Pharmaceutical industry analysts have great faith in 2018, and that too for a good reason. Not only are there several scientific breakthroughs expected, regulatory agencies are easily providing approvals. Acquisitions will further continue this year, paving the path forward for many companies. Despite the many opportunities offered, not every company will truly succeed.
Top 3 Challenges Lying Ahead in the Pharma Industry
In order to thrive, pharma companies need to be prepared for a number of challenges, including the following.
Change in the Role of Consumers
Previously, doctors and insurance companies were the target customers of the pharma industry. However, consumers are now the latest customers and the force indirectly controlling the industry. One of the reasons for this change is patients becoming active and self-directive with new technology tools.
According to McKinsey & Company, individuals are more in control of their health treatments. A considerable number of patients visit their doctors with more information, parameters they measured on their own at home, and an opinion of how they should be treated. Within three to five years, it’s expected that patients may actually participate in designing their own treatment and therapeutic approaches along with their doctors.
As patients gain more control over their own health, drug companies need to understand them better. Therefore, solutions which bridge this gap will be required. Especially since physicians may spend less time ordering diagnostics and interpreting results, and more on tending the social elements of health care.
Dwindling Brand Loyalty
Patients’ brand loyalty isn’t the same anymore. In fact, most customers no longer care what brand of drug they take as long as it’s effective. One of the reasons behind this is patients’ need for therapies which are clinically and economically better.
The cost of drugs has been a burden on most consumers. To meet the growing need for research and development, pharma companies have raised the prices on treatments for life-threatening or chronic conditions. As a result, insurers have shifted more costs onto consumers, forcing many to pay thousands to survive.
Patients have responded in a number of ways – skipping drugs they can’t afford, crossing borders to purchase medicines at reduced costs, stockpiling medicines, etc. These practices affect drug companies further, especially if they lack real-world outcome data to back claims of their medicines’ superiority.
Growing Need for Collaboration
Health care data is going to be readily available as the lines between patients, providers and drug companies blur. Currently, patients are expanding to the areas previously owned by the other two. The above mentioned challenge is a fine example of such behavior.
In addition to accepting that product data isn’t fully in their control, pharma companies need to collaborate and provide their own trial data. Not being transparent can actually put companies at a disadvantage in front of patients and regulators. Moreover, it hinders the process of discovering and delivering new treatments. This, in turn, affects achieving better outcomes for patients.
There are ways, of course, of ensuring companies’ competitiveness. For instance, a renowned pharma company retained the right to share data relating to new medicines in the early stages of development pre-license. On the other hand, it has signed an agreement with an Ivy League school to share clinical data from its trials.
How Mobile Forms Can Help You Overcome these Challenges
Mobile forms are becoming an integral component in successful enterprises across industry verticals. From construction to mining and all the way to logistics, they automate and simplify data collection. In turn, they enhance the workforce’s productivity, reduce mistakes, and lower the risk of data leaks. For pharmaceutical companies, mobile forms can help in overcoming the abovementioned challenges.
Mobile Forms Enhance Communication
Mobile forms can effectively streamline communication across organizations’ departments. Employees can exchange drug- and administration-related information in semi real-time. This type of digital forms can also be used to connect pharma companies with doctors.
Acting as the middle man, a doctor can communicate the outcomes of their patients’ treatments and therapies. They can quickly fill out surveys and reports to indicate successes, failures or issues. They can also communicate patients’ viewpoints on medications. This is possible as doctors will become more involved in the social aspects of providing health care.
Pharma companies can also cut out the middle man and send their own representatives to patients. This speeds up the data collection process and ensures almost all pain points are addressed properly. It may take a while to achieve this, though, considering how wary patients may be of drug companies.
Mobile Forms Reduce Numerous Costs
Effective communication and acknowledging feedback collected through mobile forms is one way of restoring brand loyalty. However, it is important to address the actual cause: the rising costs of medicines.
According to ‘Analysis of Manufacturing Costs in Pharmaceutical Companies’, the cost of the drugs produced may be the result of expensive measures taken to meet strict regulations. There are also smaller costs which combine to become a larger sum, such as administrative costs. Therefore, saving even a relatively small amount can make a difference.
Mobile forms can effectively eliminate the cost of paper across different processes. Just saving the cost of printing paperwork can save thousands of dollars considering there are several costs associated with the process, including the cost of –
- Hardware (e.g. printers) and its maintenance
- Printing supplies (e.g. toner)
- Temporary and permanent storage spaces
- Procurement and administration
- Power consumption and waste
With more expenses related to paper, pharma companies can save a lot just by ridding their processes of paper.
Mobile Forms Controls Information Sharing Effectively
According to John Ioannidis, an expert on the credibility of medical research, and former BMJ editor-in-chief, Richard Smith, 90% of published medical information is flawed. The fact that many steps and collaborators are involved contribute to several issues such as methodological errors.
Mobile forms decrease the chance of error by reducing the need to type information. Users can tap on segmented controls or drop down menus to select the best option. They can also include pictures, videos, and other forms of multimedia to better describe a certain reaction. After clinical trial data is collected, it can be stored in raw form in the company’s database and/or sent in the form of PDF reports to designated personnel.
Now is the Right Time to Embrace Mobile Forms
Mobile forms is still a new technology in the pharmaceutical industry. However, it has the power to help companies in several ways such as those mentioned in this infographic.
If you wish to try mobile forms for yourself, download our Ready2Use. There are numerous forms that can help you decide whether or not this solution is for you. If you wish to customize forms further, you can contact us via the app to mobilize your paper forms.
Download now, and take a step towards overcoming your industry’s top challenges.