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Pharmaceutical Industry in Transition

By Clive Riddle, August 7, 2015

KPMG has just conducted a survey of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, finding “their biggest commercial challenges coming from payers, surpassing hurdles posed by regulators, declining access to healthcare providers, and the move toward specialty drugs.”

Based on these findings, KPMG’s Bill Shew, Alison Little and Peter Gilmore have released a twelve-page report:  Change in pharma? Not optional; 10 Integrated imperatives for pharmaceutical commercial transformation.  Page two contains just these 35 words, in large font – which sums up the situation for pharma: “The pharmaceutical industry is caught between a blockbuster-driven past and a future  comprising precision medicine, curative therapies, and payment for outcomes. The years of consistent  double-digit growth and unconstrained pricing power are fading into memory.”

Author Alison Little tells us "life sciences companies face increasingly high demands from payers to prove the value of their products in terms of improved patient outcomes and lower costs. This requires not only clinical and analytical rigor, but increased focus on account management and strategy. This is a significant part of the commercial model for the pharma, biotech and medical device sectors, which need to evolve to compete in the future.  These are dramatic changes in bringing drugs to market and are far removed from the blockbuster model of marketing drugs with large direct-to-consumer advertising budgets and extensive physician detailing. Newer brand name drugs are treating much more complex medical conditions and have more stringent handling and administration requirements than those a decade ago. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies need to consider 'beyond the pill' services to help with patient engagement and helping them adhere to treatment."

Their report cites challenges for the industry including a paltry one percent annual growth rate for top 25 life sciences companies in 2014, down from double digits five years ago; and that seventy percent of recent brand launches underperformed analyst forecasts.

Without further adieu, here’s The ten “Imperatives for Commercial Transformation” they elaborate on, in their report:

  1. Use commercial tactics, not clinical data, to differentiate new products
  2. Elevate pricing and contracting within the organization
  3. Take a more holistic approach to stakeholder mapping and prioritization
  4. Base sales models on a collaborative approach to improving outcomes
  5. Play a larger role in the industry transformation from “volume to value”
  6. Support providers in improving quality and patient satisfaction
  7. Leverage data and analytics to enhance commercial strategies
  8. Allocate commercial resources optimally across markets and brands
  9. Evolve performance metrics and incentives to reflect new realities
  10. Drive the transformation agenda throughout the enterprise\

The author’s sum up where the industry needs go from here:  “Pharmaceutical companies need to transform their commercial models so that they can continue to thrive. In our evolving healthcare ecosystem, power centers are shifting, quantifiable outcomes are expected, and companies must demonstrate value for every healthcare dollar spent. We are approaching a tipping point when pharmaceutical companies, no matter the size or therapeutic focus, will no longer be able to view commercial transformation as an aspiration. Instead, they will need to recognize that it is a critical imperative.”

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