Monday, May 16, 2011

Why price increases will no longer work-a thought for the CEO's of life science companies.

So this article in FiercePharma on Friday (5/13) caught our eye.  What is the moment when reality and perception converge for the Pharma industry?  What will happen when the CEOs of all the top life science companies need to tell their boards there is no more room for growth.  We hope someone in these organizations is spending some time on this subject, because the time is now.

We have always suggested there is a new way to engage with customers.  Regardless of the marketplace conditions, we believe that treating a customer as you would like to be treated as a person is the best approach. But why has the industry through the years continued to see things differently, then when faced with the patent cliff the drug industry faces, we seem to be out of answers.

Our advice, start to manage the expectations of your boards that lower earnings and revenues are going to be a way of life.  Look to BRIC nations for your future growth and develop harvest strategies for Europe and the US.   Several are still looking to research and development for the answer, but we believe the best thing you can do is to ensure you keep the business you earn.

Ask your senior leadership team what they are doing to make sure refills, re-orders and customer complaints are managed more effectively than the constant focus on creating demand for your products/services.  We realize you have a big number to fill every year!  It seems we spend a lot of time (and money) doing some of the same things.  Medication adherence programs work!  Why not mandate that all your products and brands make them an integral part of their marketing plan. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

The ACC and Philips: Common-Sense Collaboration

Anyone paying objective attention to what the new healthcare legislation has spawned has noticed creative juices beginning to ooze out here and there. To wit: Royal Philips Electronics and its from-hospital-to-home heart patient monitoring technology collection. Two desired endpoints here: Saving lives and saving money.

Next year – if the healthcare legislation stays intact – hospitals that have an inordinate amount of readmissions for heart failure, MI or pneumonia will start losing Medicare reimbursement. Year one: 1%, year two, 2%, year 3, 3%. After that, the list of readmitted conditions grows that can produce a penalty. Medicare has been paying big-time for unplanned hospital readmissions, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine: $17.4 billion in 2004.

Philips unveiled its tech collection at the recent American College of Cardiology conference; the ACC is one of its partners in this endeavor. No doubt critics of physician-industry collaboration will be screaming while reading this – but how else are cardiologists supposed to learn about these products?

The products include bedside monitors with early warning systems; a cable-free progressive care monitoring system; home tele-health system; and a remote cardiac service with diagnostic arrhythmia monitoring and additional patient self-testing.

It’s all about connecting the dots: giving cardiologists insight into how their patients fare when they get home.

But it's also about patient education and better communication among patients and providers along the healthcare continuum – make no mistake, it will always be about these two. We doubt this country would be facing this healthcare debacle if we had a handle on the first issue and had never sacrificed the second.