Pharmaceuticals Firms and a Changing Landscape

on May 2, 2019 at 5:20 am

Pharmaceuticals Firms and a Changing Landscape

This is a difficult time for global pharmaceutical companies — so difficult, in fact, that many are reconsidering their business models. Providers are putting pressure on costs; payors are tightening up on cost management; new technologies are challenging ways of doing business and their traditional pricing mechanisms.
But the internal culture of most pharma companies has not changed for many years, and this is an additional challenge.

“This is an industry that has long operated through disparate components — silos that separated R&D, commercial, production, and supply chain. And, in turn, these walled-off parts of the organization have been disconnected from the external-facing parts, which are responsible for managing relationships with regulators, policymakers, the medical community, and the rest of the industry.

The dangers of silos may not always have been obvious, but today, with more stringent regulatory requirements, greater oversight of healthcare spending, and more demanding patient and doctor constituencies, there is much less room for inefficiency and waste. A product’s costs and returns will be disappointing if a company makes decisions without considering the impact on all stakeholders.

These silos can obstruct patient access and breed inefficiency and waste. They affect drug approval time and pricing, influence support for specific drugs by the medical community, and seriously hinder financial performance.

It is time for pharmaceutical companies to restructure their operating models,” insists Jo Pisani, a partner with PwC.

Pharmaceuticals manufacturers must develop a clear and detailed strategic plan. Business objectives must be determined with regard to shifting requirements and regulations in the industry. Stakeholders should be considered when defining business objectives, so that they can easily buy into them.

Then, organization structure should be radically changed, so that there is a focus on stakeholders. There should be built around clear roles and responsibilities, globally and locally, that leverage functional expertise across the organization.

Increased use of outsourcing

Pisani strongly recommends that noncore activities should be outsourced to improve efficiency, and the organizational structure can be linked to business needs while providing room for mobility and innovation among the ranks.

By integrating outsourcing, there will be a regular flow of new ideas across the business which will help to change its culture and objectives. Further, with noncore activities outsourced to experts, staff can concentrate on the company’s mission, planning R&D, and aligning it to provider needs.

Processes must also be redetermined so that they work in the new context of the business. Tracking the progress of operations in achieving specific strategy goals focused on demonstrating value, quality, and compliance in a cross-functional environment – all of this can be rapidly achieved with the help of third-party advisors and outsourcing.

“IT systems are vital to support and enhance (a) knowledge sharing across local and global teams; (b) customer-centric services to meet needs of key stakeholders and to demonstrate patient and economic outcomes; (c) transparent interactions with stakeholders; and (d) efficiency gains. Key metrics need to be defined to measure progress against objectives. As digitization becomes increasingly important in the pharmaceutical industry, workers must be early adopters of technology,” Pisani says. Again, this kind of adaption is best achieved in collaboration with third-party advisers and outsourcing.

Further, as objectives are redefined, and operational focus shifts to the customer, it is up to management to grasp how these changes will affect the market in which the company competes and the environment in which it operates.

This is another opportunity to work with consultants and advisors, who can provide the know-how to make operational changes. As the focus shifts to stakeholders, there have to be changes in terms of pricing policy, and consequent changes in marketing, just to take one example. It’s important to see that marketing makes the necessary adaptations and that pricing, which involves a number of different participants, is considered with all of them in mind.

Similarly, management must also evaluate the skillsets it has available and new ones for which it has a need. Well-developed on-boarding and training programs are necessary to improve the performance of staff. Workers should become problem-solvers, not blamers — who are inspired to work in teams, driven by the desire to adopt innovation and facilitate it across the organization to enable patient-centric products and services. Here again the collaboration with third-party advisers can make a key difference.

PointData improves processes and quantifies impact

Accurate data is critical to pharmaceuticals companies if they are to get the full benefit of working with GPOs and IDNs. PointData fills this gap for these companies. Using our services, GPO and IDN rosters are updated almost in real time -- this reduces error rates and provides accurate data that saves time and money.
But pharmaceuticals companies work in a complex environment, and it is difficult for an organization to improve its operations without identifying key objectives and linking them to clearly quantified values. Our team has extensive experience in calculating the value of impacting changes in a complex, regulated environment.
Because not every pharmaceuticals firm has the technology to partner with us, PointData offers a full-scale consulting package that will enable partnering with us.

We can help pharmaceuticals firms to reorganize the internal workings of the team, review pre-existing practices to streamline the roster management process and enable us to provide cutting-edge services.
We can address processing challenges and drive continuous improvement, ensuring that all contracting and rebates processes are clearly defined, providing a clear picture to stakeholders of all interactions and dependencies (for example, providing Process Maps and RACI matrices).