Pharma industry on the cusp of biggest transformation yet: Ernst & Young

Pharma 3.0 could mean new opportunities for Canada's pharmaceutical industry

MONTREAL, April 21 /CNW/ - Digital data and electronic health records, new mobile technologies and social media platforms for sharing information are driving a new, outcome-centric health care industry like nothing seen before, says Ernst & Young.

With pharmaceutical investment in smart phone apps, educational websites, social media platforms, wireless devices and other programs up 78% from last year alone, it's clear pharmaceutical companies are embracing a role beyond developing and manufacturing products, reveals Ernst & Young's recent report Progressions: Building Pharma 3.0.

"Growing pressures are already straining the global health care system, prompting payers in many markets — governments, insurance companies, consumers — to increase their focus on health outcomes," explains Paul Karamanoukian, Ernst & Young's Canadian life sciences practice leader. "As Pharma 3.0 changes the game rules across the industry, it's also generating a unique opportunity in Canada. If we position ourselves effectively now, we can play a major role on the global stage."

Karamanoukian says that means focusing on four critical issues in the months ahead:

  1. Establishing domestic policies to encourage innovation that generates new jobs
  2. Aligning Canadian regulations with those of other developed markets (e.g., Europe, the United States)
  3. Reclaiming Canada's place as a leader in research and development
  4. Better protecting intellectual property in Canada

Because Pharma 3.0 focuses on offering services that improve overall health outcomes (through disease management, co-ordinated care and an expansion across different stages of care), this fresh approach is grabbing the attention of new players looking to stake their claim.

From information technology companies to large retailers, telecommunications giants to consumer product businesses, the report estimates non-traditional stakeholders have publicly committed to at least US$20 billion in experiments with Pharma 3.0-related business models. The investment level of these non-traditional players is several multiples larger than the allocations made by the pharmaceutical industry.

"For a pharmaceutical business leader, the question may change from 'How do these companies fit into my business model?' to 'How do I fit into theirs?'" says Karamanoukian.

To survive and thrive, traditional companies will need to match innovative commercial models with new medicines, manage and optimize an increasingly complex network of partners, and adopt unique assets and attributes to fit into another company's business model.

"The winners in Pharma 3.0 will be companies who approach innovation creatively," says Karamanoukian. "Innovation is no longer just about the product. It's about how pharmaceutical companies do business, whom they do business with and how they mobilize their resources in this new patient-empowered, data-driven, outcome-focused health care landscape."

About Ernst & Young
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