2013 is here and like every New Year it brings with it the opportunity for fresh chances and new goals, and that is true for industries as well as people. So while you are busy trying to stay true to your personal resolutions (hopefully no one has broken theirs yet), Panorama set out to learn what the pharma industry must resolve to do this year. We asked our readers to tell us the one thing that the industry would need to change in order to ensure a successful 2013, and they did not hold back.

Bill Campbell, Vice President & General Manager, Oncology Business Unit at Teva, Inc.:

“As an industry, we need to resolve to step up and become more proactive in relation to all of the positive attributes of the pharmaceutical industry. For too long we have sat back and let others dictate the messaging relative to our industry. While we have made some mistakes—and I can’t think of a single industry that hasn’t—what we do in this industry is nothing short of spectacular. Due in large part to the investments we make and the products we bring to market, individuals across ALL disease areas are living longer, with a much better quality of life than ever before. As an industry, we let the politicians, hospitals, insurance companies and “think tanks” tell a one-sided story. In 2013, it’s time for the pharmaceutical industry to begin providing another view point!”

David Davidovic, Former VP Commercial Services at Roche and Genentech:

“Here are three resolutions for the pharma industry that I also shared on LinkedIn:

1. Greater collaboration and meeting of minds with regulators, payers/governments and healthcare providers. There is so much common ground that remains unexplored and untapped due to mistrust.

2. Proactive transparency. Not only when companies have their backs against the wall. This will help tremendously with industry image problems—some deserved, some not.

3. Increased productivity in bringing unique (not me too) products to market: faster, with better data, with greater relevance, and with better value-for-money stories.”

Jim Dayton, Digital Strategy Lead at Intouch Solutions:

“Obviously, there are many things that could make a huge impact on pharma in 2013. I think everyone has talked about social media and mobile enough. It is time to make the decision to start working with these platforms and connecting with patients, caregivers and HCPs as they’ve come to expect from brands. Companies that let risk aversion get the best of them will, undoubtedly, be behind when, or if, the FDA releases any guidance. Plus, they will be ill-prepared when the conversation turns to big data and convergent marketing.”

Michael Marett, SVP, Head of Global Business Development at WorldOne Interactive: 

“In 2013 it will be paramount for the industry to push the innovation envelope and seriously adjust communication style in a dramatic way by committing to try a range of ‘new’ engagement initiatives. The industry needs to better harness the power of social media platforms, scientific exchange, gamification and directional community insights indexed by relevant subject matters to foster better educational opportunities for HCPs and lead to faster clinical insights.

Additionally, amidst the abundance of recently approved drugs, physicians will have a greater selection of treatments, so the products that find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition across channels will be plowing the innovative road for the rest.”

Joe Meadows, President at Think Patients, LLC:

“Pharma should resolve to truly understand and invest in point of care (POC) marketing in 2013.  The industry has dabbled in it for a very long time, but connecting with providers and patients simultaneously and at the very moment that care is being delivered deserves a much greater share of marketers’ attention and resources. There are so many opportunities available, and a number of successful brands and companies are already reaping the reward of their POC investments. I’d like to see more follow their lead.”

Richard Meyer, Principal Healthcare Analyst at eMarketer:

“With health insurance premiums increasing we’re going to see an increase in people searching for health information. Pharma has to go beyond just creating a product website and think in terms of an integrated approach to get patients the answers they need when they need them and in a format that they can understand. It’s time to humanize pharma marketing.”

Michael Rivas, Director Regulatory Compliance at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation:

“Transparency! We are still awaiting the final rules from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Office of Management and Budget on the Sunshine Act. When the rules are issued, the industry will essentially have the same message to share: Collect data in 2013 and report in 2014. Pharma companies will need to learn how to continue to engage with HCPs while at the same time wrestle with the questions that will undoubtedly surface due to transparency.”

Mike Rutstein, Founder and CEO at STRIKEFORCE Communications: 

“Moving into 2013, pharma marketers need to continue to move ‘beyond the pill/product’ and recognize the benefits of a broader platform or ‘ecosystem’ approach to supporting new and existing therapies.

With shifting dynamics in the healthcare system—including hyper-vigilant drug utilization reviews and the need to drive greater differentiation and customer value—it will be incumbent upon the industry to surround their offerings and assets with key initiatives and programs that drive decision making, product uptake and clinical outcomes.”

Ron Scalici, Chief Innovations Officer at Group DCA:

“It is clear to us from our client interactions that the integration of sales and marketing departments with technology is critical to the industry’s success in 2013 and beyond. Both departments have the same goals in brand building, but they are working in silos, and that is often redundant and therefore, costly. In addition, it hampers the sharing of information that drives effective digital outreach. These departments must break down the walls between them and work as a unit to leverage digital tools across personal and non-personal platforms to improve HCP outreach, drive sales and increase margins.”

Sam Welch, Global Group President at Publicis Healthcare Communications Group:

“This year we’ll continue to see big investment and emphasis on translating data to better understand patient needs. Companies have the ability to mine data on deeper levels than ever before, but it’s how they use the data to engage with patients that will produce game-changing results. The brands that translate these insights into purposeful action will create relevant customer experiences, driving brand preference, loyalty and growth.”

David Zaritsky, President at Roska Healthcare Advertising:

“After so many years of discussion about innovations around the web and app development, I believe this will be the year that pharma companies need to resolve to get back to good old-fashioned storytelling. Telling a compelling story that creates impactful moments of entry for a consumer or HCP is the fundamental foundation of any good campaign. Too many times I have seen marketers start with the channel or the technology, and not focus on the strategy and story that ultimately either influences or disrupts a person’s ability to feel engaged and motivated. The pharma companies that have strong integrated strategic messages that connect together with a consistent chain of thought will be the winners in 2013 and beyond.”



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