“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too)—those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” —Charles Darwin
Darwin may not have foreseen anything like the Internet, Big Data, Meaningful Use, ACOs, the med device excise tax, patient centricity—and everything else that fuels the rapidly changing state of today’s healthcare landscape. But rest assured, though he’s long gone, Darwin is speaking directly to you—the pharmaceutical and medical device marketers of today.
No less than four articles/columns in this issue address the paradigm shift these industries are undergoing as they begin to move away from a competitive mindset with other healthcare stakeholders to a more collaborative approach, nearly a union—and honestly, we didn’t plan it this way. This is what is emerging. It’s coming from you.
So what does collaboration (or collaboration marketing) actually mean? According to Stephen Casey, (click here), here’s, first of all, what it does not mean: “Collaboration does not mean brands give up their independence.” Instead, he explains, collaboration marketing seeks out the areas where brands can collaborate using a tool or process that helps stakeholders in the healthcare space or creates value.
But there’s more. Our cover story addresses a specific need for collaboration between payers, brand marketers and patients to maximize market access—key to quality patient outcomes, and key to any business’ growth. This topic is so important that Health Strategies Group offered game plans from four of its principals (click here to get in on this).
Finally, the specialty pharmacy care model, (read the story here) is one that is not only based on collaboration, but actually requires it in order to be successful. Says author Kevin Alder, “This care model requires all patients, physicians, payers, pharmaceutical manufacturers [and specialty pharmacists] to communicate with each other. They work together to ensure medication adherence, compliance and persistence and track patient outcomes and quality of life.”
As you’ll see, a lot can be accomplished using collaboration as a tool to help all stakeholders. Some companies are already moving forward with this, proving one essential thing: As industries, we can do this. And we will prevail.