Profiting from Wellness – Pharma Focuses on Channel Strategies and Quantifying Outcomes

pills lying next to a piggy bank. symbolic photo for costs in me

Jennifer Stein, Managing Director –

As healthcare reform increasingly ties financial incentives to health outcomes, pharmaceutical firms face the daunting challenge of developing new channel strategies that address the imperatives of the Affordable Care Act.

For example, which constituent will take the lead to design and deliver programs to ensure patients take their cholesterol medication as directed, and encourage them to follow dietary guidelines to achieve optimal results? This leads to additional questions such as: Which programs are most effective? What’s the positive impact and how does in translate into revenue/savings? Who should administer these programs? The provider? The payer? The pharma company?

Today, all parties are turning to big data and analytics to crack the code of these complex questions, and are scrambling to adapt to the evolving healthcare delivery model.

For pharma executives designing a channel strategy, the question now becomes: how do I find the right mix of service providers that can offer insight into the changing marketplace as well as the relevant big data expertise?

From Alsbridge’s perspective, whatever the market sector, finding service providers with industry-specific expertise and proven capabilities is imperative.   In pharma, and in the case of measuring outcomes, enterprises require service providers who understand metrics and can provide insight into cause/effect correlations.

While looking to transform their channel strategies to adapt to new conditions, the reality is that pharma firms must find ways to service the old model as they create a platform for the new healthcare system.  Today, pharma companies are seeking to partner with Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBMs) to drive the agenda toward patient outcomes. PBMs, meanwhile, want to drive prescription volume and compliance by offering basic training on the proper use of medications.  Strengthening and optimizing these and other partnerships is the next step.

Making the right service provider and channel strategy investments will be one of many deciding factors that make or break pharma companies.  With adherence and outcomes now increasingly entering the economic picture, pharmas have to ask which channel approach produces a better health result – because the answer has a direct impact on the bottom line.

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