Ever been to a medical store and wondered where all the medicines come from? How are they manufactured, how new advancements and new cures are developed and released for new diseases and illness? This point is where the pharmaceutical industry comes in.
Pharmaceutical industry is related and responsible for a lot of responsibilities. It starts off by discovering the need for medications, develops them, produces them, and makes them available to the general public to either vaccinate the patients, cure them, or to alleviate their symptoms. They are kept at a rigorous check and supposed to follow a lot of rules and regulations for safety purposes.
Over the years, a lot of things have changed for the pharmaceutical industry. From the structure to research and development, and the year 2020 holds more challenges for the industry worldwide. The pharma industry has a list of ongoing challenges that are listed and discussed below.
Developing Medicines to Cure Today’s Incurable Diseases
As the industry is growing each year, so is technology. Yet, the most obvious challenge that the pharma giants have to face is to develop medicines to cure incurable diseases. Different kinds of Cancers, HIV, Alzheimer’s are still on the list of incurable diseases. A tremendous amount of investment will be needed for the research and development to come up with innovative treatments that would work.
Customer’s Demand & Expectation
Awareness has led to the demands and expectations of people to rise. People who are paying for their healthcare expect better therapies and treatments that provide better results than the traditional ways. They also insist on looking at clinical outcome data in the real world. This helps to reinforce all the allegations about the superiority of a drug in the field over competitors.
Marketing Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Be it any industry; the marketing department always faces challenges of the same sort. Generating leads, securing a budget for marketing activities, and making sure the budget provides the ROI on those activities. Below are a few challenges that a marketer is facing in the pharma industry.
a) SLOW MARKET GROWTH
An IMS report suggests the market growth has dropped to a single digit from 12% to between 6%-9% in between 2015-2021. Although growth is a standard part of the pharmaceutical industry, and it will keep growing, but the pace is going to be slow due to barriers such as pricing, market-access pressure, and further drug incursions. The industry as a whole will be facing growth-related challenges.
b) THE INDUSTRY IS SLOW TO INNOVATE
Many industries are going towards the ‘paper-free’ environment, and everything is going towards being digitalized. As a result, less and less paper is being used and every record has been digitalized. However, the pharma and the medical industry have not yet been digitalized. Due to this, there have been severe problems such as misidentification of patients. Misidentification is one of the most atrophying issues that could happen. Unfortunately, you can find this majority in the US healthcare system, as you can get to hear about these every other day. Unintentional patient mix ups and duplicating medical records is a pure example of how urgently this issues needs to be taken care of and how important it is to digitalize the industry. This can even lead to wrong treatments for wrong patients, severe financial losses, and worst; even deaths with no one to be held accountable for. But why is patient misidentification so common? Medical students and patient misidentification are inversely related to each other. As more students are given guidance, the fewer identification cases we could expect.
c) MARKETERS ARE GIVEN MORE IMPORTANCE COMPARED TO SALES
B2B pharma has always been related to direct sales to start new business initiatives. However, we can notice a change in this trend in recent years. The Marketing Magazine notes that the decline in B2B field sales has opened the way for more marketing-led programs (such as internal marketing, effective SEO, and website design) led by the marketing team alone. Customers’ buying behavior often indicates that this self-buying method is the preferred method of product purchase.
This way, you can get the most of B2B marketing exchange as this creates a challenge for marketers as the weight of the new business is inclined more towards the marketers than sales whereas it used to be the other way around.
d) POOR SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTIVITY
Drug production has remained stable over the past decade. By using the same exploration and development process, there is no good reason to believe that their productivity will suddenly increase.
In addition to all these issues, the pharma industry faces more problems and challenges than it used to in the past. If we put them in a nutshell, we can say that:
Chances and instances of chronic diseases such as heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes are increasing. The pressure is growing on the health budgets of all countries around the world.
The demand of medicines is more in the emerging economies rather than the developed ones. Governments, on the other hand, are trying to focus more on prevention rather than treatment.
To conclude, we can say that the year 2020 will be full of challenges for the pharmaceutical industry throughout the world. All we can hope is that with sheer dedication and hard work, the sector could research and develop cures and medicines that a lot of people have been hoping for all these years.
Author: Stella Lincoln
I am Stella Lincoln having a master degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in the subject of marketing. I love to spread the knowledge and wisdom. My focus is to enhance my skills and reduce the gap. You can check my write-ups at my blog; Educator House. Nowadays, I am working in HarperCollins Publishers as a Writing Consultant.