Manal Haddad

Top Pharma Trends for 2017

We’re only a few months into the New Year and there have already been a few unprecedented events that have sent shockwaves in various industries. Based on these, there have been plenty of different trends that are making a direct impact on big pharma’s functionality. The following are some of the top pharma trends that will make a huge impact on how the pharma industry develops in 2017.

Pricing Concerns Regarding Certain Drugs

Big Pharma has experienced growth in a multitude of different ways but there have been concerns that various companies have been pushing the prices. Since August 2015, there has been considerable pressure placed by various politicians, physicians, and patients to lower the prices. Due to this, there have been certain big industry players who have decided to voluntarily decrease the costs. The surprising thing is that this isn’t just related to the pharma industry in the US; UK’s National Health Service was accused of over-charging on generic drugs as well. Countries such as Japan and Germany are among the few that are pushing for stronger pricing regulations, particularly on newer medications.

Convergence of Different Sectors

When it comes to the digital market, the tech industry is slowly collaborating with the pharma industry. Various tech giants such as IBM, Google and Apple have started playing an active role, particularly in patient interaction as well as helping to broaden various R&D strategies that can help these pharma companies gain a better understanding of how to become more streamlined and utilize technology in the proper manner. While still not developing as quickly as other industries, the pharma industry is still showing good signs of growth with the integration of the tech industry.

Empowerment of Patients

As tech has made more advancements in the field of the pharma, there has also been a growing awareness in patients and not just about the price of the medication. Patients are becoming more aware, not only about the medications available for them but also about the condition they have. In a bid to improve their quality of lives, patients are actively working to take control of their ailments, instead of letting the ailment control them. Doctors will not be the sole means of influencing the decisions to a patient’s treatments. What this has done is crafted a community that is more knowledgeable but also more difficult to sway. For pharma companies, this does mean having to revise their sales and marketing strategies.

Regaining Public Trust

With the public distrust at an all-time high, the slew of bad publicity experienced by different pharma companies such as Teva, Mylan, Pfizer, and Valeant have made many people question the role and future that pharma will have. Dealing with problems such as manipulation of monopolies, pushing drug prices, utilization of dubious practices in development and more has scared the general public as evidenced by the drop in sales and stocks in 2016. To truly win their target audience, pharmacies have to invest and indulge in faith and goodwill building activities, such as the campaign being showcased by GSK in 2017.

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