Pharma Hot Topics Blog

AI’s Impact on the Changes in Pharma Marketing

You may remember the recent upheaval in the Financial Services sector. For several months it seemed that, every week, new headlines were proclaiming product safety issues, security & privacy breaches, intellectual property (IP) tangles, inappropriate marketing practices and corruption incidents in that industry. Similar issues are now occurring in Pharma. Like the Financial industry, Pharma is experiencing product recalls, fines, adverse media exposure, brand damage, and revenue/market share losses…all of which raises dozens of questions in the minds of the public.

A couple of years ago, a Harris Interactive survey found that 9 out of 10 Americans believed Pharma companies to be dishonest. The negative news continues to paint Pharma in a tarnished light while executives scramble to repair the damage. At the same time, decreasing profit margins, and the changes in the way healthcare is delivered, forces an industry-wide assessment of how to adapt to the new world of healthcare.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers ways for Pharma marketers to harness the power of technology to improve their value to their customers and grow their profitability.

Key Trends in Health & Healthcare

Before we get into the ways AI can help, let’s take a look at a few trends.

Healthcare policymakers and payers are playing a bigger role in prescriptions. Pharma’s target audience is shifting from individual doctors to consolidated networks and even individual payers. This fundamental change affects everything - from which drugs are prescribed to how they’re delivered, to the end user. It also affects how these new audiences are reached and with what content.

Evidence-based healthcare is important. It makes sense that the quality of the drug be based on a positive outcome and, as that information becomes easier to track, it will be easier to grade Pharmaceuticals on value versus cost. Pharmaceuticals that don’t provide top value won’t make it.

Advances in healthcare are changing the playing field. There are technological advances that allow more medical care to take place outside of the hospital. Some once fatal diseases are now considered chronic with the right treatment, and there’s the proliferation of wireless sensors, like the FitBit, that tracks vital signs. Add e-Prescriptions, digital medical records, a negative image and other changes to that, and it’s clear that Pharma is in the midst of an upheaval.

Former mainstays of Pharma marketing, such as detailing (sales calls on physicians), have declined in the West. Many doctors prefer webinars, email and video education that can be consumed on their schedule and can deliver in-depth information, although in many developing nations - such as China - conferences and face-to-face meetings are still an important part of the Pharma marketing package.

Healthcare is becoming more personalized. Consumers are taking a more active role in their healthcare. 80% of people seek healthcare information using the internet, and millions track their heart rate, number of steps, quality of sleep and many other signs of health via apps and wireless sensors. With all this personalized data at their fingertips, it’s no surprise they expect more personalized healthcare treatments and forms of engagement from Pharma companies.

Changing healthcare delivery. There are many elements effecting Pharma marketing, with e-prescriptions, digitized medical records and the increasing expectation that patients take greater control over their own healthcare management. Let’s consider the practice of e-Prescribing. Electronic transmission of a prescription from the physician to the Pharmacist has many applications, which includes reducing errors caused by illegible handwriting, and ensuring patients not only get the right drug but also the right dosage. Additionally, when doctors use e-prescriptions, the software can automatically trigger notifications for any allergy concerns or potential problems with drug interactions, all of which helps patients get improved healthcare.

These are but a few of the trends facing healthcare today. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can assist Pharma companies meet (and exceed) expectations in this arena.

How AI Can Profitably Help Pharma Navigate These Changes

You may know that AI is a set of algorithms that give you information, and you don’t have to be a mathematician to appreciate the way they work to sort trillions of data points to give you useful information. AI is already a part of our daily lives. You see it in the way Netflix sorts TV shows and films to give you recommendations on what it thinks you’ll like based on your past behavior. In Pharma marketing, AI can document patient’s responses to certain drugs, find and reach new markets, as well as close the gaps in healthcare delivery. AI can even uncover new, profitable services…with the types of content your prospective and existing customers are interested in receiving, like Netflix and Amazon analyzing your past purchases to recommend items.

At Eularis, we work with Pharma executives to craft bespoke AI algorithms that uncover the gaps in your current systems – from reaching new target audiences to offering the most effective solutions for a specific group to repairing brand damage - so that your organization successfully navigates the changing landscape of Pharma marketing.

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