SXSW B(ite)S: Visions of a World Where Patients become Loyal to One #Pharma Company | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Driven by generics and biosimilars, the dynamic of the pharmaceutical world is changing as we speak. The availability of multiple treatment options and choices and the rise of the empowered patient (typified by shared treatment decision making) means pharma companies need to find new patient focused ways to compete and stay ahead. Beyond the pill services, patient support programmes and the like represent a well-trodden path, but the millennial patients of tomorrow are more demanding. They require tailored treatment programmes that consider their lifestyle and work around them. Adherence is flipped on its head and the problem becomes reframed, from “how can we make a patient adhere to our drug” to “how can our drug adhere to this patients lifestyle”.

And yet, in a world of ever decreasing (and sometimes questionable) differences between competing drug performance, there can be great riches for those who are able to empathise and connect to patients in these new ways. Consumers are fiercely loyal to the brands they like to consume or that represent them. With Millennial patients using social platforms to seek out, review or champion brands and treatments, a self-fulfilling bond and loyalty can be formed.

As Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group proclaimed at SXSW “Loyalty and Advocacy are the by-product of meaningful and personal experiences…now and over time”.

But what if that loyalty can be earned beyond the treatment of that one condition? What if a patient feels so understood, supported and cared for by one pharma companies approach, that they want to go back to that same company when they have a different ailment requiring a different drug? Can loyalty and brand preference be levered at a corporate level? Is this equity tangible and transferable – for example, would a millennial seeking treatment show greater affinity to a company that once supported their father so well during a difficult illness?