and patients, use data to drive superior insight and decision making, and transform business processes to provide real-time responsiveness.

Companies do not have to become leaders in all four areas across the enterprise—some will deliver more value than others in relation to any given disease, depending on market dynamics and their portfolio. But to decide where to concentrate their efforts, they do need to develop a point of view on each area’s potential to transform their commercial and innovation models. To help in these decisions, we sketch here a picture of how we believe successful pharma companies will operate in each area in the near future.

Capturing the value

Most pharma companies have started to build some digital capabilities, but talent and resources for their efforts can be fragmented, often across hundreds of small initiatives. Without clear strategic direction and strong senior sponsorship, digital initiatives often struggle to secure the funding and human resources required to reach a viable scale, and they cannot overcome barriers related to inflexible legacy IT systems. Talent and partnerships are also critical issues—many companies realize they need to form partnerships to acquire digital capabilities and specialist skills but are often unclear about what kinds of partnerships to set up and how to extract value from them.
Read on at the original!

rob halkes's insight:

Pharma has to know explcity how "digital" is going to support their strategic developments, internally and externally. This article by McKinsey (mid 2015) declares how several market developments causes the need for digital. It will be in the "how" that a feeling of being disrupted will emerge. But a wisely designed implementation and development process will create miracles. Specifically so with an outcome at patient level. See some necessary steps here  

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Nurturing change in pharma marketing - PMLiVE

Nurturing change in pharma marketing - PMLiVE | New pharma |

At the turn of the millennium, as the industry began its painful descent from the summit of the blockbuster era, the optimisation of sales resources in a changing environment was global pharma's biggest strategic challenge.

Arguably, it still is. The days when vast armies of representatives descended on GPs in their droves have long departed;[..]

But, as the wider world adapts to technological evolution, even pharma is not immune to the need for real change. In fact, if managed appropriately, technology could provide the catalyst for optimal, efficient and highly effective sales engagement. [..]The rapid development of digital, mobile and ambient technologies has transformed the global communications paradigm, and, with it, set new expectations in how consumers and professionals consume information.[..]he next phase of commercial optimisation will focus not on the death, but on the depth of a salesman. The development of a more nuanced, multichannel approach, where organisations harness technology and leverage communications and insight across a variety of channels, can support and supplement the work of the field force. By adopting a balanced, multichannel approach with the sales force at the centre, companies can enjoy deeper engagement, build deeper relationships and communicate the depth of information that customers in the value-based economy require.[..]

The word 'multichannel' is now de rigueur in marketing circles, but in the pharmaceutical industry, it's a look that's proving difficult to pull off. In the real world, however, it's a simple proposition. “The Holy Grail is having a mixture of channels that enable you to engage with the broadest contingent of customers, with the requisite frequency, to help influence prescribing and change behaviours,” says Julian. “From a sales perspective, the routes to market are manifold. For example, the medical representative, KAM, hospital representative and MSL (medical scientific liaison) are all different channels. So too are call centres, web-enabled remote representatives and other forms of online engagement. The industry is looking at lots of different ways in which it can engage, but - crucially - none of them are mutually exclusive.

Perhaps that's the major obstacle: mutual exclusivity runs deep in pharma's operational psyche. “To progress, everything needs to be integrated across all channels. However, although pharma is putting all these channels in place, they still operate them in silos,” says Jan. [..]”

The future model of pharmaceutical sales will almost certainly be multichannel - but, despite the harbingers of doom, the sales professional will remain the driving force. “The best multichannel approaches will comprise the proper alignment of human and digital resources,” says Jan. “Technology can help provide scale, speed, intelligence and analytics - but it's only by putting human resource at the centre of communications that multichannel can fully deliver.”

rob halkes's insight:

Multichannel - Surely, Integrating technology with human face-to-face meetings? Right on. Knowing the customer in its characteristics, preferences and demands? Even more so.

Sales forces, rather "customer facing forces", to signal the multidisciplinary, cross functional obligation from all "inside", are here to stay. But, one needs to remember that multichannel in this respect is only refering to the means, the instruments of communication! Don't forget content management that goes right with it. One would say, that it's what they meant here, but little has been said about it.

Pharma people need to learn how not to tell the same message again and again, but to build on the messages an interaction with customers to a higher level of relation quality. 'Quality' to be measured in development from information to common interests, goals and co-creation - the end game of "sales"! If such quality is not build in, boredom and annoyance rise and create dislike of meetings: "Don't send me any more information, I've had them" ...

When however, common interests lead to new collaboration, pharma needs to be ready to invest time, expertise and money into better solutions to the common end: better care and better health outcomes. If not, no relations will last, and the only value is in the product. That is good, of course, but in the advanced markets, it's not enough.

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Digital Transformation Moves Pharma 'Beyond the Pill' #hcsmeu #pharma

Digital Transformation Moves Pharma 'Beyond the Pill' #hcsmeu #pharma | New pharma |
Pharmas are looking to move to a range of value-added services under the moniker beyond-the-pill – and most of those new services are digital.

rob halkes's insight:

A sure thing.. pharma's fundamental change is underway. The question is how to make it true within the organizations. I suspect a difficult change process is immanent, as I 'm currently well underway with such in pharma companies.

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Pharma Marketing Blog: Healthcare Marketers Trend Report 2014: I Give It a "C-Meh!" Rating

Pharma Marketing Blog: Healthcare Marketers Trend Report 2014: I Give It a "C-Meh!" Rating | New pharma |

Not all available market research is created equal," says Rich Meyer, author of DTC Marketing Blog. According to Meyer, "some research is a must have and provides insights, but there is also a lot of available research that doesn’t clarify findings and is written by journalists not people will real world pharma business experience." He goes on to rate various sources of pharma marketing research (here).

Meyer has two ratings:"A-Must Have" and "D-Pass," which means don't bother with it. Meyer doesn't have a "C-Meh!" rating -- that's my way of saying "lackluster, take it or leave it."

One study "written by journalists" is the MM&M/Ogilvy CommonHealth Healthcare Marketers Trend Report, the 2014 version of which was just published (here). Let me tell you why I give it a "C-Meh!" rating.

One surprising finding of this survey of 202 "qualified" senior executives -- "all director level and above" -- employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology, devices and diagnostics companies, is that 22% of pharma marketing budgets of these individuals goes to some form of digital marketing (websites, digital ads, SEO marketing, and social media).

See further read on blog!

rob halkes's insight:

Great review  by John Mack, @pharmaguy of these trend "researches". Due to his investment in time, we can state: trend reports? "C-meh" ;-)

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Physician Views: How do oncologists value medical affairs teams what could they be doing better?

Physician Views: How do oncologists value medical affairs teams  what could they be doing better? | New pharma |

FirstWord Pharma

Medical affairs teams are playing an increasingly critical role for pharmaceutical manufacturers. They are in a prime position to navigate the industry's continued transition from merely selling drugs to playing an integral role in the efficient workings of healthcare systems. Not only do medical affairs personnel sit at an interface between the R&D and commercial spheres, but represent the voice of the company in communication with a growing range of stakeholders.

As with other stakeholders, pharma's relationship and means of communication with physicians has evolved significantly in recent years, with medical affairs teams playing a pivotal role in this shift. As the role of the typical sales representative has diminished, medical affairs personnel have emerged, largely in response to regulatory changes that require a clear firewall between promotional and non-promotional activities.  (italic added by Rob Halkes)

With the role of medical affairs largely defined by their non-promotional duties (thought leader management, medical science liaison, medical education and information, clinical research operations and outcomes studies, for example) and interaction with a large number of stakeholders, pharma has endured some difficulties in measuring the success and value of these teams.

FirstWord's latest Physician Views poll seeks to gain some insight into how physicians value the role that medical affairs personnel play. Specifically we asked US and EU5-based oncologists:

How important they view medical affairs teams in enabling effective communication between physicians and pharmaceutical companies?

Which activities undertaken by medical affairs teams they consider the most valuable?

What skills they value the most from a medical science liaison (MSL)?

What their preferred frequency of contact is with medical affairs professionals?

What areas they think pharmaceutical company medical affairs teams must focus on in order to deliver better service to physicians?

You will be able to read the results and analysis on Friday.

Results and related analysis will be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here.

As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions.

rob halkes's insight:

I do not often support commercial rerports, but this seems to be deliveering good knowledge on how pharma must and is changing. I do hope it sheds some light on how difficult that appears to be to most pharma companies. Well let's see what comes out of it.

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80% of doctors in China use a smartphone - PMLiVE

80% of doctors in China use a smartphone - PMLiVE | New pharma |

Doctors in China are making strong use of smartphones for professional purposes, according to a new report.

The Manhattan Research Study from Decision Resources Group found that 80 per cent of physicians in the country now own or use one of the devices.

The analysts said in the topline figures they released that smartphone use covers a variety of activities and that consequently pharma marketers must tailor their approach when developing smartphone content aimed at doctors in China.

The figures put the country on a par with the US, where doctors' use of smartphones – through growing rapidly over the last few years – seems to have plateaued.

Meanwhile, the detail that Decision Resources shared from its Taking the Pulse Global 2014 report also showed that doctors in Brazil don't think pharma is making the best use of tablet detailing.

Three quarters of the doctors in Brazil surveyed said they had seen a tablet-wielding rep in 2014 but Decision Resources said satisfaction rates with the technology remains relatively low.

“Content and user-experience need to improve in order to enhance tablet-rep campaigns and increase physician satisfaction,” the analysts concluded.

Meredith Ressi, VP of marketing innovation solutions at Decision Resources, said: “Many companies now centralise digital best practices through global centers of excellence, while also giving local affiliates the flexibility to tweak their approach and asset mix to suit local market demand.

“These findings highlight the necessity of this tailored approach and can help multinational companies inform these priorities by market.”

rob halkes's insight:

It is still a lot about promotional effort. Surely, a baseline, but what about interaction and communication - it is difficult isn't it?

See how the process of development could be:

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Samsung the pharmaceutical company, and the coming changes in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis

Samsung the pharmaceutical company, and the coming changes in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis | New pharma |

In case you haven’t heard: Samsung is now a pharmaceutical company, or at least on the point of becoming one. Subsequent to its having invested at least $2b in biopharmaceuticals, the South Korean giant will be bringing a biosimilar version of Amgen’s Enbrel to market in 2016.

That’s right.

In 2016, a company best known for its consumer electronics and heavily invested in mobile health is going to start producing pharmaceuticals, and will apparently begin by bringing a treatment to market which will presumably make it a dominant force overnight in the two disease areas in which Enbrel has indications, namely moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

The implications of this for legacy pharmaceutical companies are wide-reaching and significant. Let’s consider a few of them (I anticipate updating this post over the next few months):

- Samsung now has more touch points across the health ecosystem than any other pharmaceutical company. ...

- Samsung’s total focus on customer experience and design makes it a credible champion of the participatory patient’s interests. ...

- Hundreds of millions of people carry this pharmaceutical company’s brand with them day and night. ...

- Consumers will think of Samsung as a consumer electronics company that makes pharmaceuticals. ...

- Samsung will be the first consumer technology company to enter the pharmaceutical marketplace, but it will not be the last.

If this thought doesn’t focus legacy pharmaceutical companies into throwing everything they have into reforming themselves as social business, nothing will. The survival of even the largest companies is far from certain when giants such as Samsung have set their sights upon entering the industry.

Samsung doesn’t think like a pharmaceutical company.

Pharmaceutical companies better start thinking like Samsung.

rob halkes's insight:

Great blog by Andrew Spong, keen enough to see the great potential.. very much inspiring to all of pharma ;-) 

Must read, and still more: must think!

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Value in Pharmaceutical Pricing | OECD iLibrary

Value in Pharmaceutical Pricing | OECD iLibrary | New pharma |


This study analyses how 14 OECD Countries refer to “value” when making decisions on reimbursement and prices of new medicines. It details the type of outcomes considered, the perspective and methods adopted for economic evaluation when used; and the consideration of budget impact. It describes which dimensions are taken into account in the assessment of “innovativeness” and the consequences of this assessment on prices; it confirms that treatments for severe and/or rare diseases are often more valued than others and shows how countries use product-specific agreements in an attempt to better align value and price.



The main objective of this report was to explore value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals. In principle, value-based pricing (VBP) can offer better value-for-money for purchasers of pharmaceuticals. It also gives clear signals to pharmaceutical companies that they will be rewarded if their products address the priorities of the purchasers, so in the longer run may reorient pharmaceutical innovation in a more cost- effective direction. However, it is easier to talk of rewarding ‘value’ than it is actually to do so. Is it value to the purchaser that should be the basis of decisions (i.e. some combination of the increase in health and the reduction in other health spending) or the value to society (which would also take into account increased labour force productivity of those who are less sick and those who no longer care for others, amongst other things)? Is there ‘value’ in innovation itself? Countries which use value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals do not make the same choices as to how to determine value. Furthermore, countries which do not have value-based pricing per se may take into account some of the elements used in economic assessments of value in making their decisions. This report attempts to shed light on what impact these different choices make to reimbursement decisions and prices.


Read on in the downloadable PDF!

Please cite this paper as:

Paris, V. and A. Belloni (2013), “Value in Pharmaceutical Pricing”,

OECD Health Working Papers, No. 63, OECD Publishing.

rob halkes's insight:

Very insightful research!

Just for your appetite, I quote two relevant conclusions:

  • The first, and by no means trivial, conclusion is that the type of health outcomes considered by assessment bodies and decision-makers to inform or make decisions on reimbursement seem to have more in common with each other than differences. (p.58)

  • One substantial difference between the case-study countries is whether they take into account utility for patients as a measure of outcome. Typically, countries using economic evaluation consider utility (Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom) while other countries (e.g. France or Italy) do not. This is expected to have an impact on reimbursement decisions, price levels and relative prices of different categories of products. From the sample of countries and products scrutinized, it was not possible to identify such an impact.(p.58)

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Up to 70% of non-adherence is voluntary |

Up to 70% of non-adherence is voluntary | | New pharma |
Patients who take medications as doctors direct may save as much as $7,800 each year.

An Eyeforpharma report has some great information on adherence.  There are many reasons given by patients for not adhering to their prescribed treatment. The most obvious are that they simply forgot to take their medicine. This generally corresponds to only about 30% to 40% of cases. In other words, up to 70% of non-adherence is voluntary; people decide not to follow their therapy, either discontinuing it altogether (i.e. not being persistent) or not taking it as often as they should (non-compliant). Why?

Different studies supply different answers to that question, but they can generally be grouped into the following categories:

  • Concerns about the medication ...
  • Impression that the medication is unnecessary ...
  • Financial worries ...
  • Forgetfulness ...
  • Cultural or religious beliefs ...
  • Depression ...
  • Inability to follow treatment ... 

The relative importance of these seven factors vary greatly across different patients, geographies and pathologies. Any effort by the pharmaceutical industry to support patients must first understand what they need, what the specific drivers are for non-adherence in the case of the treatment in question

Consider these faacts:

"US physicians spend on average 16 minuteswith a patient, but only 49 seconds explaining new treatments"

Of those 49 seconds, are spent talking about directions for administration and about side effects, while a clear understanding of side effects before initiating treatment has a positive as opposed to a negative effect on adherence.

Increased adherence to hypertension and cholesterol medicines would reduce healthcare spending by $4 to $5 for every new dollar spent on medicines.

A 10% adherence to asthma medications was associated with a nearly 5% decrease in total annual medical spending.

Patients who take medications as doctors direct may save as much as $7,800 each year.

rob halkes's insight:

The issue of adherence behaviour to therapy by patients begins with the conceptualization of what one understands with it: Is it just an order, or object for discussion, perhaps to tailor it to patients abilities.. Or shouldn't one think that if patients do not as they're told, they must take the consuqeunces...

The report suggests that it is not as simple as that. Necessary to know!

As it is about phama's products, I do think that this is a fundamental tasks to help their clients, the prescribing doctors, to help their patients in this!

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Riding the Information Technology Wave in Life Sciences - Convergence of Healthcare/Tech - IMS Institute Report

Executive Director Murray Aitken discusses the convergence of healthcare & technology.
See the report at:

Riding the Information Technology Wave in
Life Sciences: Priorities, Pitfalls and Promise

This report provides a view of how the current technology wave—defined in terms of cloud- based storage, new applications, systems integration, and embedded analytics—will be harnessed by life sciences companies in their commercialization activities and why this is necessary for these companies to succeed in bringing innovative diagnostic and treatment options to patients.


Life sciences companies are in the midst of riding the technology wave that has already transformed many industries. They are using technology to bring new types of value to health
systems not only through the quality of scientific innovation but also by understanding current patient treatment pathways to help clarify and support helpful clinical approaches. This is changing the role of life sciences companies and bringing much greater use of technology to commercialization functions.

Key Findings

  • Companies store and process information on core functions of the business, and disseminate that information to internal users in sales, marketing and analytics departments
  • Management teams are turning to technology-based approaches to optimize commercial performance
  • Technology is being utilized as a critical means by which companies can better align their activities across departments, and provide better ability to adjust course and tactics
  • As market pressures reduce the lifetime earnings of medicines, life sciences companies will need to reduce spend within their commercial operations, and use new information technologies to accomplish this
  • For cloud technologies to be used more broadly in the life sciences, this will require improved security and compliance commitments from cloud providers
  • Life sciences companies should investigate ways to gain efficiencies and cost savings through cloud technologies including storage, building platforms, and applications
rob halkes's insight:

The transformation of the way life sciences companies do business in this new century is not easy and certainly not only a matter of technology application. But technology is a sure issue in this transformation. One key condition is the need of a concept of how to do this. Based on such vision the company can pretest (conceptually) whether there is a chance to better outcomes, value to both customers and patients, and a better return, hopefully sustainable, too.

Integration is a key element to this both within and outside the organization. But most of all competence to change must drive it all!

Are life sciences being disrupted too? Surely. It makes it all much easier when "one" would acknowledge this and responses accordingly.

See my writings about it here:

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Five things big pharma can learn from the rare disease community

Five things big pharma can learn from the rare disease community | New pharma |

Companies in the rare disease space have learned lessons big pharma can use too:


1. Patient engagement starts in clinical trials

2. Silence isn't safe

3. Support must go beyond the brand

4. Don't wait for a crisis

5. True innovation begins with outcomes

Via Andrew Spong
rob halkes's insight:

We can guide pharma to innovate, but they must implement it themselves .. ;-)

Andrew Spong's curator insight, March 6, 2014 4:16 AM

A lovely piece by Wendy White from last week. Recommended.

Gary Monk's curator insight, March 6, 2014 12:00 PM

Interesting article

MyHealthShare's curator insight, March 8, 2014 7:00 AM

Five things big pharma can learn from the rare disease community | @andrewspong

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The third dimension in edetailing to pharma | Health Business Consult

The third dimension in edetailing to pharma | Health Business Consult | New pharma |

Health care professionals have more experience in selecting and processing digital information than the industry has experience in making it! Whereas information for healthcare professionals is basically about reliable and valid information, the format of it should be both appealing and interactively enough to gain and hold the interest of the professionals.


Indeed: “Pharma companies are far from realizing their App market potential,” is the conclusion of research done. See here. Seven in ten doctors even have a self-tracking patient, says Manhattan reserach, quoted here. See some other statistics on tele- and mhealth here. Health care is moving towards integrated care in eHealth: 76% of Patients Would Choose Telehealth Over Human Contact with their care provider! (survey).


There is a definite expectation among health care professionals about the impact of digital information to the quality of care. Beyond information on the drug itself, one is definitely in need of information about both background and consequences of using the drug in the perspective of practice of care: how would the drug facilitate the process of care, patients’ compliance, outcome of care and both patients’ and physicians’ satisfaction with their use.


Based upon the survey results above, one would like to add the third dimension: development!
Development of dynamic edetails is more crucial than to produce a good looking app. Apps need to further interactivity and engagement. They must stimulate the journey of the professional through the information about the drug, leading to connectedness both for persons of reference and for further information. Indeed the very relationship with other (multichannel) sites and communications is relevant to the attractiveness to target professionals.


But still another aspect is crucial to success in the long run: how does the organization respond to the challenges that edetailing poses to the firm’s current routines of promotion? Creating an app is one. But to handle it in promotion to doctors and other health professionals demands internal training and organization.

..It means that the design of the app and its use needs to follow the pace of individual learning and of internal change and development; a change that would also relate to development of internal culture of orientation: from an “inside-out product orientation”, to an “outside-in orientation on best practice of therapy”!

rob halkes's insight:

Read it :-)

Creating an app is one. But to handle it in promotion to doctors and other health professionals demands internal training and organization...It means that the design of the app and its use needs to follow the pace of individual learning and of internal change and development;..

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BOOK YOUR PREVIEW of 'Corporate Reputation of Pharma in 2015 - The Patient Perspective'

The 2015 (published 2016) series of the CORPORATE REPUTATION INDEX OF PHARMA will contain 18 reports looking at pharma's corporate reputation in various countries/regions of the world, and in various therapeutic areas. The reports will be released regularly during 2016.

About 'Corporate Reputation of Pharma in 2015 - the Patient Perspective'—a publication series for pharma and patient groups

The 5th (2015) edition of PatientView's annual CORPORATE REPUTATION INDEX OF PHARMA has collected responses from 1,075 patient groups worldwide.
The patient groups comment on the state of pharma in 2015, and on the corporate reputation of 48 pharma companies. The first report in the series, taking a global perspective, will be published in early March 2016, and will show companies ranked for their corporate reputation from the perspective of these patient groups.
Over the past years, the CORPORATE REPUTATION INDEX OF PHARMA has been featured by the Financial Times, by Forbes Magazine, and by numerous national and trade papers around the world. The importance of PatientView's corporate reputation analyses was recognised in the Deloitte report, 'Healthcare and Life Sciences Predictions 2020 - A Bold Future?', published in late 2014. In addition, companies have featured details of the study on their websites and in their shareholder information.
As a pharma company, you may wish to obtain a preview copy of the first of the Corporate Reputation reports published in 2016, the global report. (Please note that previews are only available before the global report is sent to the media in early March 2016.)

Valuable data for your company
PatientView Corporate Reputation reports ARE NOT available in the public domain.
If you purchase a report (or reports), this latest data collected at the end of 2015 will help your company to gauge its corporate reputation in 2015.
In addition, your company can use the trend data gathered throughout the 5 years of sampling to gain strategic guidance as to the areas of strength and weakness in your company's relations with patient groups.
Obtaining a preview copy of the global report
Preview copies of the global Corporate Reputation report will be sent to purchasers near the end of February 2016.

For more information, please contact
PatientView UK: Alex Wyke or Clive Nead
Tel: 0044-(0)1547-520-965
Brussels office: Dee O’Sullivan
Telephone: +32-(0)2-538-7581

Mobile: +32-(0)495-893-925
 Netherlands office: Drs. A.R.J. Halkes, MHA
Mobile: +31-6-31-66-2595

rob halkes's insight:

The latest Corporate Reputation of Pharma is out!
More than 1000 patient groups worldwide have submitted their view on pharma! Look here for requesting your preview copy here: 

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A Revolutionary Paradigm Shift in Big Pharma's Organisational Development by Cristina Falcão

"Ensuring a change for the better"
A Revolutionary Paradigm Shift in Big Pharma's Organisational Development by Cristina Falcão - A paradigm is the conceptual framework upon which we build our world; it is built upon past experiences; if we are not willing to make shifts in our paradigms, we will remain stagnate in our growth a paradigm shift is a change from one way of thinking to another; it is something that does not happen like self generation it is driven by change.

Culture change is not simply about how we see others and ourselves. It is about how the system works, i.e. how we do the work together, rather than how we work together. The paradigm shift is to understand how to act on the organisation as a system.

The most critical thing to understand about a paradigm is that, in a paradigm shift, everything goes back to zero. What does that mean? It means that whatever made us successful in the old paradigm may not even be necessary in the new paradigm....

What Has Changed? Everything – 2012 Portrays Big Pharma’s Future Scenario

Governments around the world are grappling to arrive at solutions for health account deficits. Political pressures have increased during the economic crisis.

Personalised medicine means changing drug portfolios from primary care driven blockbusters towards specialties, where the medical need is so high that regulators are more ready to accept the prices. Evidence of the value that medicines bring to healthcare systems will be required to achieve access and funding in both developed and emerging markets. 

However, changing portfolios to address the changing pharma landscape is not enough; the pipelines are dry and R&D costs continue to skyrocket - the new paradigm is not about portfolios. Broadly, to raise innovation returns back to the level that prevailed in the era of blockbusters, pharma companies need transformational change.

Read on here

rob halkes's insight:

Already in 2012, change was needed to pharma's business model.
Nowe we see the urge to incrfease by heavy debates on pricing of drugs and generall influences of pharma industry on prescription.

Tghe time has come to act. Not just by changes to the commercial approach, like multi channel management, or other add ons to the traditional promotion, but a rethink and design of the proper approach.
See my work on pharma here

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Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) - Evolution & Necessities | Mu Sigma Thought Leadership

Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) - Evolution & Necessities | Mu Sigma Thought Leadership | New pharma |
Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN) has resulted in a consolidated network for healthcare providers. Check out how this influences the decision sciences methodology for pharmaceutical companies.

Why this is important

Health care providers are undergoing a series of integrations that result in a consolidated network providing affordable and quality medical care –The IDN. Pharmaceutical companies need to evaluate their sales and marketing efforts and shift their focus from physician based selling to network based selling in order to tap the centralized decision makers.

Conventional Wisdom

Over the past few years the pharmaceutical industry has viewed Physicians as one of the dominant entities influencing its success and growth. A physician reserved the autonomy on decisions concerning the choice of therapy for his patients and was subjected to influence mainly by peers (group-practices) and Industry leaders (KOLs). Consequently, all pharmaceutical companies focused their promotional and educational initiatives on physicians. Sales teams were determined to acquire the mind share of physicians which resulted in having to tap a large group of individuals in order to expect returns. However, this is becoming old school.

The Evolving Industry

In the recent past, Health Care providers (primarily hospital chains) have undergone a series of vertical and horizontal integrations. Vertical integrations included the acquisition of primary care physicians (PCPs), strategic alliances with physicians in physician-hospital organizations (PHOs) etc. On the other hand, horizontal integrations involved the establishment of multihospital systems, alliances with neighboring hospitals and mergers. Over time, such integrations have evolved and enhanced to what is today referred to as the Integrated Delivery Network (IDN).

The integrations have resulted in the creation of a network of facilities and providers working together to offer a continuum of care. Prevailing economic market conditions and an array of healthcare reforms demands high quality of treatment at reduced costs (PPACA -2014). The very nature of integration allows IDNs to gain perspective on quality and cost factors that lead to better outcomes. This new vision focuses not only on intervention, but also on prevention and wellness, guiding patients to the most appropriate site of care, at the right time and cost. In short, IDNs are “Patient Centric” systems that act as ‘Islands of Excellence’ providing quality cost-effective treatments.

Conventional Wisdom

Over the past few years the pharmaceutical industry has viewed Physicians as one of the dominant entities influencing its success and growth. A physician reserved the autonomy on decisions concerning the choice of therapy for his patients and was subjected to influence mainly by peers (group-practices) and Industry leaders (KOLs). Consequently, all pharmaceutical companies focused their promotional and educational initiatives on physicians. Sales teams were determined to acquire the mind share of physicians which resulted in having to tap a large group of individuals in order to expect returns. However, this is becoming old school.

The Evolving Industry

In the recent past, Health Care providers (primarily hospital chains) have undergone a series of vertical and horizontal integrations. Vertical integrations included the acquisition of primary care physicians (PCPs), strategic alliances with physicians in physician-hospital organizations (PHOs) etc. On the other hand, horizontal integrations involved the establishment of multihospital systems, alliances with neighboring hospitals and mergers. Over time, such integrations have evolved and enhanced to what is today referred to as the Integrated Delivery Network (IDN).

The integrations have resulted in the creation of a network of facilities and providers working together to offer a continuum of care. Prevailing economic market conditions and an array of healthcare reforms demands high quality of treatment at reduced costs (PPACA -2014). The very nature of integration allows IDNs to gain perspective on quality and cost factors that lead to better outcomes. This new vision focuses not only on intervention, but also on prevention and wellness, guiding patients to the most appropriate site of care, at the right time and cost. In short, IDNs are “Patient Centric” systems that act as ‘Islands of Excellence’ providing quality cost-effective treatments.

rob halkes's insight:

In short: The world of health care is changing rapidly under the stres of more quality and volume for less costs of care. The formation of Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) will rise. To the health industry and pharma it means: if ou're not in, you're out and your competitor is in. This makes the need to change principles of market approach from a pharmaceutical company even  higher.

Don't you have a clue as to how: get in touch:

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Corporate reputation of the medical device industry - the patient perspective

Corporate reputation of the medical device industry - the patient perspective | New pharma |


Report published by PatientView, June 4th 2014

London, June 4, 2014. This report is based on the findings of a PatientView March-April 2014 global survey exploring the views of 408 international, national, regional, and local patient groups from 54 countries (86% from Europe), and with a wide range of differing medical specialties. The report provides feedback on the corporate reputation of the medical device industry during 2013-2014, as well as the performance of 28 leading medical device companies for six key indicators that influence corporate reputation: patient-centredness; patient information; patient safety; useful products; transparency; and integrity. Results are compared with industry and corporate performance in the previous two years.

For the purposes of this report, the phrase ‘corporate reputation’ is defined as the extent to which medical device companies are meeting the expectations of patients and patient groups. 28 companies are examined in the report.

See the complete press release !!

Key Findings:

The 2014 survey is an exact repeat of studies carried out in2012 and 2013, allowing the progress of the medical device industry (and individual companies) to be tracked over the three-year period.

- 2013-2014 results put the medical device industry first among all healthcare industries (but by default). 60% of the patient groups responding to the 2013-2014 survey state that multinational medical device companies had an “Excellent” or “Good” reputation that year, the same percentage as in 2012-2013, and higher than in 2011-2012 (when only 53% stated as such). [..]
- In fact, the overall reputation of the medical device industry has slipped, in the perception of patients. When respondent patient groups were asked whether the corporate reputation of medical device companies in their own right had improved, declined, or remained unchanged over the past year (2013-2014), just 34% felt able to state that the industry’s reputation had improved (compared with 40% in 2012-2013). And 26% of the 2013-2014 respondents say that the reputation of the medical device industry declined (the figure was 24% in 2012-2013).[...]- The medical device industry’s performance at various activities of importance to patient groups is stable. On the whole, the performance of the medical device industry at activities of importance to patient groups has remained remarkably similar over the past two years (between 2013-2014 and 2012-2013). [...]


Ranking              2013-2014

Coloplast A/S   

St.Jude Mecial
Novo Nordisk A/S
Roche Diagnostics


Abbott Labaratories

Fresenius Medical Care

Medtronic, Inc.

Philips Healthcare

rob halkes's insight:

Great Insights into the corporate reputations from the best performing Medical  Device Industry in patients' perspectives!

Kudos to Coloplast, ConvaTec and St.Jude Medical.

Sorry to see Philips healthcare just at the 10th place. 

Sweden seems to be the best country for Medical devices Industry..;-)

rob halkes's curator insight, June 4, 2014 4:58 AM

Congrats to those in the top 10. What are you doing when you're organization is less than good in this perspective?

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Jonathan Bush Urges Pharma to Take a New Look at the Pharma Business Model

Jonathan Bush Urges Pharma to Take a New Look at the Pharma Business Model | New pharma |

Jonathan Bush tells it like it is to pharma by Lois Drapin, CEO, The Drapin Group LLC  See the whole blog here - I just take some quotes..;-)

First, let’s not forget his reasons for being there.  As he stated, ‘I am the proud owner of Epocrates, Epocrates, Epocrates (product announcement).”   But now let’s take that a bit further.  He presented himself as a pharma outsider.  Indeed.  And pharma is now finding itself more on the outside of the healthcare delivery process than ever before. ..

“Our business model, said Bush, “depends on the patient doing the thing that the doctor wants… in order for us to get revenue.  So we may use a web app, carrier pigeons or trained llamas to get that outcome in the office, to get that patient  to come into the office or a patient paying the bill or a patient picking up their prescription, or a patient coming back after an abnormal blood test.  That is the revenue event for Athena, not the app. “..

Pharma needs a conversion: “Pull the good thing through”

According to Bush, and you could hear a pin drop in the crowded room, pharma needs to “converts its incredible set of cures into a sustainable new business model in this era.”  In fact he had already made this statement: “There are fetters to the business model that will pull the good thing through….and this …whole sub-sector is a casting about for a business model to pull the good thing through.”

…hospitals exit the theater.  2013 is well over 150 mergers now where there are only 4,350 hospitals left and now we are down to less than 1800 decision makers in the entire two trillion dollar market or something like  1,700 and some actual buyers. ...

According to Bush, these enormous systems are faced with a similar dilemma.  “Hospitals are realizing that they actually can’t produce enough sick people by buying up primary care doctors to do this so they’re sort of struggling with ‘How am I going to expand the number of patients that I touch this hospital with?’.. 
You have seen an explosion in marketing efforts by health systems to try and to get to more patients and an explosion in accountable care efforts to get smarter about reducing hospital days. ...

Bush asked the pharma marketers in the room to not only focus on hospital days, but on hospital stay.  Here is the three-step process he admonished the community to take:

  1. Take every drug you have and organize it by disease by the number of hospital days that could go away.  “Find the moments that matter financially and clinically.”
  2. Jump into the moment of care with a cure.  “There is more than one definition of the ‘cure’.”  At this point, armed with a true understanding of hospital stay, pharma can market directly to the “biospheres”…the same systems that are shutting down the ability to go doctor by doctor, the gatekeepers.  Bush says what once was your enemy, will become your friend.
  3. Follow up on the prescriptions that are written and make sure the patients get those drugs but also ‘don’t end up in the hospital.”  “Relentlessly follow up on all conditions for success,” said Bush.

According to Bush, athenahealth has a ‘higher percentage of patients connecting to our clients online than anyone else…much higher that Kaiser…which used to be number one at this.”  What’s in the secret sauce?

  1. Pharma can sponsor a medical home program with any doctor that wants it or with any biosphere that wants it.  Using Athena’s ability to bring the right pathway to the physician and his/her patient, and to get the patient to do the thing the patient is supposed to do, pharma can activate being at the right time and at the right moment…with a cure. Find help with analyzing the hospital stay, it could be athenahealth, it could be others.
  2. Jonathan says that pharma’s marketing  style to physicians and to consumers is the turn off.  The experience of Epocrates is 12 pt. font.  Simple. Essential.  Relentless. “Think of advertising on NPR…you are extremely constrained on what you can do and say on NPR but the impact it makes when you just get down to the facts and cut all the fluff is higher in some audiences.”  To be clear, athenahealth advertises on NPR.   Physicians have learned to deconstruct, then reconstruct for a living.  “It is deconstruction discipline.”
  3. Bush believes that pharma can serve the doctor by knowing how the drug works.  Pharma can knows this too–not just that it works, but in what population and how it works best.  Pharma can know the hospitals days and stay, the deflection point, so to speak.
  4. athenahealth has the cloud and the technology.  They are able to pop up on the doctor’s portal, powered by athenahealth and have the physician message the patient as they pass a Walgreens…even if they filled a prescription at CVS last week.  Remember, athenahealth is going to get to that patient no matter what depends on it.  That is their business model.
  5. Lastly, Bush praised pharma for their clinical trials.  Too bad they don’t resemble real life.  “Of course as soon as your drug is legal, well then of course everything else is in play…the smog, the stress, the location, the fashion…everything is now part of whether your drug works.”  Therein is the market opportunity in “working the way in which drugs are fit into real life and so you become a welcome sponsor again.”    He said, ‘if this doesn’t work, if you’ve eaten already, if this doesn’t work if you miss a dose, if this works better if you cut down on animal facts, you (pharma) are in play for that.”  This is where pharma can excel.  “The more you can do to wrap real life around your drug, make your cure actually cure, the more you can point to hospital days that went away, the more those biospheres will actually be your accelerator, not your preventer.”

Pharma marketers are taking a new wave of “beyond the pill” marketing solutions into healthcare.  Is this really new?  ...  I think it’s time we stopped using marketing buzz words to describe what pharma needs most.  What pharma needs most, according to Bush, is a sustainable business model that pulls “the good thing through.”Lois Drapin, MPS-H.S.A.

rob halkes's insight:

Actually, What Bush addresses in his speech regards the renewal of the value proposition of pharma: innovate value to physicians and to patients.

There are lots of examples for this - See here for instance.

The other site of the endeavour to pharma is the question of how! That's not an easy one: it means to rearrange the organization and its routines into performing selected and focused activities to different accounts - it means pharma needs to learn how to differentiate its pharma market approach.

I witness these projects and coach them. It takes some nerve to dare, but when a company can put it through, it will collect the returns.

Ask me, when you don't believe it. ;-)

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FDA Draft Guidance Takes the "Social" Out Of Social Media

FDA Draft Guidance Takes the "Social" Out Of Social Media | New pharma |

The FDA’s long awaited social media guidance published in draft form early this year is long on reach and short on specifics; the largely negative reaction from the biopharmaceutical industry reflects this.

If you just read the headlines of the various government enforcement actions that have been brought and settled in the past few years, you are invariably led to conclude that biomedical drug and device firms are renegades who willfully ignore government oversight in pursuit of profits.  Of course they are in pursuit of profits, like all businesses, and therefore some regulation is important to ensure that truthful information is conveyed to patients, physicians and payers. But this very same regulation ought not preclude or inhibit manufacturers from providing the most current, accurate information available – who else but the manufacturer is more likely to have such information in the first place? I have written about this in the context of the off label promotion issue broadly, and I believe the same principle should apply to all forms of company communication.

Instagram and other Social Media Apps (Photo credit: Jason A. Howie)

With this in mind, a news flash that may not be evident to our public servants toiling away in the government bureaucracy: social media is a popular and increasingly important means of communicating information.  Shockingly, even doctors and patients use it.  A recent survey of physicians found that over 50% of practices responding used Facebook as a platform, and 87% those physicians under the age of 55 used some form of social media. With the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring increased use of digitalized data under the Meaningful Use guidelines, one might say that the government is actively encouraging certain actors in the healthcare system to increase their use of technology to enhance patient engagement.

But drug companies, not so much.  A study announced earlier this year by IMS Health found that only 23 of the top 50 global pharmaceutical companies made regular use of social media. A more recent survey by the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development found that the use of social media in clinical research is minimal – so much so that most companies have yet to develop policies and practices in this area.  The survey found that only one in five firms that employ social media have used it to engage with patients, leaving it to third parties like patient advocacy groups or limiting their forays to banner advertisements.

The FDA’s recalcitrance in issuing guidance has been part of the problem. Back in 2008, when I held a visiting academic post at Oxford, I spoke with Jeremy Mean, the UK official who works with the British Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and is responsible for regulating these very same promotional and marketing practices by these very same companies.  In September 2007, now nearly seven years ago, he already had addressed formally an industry gathering to discuss the challenge of regulating social media communications.  He noted that while we know how to regulate labeling and promotional material, we are less certain as to how to evaluate “everything in between.” Still, even with this admitted uncertainty, Mean went on to discuss his preliminary views on web communications with industry representatives.  The FDA’s culture and history suggests that it is simply not willing to engage with industry in a collaborative effort to wrestle with the ambiguities presented by technological advance.  We are all the poorer for it.

Logo of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The symbol represents the American People sheltered in the wing of the American Eagle, suggesting the Department’s concern and responsibility for the welfare of the people. The logo is the department’s main visual identifier; the seal is now used for mainly legal purposes. The color can be either black or reflex blue. More information here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With its draft guidance, the FDA seems determined to put the genie back in the bottle, as it would make every utterance by a drug or device company subject to scrutiny to determine if it is outside the agency approved indication(s). Physicians have the prerogative to prescribe medications for unapproved uses, and often ask for guidance in prescribing and seeking reimbursement coverage for their patients, but companies are unable to freely advise on such issues other than in the context of a Medical Affairs representative responding to a specific inquiry from a practicing physician. Social media offers an opportunity for companies to provide background on medical practice and clinical developments, but the FDA’s draft guidance seems to go beyond the regulation of “labeling” or “advertising” as these terms are defined under the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to reach other types of communication.

Moreover, the guidelines raise the specter of the FDA expanding the scope of its purview to deem loosely or unaffiliated speakers as coming under the “influence or control” of the company – and therefore subjecting the company to liability for social media postings by a much broader range of actors than simply those who are authorized representatives of the pharmaceutical company’s Medical or Public Affairs groups.

This is touchy issue for many reasons, but just for fun, let’s wrestle with a philosophical question.  Should a company be held legally responsible for any actions taken or statements made by any and all employees and advisors that may relate directly or even tangentially to the company’s business?

Admittedly, corporations struggle with this question on their own. Most executives recognize that they cannot control their employees, particularly outside of the work environment. Yet they often hew toward a fairly restrictive position based upon heightened concerns of liability and government regulatory oversight. Some appear to cling to the belief, however outmoded, that management indeed can control the company’s message and reputation by controlling on line communications.

Here is a example of how some companies have approached the issue:

Although Public Affairs is solely responsible for developing and executing corporate communications on behalf of the Company, employees may post or engage in other social media activity on their own behalf outside normal working hours.  That said, it is important to acknowledge that employees who choose to do so may be seen as representing the Company, especially if the subject matter in any way relates to the Company, its business, its reputation, the science underlying our products and compounds, or public policy issues of concern to the Company or the biopharmaceutical industry generally.  As such, employees should avoid posting or engaging on social media outlets on a topic, or in a manner, that may reflect negatively on the Company.

In other words, we all know that we really can’t stop you from posting but . . . please please please don’t talk about the company. This has prevailed in many corners of the biopharmaceutical industry, where the rants of disgruntled sales representatives appear daily in living color on CafePharma, while the complexity of the safety and efficacy profile of approved drugs together with the limited space offered in some social media formats (e.g., Twitter) have handicapped efforts to communicate effectively with patients.

This is understandable, particularly as it concerns employees or agents who really don’t know what they are talking about.  But to the extent that corporate instincts are reinforced by an overly restrictive FDA, this is not necessarily a good thing.

Do we want to foster a dynamic marketplace of ideas where fulsome communication is supported?  Do we really believe that a government agency can – or should – control the information that is available to physicians and patients?  And if, in the company’s opinion, the posted information is wrong headed, do we want companies to act in good faith to correct the error?


 will watch with interest to see if the industry comments affect the final guidance. But the draft suggests that the agency is holding tight to a twentieth century command and control mindset, and is resisting mightily the sometimes uncomfortable reality of twenty-first century technology and its implications for healthcare communications.



Via Plus91, Rémy TESTON
rob halkes's insight:

It isn't easy, I guess, for an authority like FDA to make leaps towards a new business model, when this model is not yet followed by the majority of those they overview..
Maybe we could co-create an intermediate set of rules/guidance, where those who want more "free" space to act, will work in co-creative approach with the FDA?

What it is in care, co-creation? See here:

Joel Finkle's curator insight, May 27, 2014 10:16 AM

Given the 'permanence' of social media, I can see FDA oversight as rational: it's really not different from advertising.  Discuss?

Carmen Ganzaráin Pina's curator insight, October 30, 2014 6:39 AM

Un breve artículo sobre la FDA, comité regulador de alimentos y medicamentos en EEUU.

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Digital disruption - PMLiVE

Digital disruption - PMLiVE | New pharma |

"The pressure to transform will come from all stakeholders, not just technologies"

Many articles, conferences and presentations have been shared about the impact of digital on the communications of pharmaceutical products, how it has reinvented medical education, the role of the patient in our new interconnected world, the usefulness of social networks, viral marketing or even advanced analytics and big data. But in each case what we are really talking about is the trend behind some of the coming challenges and opportunities for our industry.

Digitally-driven transformations have changed entire industries along with the demise of once-mighty corporations, including such household names as EMI music, Polaroid, Kodak, Woolworths, Thomas Cook, Blockbuster and Encyclopaedia Britannica many of whom have radically restructured, or in some cases, gone into bankruptcy, as new digital entrants have disrupted their traditional business models. This disruptive thinking, defined by economist Joseph Schumpeter as the 'creative destruction' of established businesses, has led to new business practices.


In the pharmaceutical industry many companies have taken large and commendable steps by adopting new technologies, developing digital assets and even listening to social media conversations on their products or disease areas. But often these adjustments to the new digital realities capture only a fraction of the shifting value as many organisations are challenged to do no more than inch toward digital, especially since nobody knows when, or from which source(s), the next disruption will come. It is clear that today's digital disruption involves not only evolving technologies, but a revolution in the way that patients, physicians, carers, scientists and others use technology. Innovation in communications today includes not only digitising content, but also interactions, experiences and relationships, digital networks and cloud computing for example offer access to large amounts of processing power and systems to screen potential new drugs, analyse complex diseases and develop new pharmaceutical products and services.

These innovations and others to come will help shape our industry for tomorrow, not just processes but relationships and even existing business models, thus the pressure to transform enterprises will come not just from technologists or number-crunchers but all stakeholders.

It is an exciting future for those who can identify the right opportunities and trends relevant for our industry and with the passion to implement these ideas in their organisations.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views, strategies or opinions of Roche (!!)

rob halkes's insight:

Insights from someone from within the Pharma industry unburdening his soul. Truly, indeed pharma is going digital but they are still way behind of what could be, and in my view  what's necessary to do in the perspective of new interaction characteristics with customers and end users. I've seen lots of projects and know how things can go slowly, iunaligned or even not at all. It is no sinecure!

Let me tell you about it ...

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Boehringer plans to open trial data back to 1998 - PMLiVE

Boehringer plans to open trial data back to 1998 - PMLiVE | New pharma |

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that it intends to make drug data from clinical trials stemming back to 1998 accessible as part of efforts to improve research transparency within the industry.

The move is part of a collaboration with fellow pharma companies Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche and ViiV Healthcare on an online platform to handle requests from researchers for trial data.

Boehringer's chairman Dr Andreas Barner made the announcement at Boehringer's annual company meeting yesterday, following up from a commitment to transparency announced at the same meeting in 2013.

Dr Barner, who also heads R&D at Boehringer, explained that the online platform - available at - currently contained 50 trials available for which to request patient-level data, but the plan is to reach 500 from all involved parties.

“That's quite a job to achieve. but we have to do it in interest of what data and information can be shared with others,” said Dr Barner.

“We have always argued in favour of transparency and now want a more scientific discussion on the level of trial data and have therefore joined up with several research-based pharmaceutical companies in order to make clinical trials data and documents available to a wider public.” ....

read on in the original post here

rob halkes's insight:

Great to see real development in sharing clinical research data!

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Competition and Pharmaceuticals - Valérie Paris - 2014 OECD Global ...

This presentation by Valérie Paris was made at the 2014 Global Forum on Competition (27-28 February) during the session on competition issues in the distribution of pharmaceuticals. Find out more at 

rob halkes's insight:

Great research from Valerie Paris, describing different value design process due to pricing/ market price regulations . Is it time to get one standard for Europe?

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Effective pharma-patient interaction requires credible representation within communities

Effective pharma-patient interaction requires credible representation within communities | New pharma |

Every year, the board game community BoardGameGeek (BGG)  holds an annual convention called BGG.con. It’s pretty much paradise for US unplugged gamers: a library of over 3,500 titles, round-the-clock sessions, vendors, and more.

BGG.con is usually held in at the Hyatt Regency Dallas Fort Worth International Airport hotel.

Meet Glenn.

Glenn is a board game fan, and a member of the BGG community.

Glenn is also an employee of the Hyatt hotel and resort chain.

Glenn wants his fellow community members to have a good experience when they visit the place where he works, and proactively reaches out to pre-empt as many issues as it is feasible to address.

BGG community members express their appreciation verbally within the thread he starts, and also shower him with thumbs and ‘geek gold’ (we gamers had a virtual currency long before Bitcoin ;)) ..

What can pharma learn from this?

Let’s start by reviewing the landscape.

I’m hoping that it’s obvious enough to those who haven’t sacrificed their intellect on the altar of madness presided over by the high priests of multi-channel marketing (MCM) that pharmaceutical marketing is undergoing a saltational evolution.

It is happening rapidly.

It is taking place everywhere.

Its effects are already being felt.

Far from rising to the challenge for the most part the pharmaceutical industry has yet even to recognise the changes that are taking place around it, let alone progress beyond acknowledgment through denial, then disdain, then acceptance, and finally to action.

Setting aside the usual conservatism, reticence and risk-aversion that is the industry’s default mode, for the most part pharmaceutical marketers haven’t ‘got what it takes’ to interact authentically with patients.

I don’t mean this in a pejorative sense.

Rather, I mean that they have neither lived with, nor had first-hand experience of the disease areas they work in.

They should consider themselves lucky that this is so.

However, there are plenty of people who, unfortunately, do have the requisite experience: patients.

Hyatt’s Glenn is a trusted, authoritative, respected voice within BGG because he is one of the community.

Pharma needs fully-disclosed patients on the payroll who were community members before they were employees. People who are known, credible, and capable of reducing the gap between the people who make the drugs, and the people who take the drugs.

In order to be plausible, pharma’s claim to be patient focused needs to be borne out in a practitioner-led reality. There need to be patients on the board, patients on brand teams, patients present everywhere the industry is, informing every aspect of its strategic and tactical activities.

Pharma doesn’t just need to ‘listen to the patient voice’; pharma needs to have a patient face. 

That’s asking a lot of the patient, of course. They’re shouldering the burden of responsibility regarding reputation risk.

However, if pharma-patient relations are going to thaw, the industry needs to represent itself within patient communities through patient employees. There’s no other way that it can legitimately take part, anyway.

Regardless of how attractive it may look to the industry in principle, MCM is far from future-proof. Personally, I’d argue that it’s already dead, and that it was always broken as a concept.


Because to speak of the ‘authenticity’ of a message expressly designed to be redistributed in more than one context is a contradiction in terms.

How authentic can an exchange be that is pre-formatted? Shaped, nuanced, with all the colour and life that the spontaneity of reacting to the opinions of others in real time confers wrung out of it?

In concept and in practice, MCM is an anachronism in the social age.

If you don’t accept that, then be prepared to explain why.

MCM may look good in a deck, but arrows and flow charts do not build relationships: people do.

Whilst digital technologies enable global, near-instant one-to-many communications, relationships are still built on a one-to-one basis. In different countries; in local languages; at a national, regional, and local level.

The bigger the Internet and social web becomes, the tighter our focus will need to be on the emerging communities around us.

The global brand plan is now local.

rob halkes's insight:

Patients indeed would be the best advocates to the use of medicines. They are the very persons that are able to speak about the medicine in its practical therapy context.

Great suggestion Andrew! It surely is one of the largest but best changes tot the current health industry.
It will be difficult to them ;-)
As in lots of great changes, the first one who dares, will take the most benefits and will learn the most from doing so. From that will emerge their (needed) profit.
There’s just one thing that we need to ascertain too: how will patient be given free speech and will they be trusted and accepted by the patient communities they relate to?

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Invigorating biopharma: How the three rules can drive superior performance

Invigorating biopharma: How the three rules can drive superior performance | New pharma |

Though changing industry dynamics may call for a focus on cost containment in the short term, biopharma companies can emerge with new strategies that are again oriented toward non-price value and growth.

The biopharmaceutical industry is at a transformative point in its history. For decades, the industry has had an outstanding run of success, finding therapies for some of the most significant health issues of our time and generating strong returns as a result. These successes, both medical and business, were predicated on a strong model of productive R&D generating innovative products that drove growth and delivered considerable value to patients. Now, however, disruption and challenge are found throughout the industry in its thinning pipelines, expanding lists of stakeholders, narrowing distribution channels, and increasing regulatory and value requirements:

  • Despite an estimated $135 billion spent on R&D by biopharma companies in 2013, few have discovered new drugs with the market potential to replace revenue from those coming off patent.1 Additionally, the changing health care landscape has made it harder to extend the lifetime of billion-dollar drugs through slight modifications.
  • Changes in the health care landscape are also shifting the balance of power away from individual physicians and toward larger provider organizations and other non-traditional stakeholders, including accountable care organizations (ACOs), employers, and advocacy groups. This presents a challenge to traditional biopharma company marketing models.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), along with increasing scrutiny from commercial payers, are altering traditional payment models. New drugs that do not provide demonstrated comparative effectiveness or increased value over existing drug therapies will likely not be reimbursed at favorable price levels.

The industry is not at a standstill and is far from losing its profitability, but the pace of growth has slowed (figure 1) and margins have shrunk, causing biopharma leaders to consider how to best position their companies for success. The attractive business environment of the 1990s and 2000s is gone and in its place, a more complex, less certain, and likely more volatile operating environment has emerged.

As this situation has unfolded, ... read on here

rob halkes's insight:

The Pharma industry needs a reorientation to its total business: not an easy thing to do. The more so, while it has been performing the same routine in business for the past two decades at least.

Do Pharma top managers know their own inhibitions? Would they recognize when they misperceive old certainties as "quality for tomorrow"?
It will be a hard task for them - but one needs to change.. I wish them all best of success with this.

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Digital Listening Drives a New Relationship with Doctors

Digital Listening Drives a New Relationship with Doctors | New pharma |

The best customer relationships have always been based on a high level of trust, built upon a strong understanding of real customer needs. Novel digital technologies now enable the pharma industry to efficiently listen to each and every doctor, laying the foundations for success.

True pull-marketing needs individual customer segmentation

For the pharmaceutical industry, digital technology has enabled much more efficient and regular connectivity with its principal customers – the prescribers. But this increased level of dialogue between doctors and pharma is only useful if it is on mutually beneficial terms. Doctors want specific pieces of information, at the right time and via the right channels. The pharma industry wants to ensure doctors are clear on the benefits of its products.

Via Dinesh Chindarkar
rob halkes's insight:

For pharma, there's more to redefine their engagement with doctors, than just listening. I suggested a specific path to develop such:

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