Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization: 6 Expert Predictions

2017 pharmaceutical industry predictions

Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization: 6 Expert Predictions

After weighing in on the biggest trends from the last year, we asked a few of our experts to predict the forces that would shape the industry in 2017.

Optimizing the Value of Healthcare

The focus of 2017 will be about realizing the value equation of healthcare—balancing cost and outcomes. Data-driven insights derived from real-world evidence will be essential to make the case for value. Sponsors will be looking for services and insights that help optimize product approval, characterize product utilization, identify ideal patient populations, and improve therapeutic outcomes. Manufacturers will also be looking for analytics, insights and decision support that allow them to more deeply engage with their prescribers, patients and managed markets to optimize their brands’ performance and value in the market.
Brett Huselton, Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Opportunity Development


The Power of Good Epidemiologic Data in Commercial Strategy

As the “low-hanging fruit” gradually disappears in many therapeutic areas, and as companies invest more resources into medications for rare/orphan disease, it is becoming even more important to understand as accurately as possible what the opportunities are.  For example, how do we  prioritize where to go next when developing strategic or lifecycle plans?  Good epidemiologic data (e.g. on disease frequency, disease progression, outcomes) is vital to understanding the size of the target patient population, clinical trial feasibility and benefit-risk issues, ultimately helping to maximize the probability of success. For rare diseases, in particular, developing this evidence to support informed decision-making can be quite challenging.
–  Haley Kaplowitz, PhD, Executive Director, Safety, Epidemiology, Registries, and Risk Management


The Shifting Political Landscape’s Impact on Healthcare Costs

As we shift to a political administration with a business-driven philosophy, our federal government will be looking for ways   to become a more efficient and accountable purchaser of goods. What exactly does this mean for healthcare stakeholders – providers, manufacturers and patients? I believe it will mean increased scrutiny on reimbursement rates for services, acquisition costs for products, and challenging access hurdles for patients. Our work and our service models in this new climate will continue to evolve as we work to embrace the leaps in both science and technology.
Roy Hall, Senior Director, Commercial Product & Service Development


Progress in Healthcare Technology Standards Paves the Way for Improved Outcomes

We are starting to see significant progress in healthcare technology standards. The adoption of these standards will ultimately help us better engage and connect patients to their support services and providers. For example, The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently showcased a joint project where a mobile application was able to consume full medication lists from the major EMR vendors using the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. The combination of new, wider data substrates that provide enriched insights with the power of personalized technology will help us reduce the amount of administrative overhead, allowing us to spend more time helping patients overcome clinical challenges and improve their adherence to the prescriber’s care plan.
Ron Lacy, Senior Director, Healthcare Analytics and Technology


The Definition of a “CRO” is Changing Radically

What is a CRO in 2017? In 2014, when I left the CRO space after more than a decade to join a pharmaceutical company, I wanted to truly understand what made the manufacturers tick. It was eye-opening! The most important observation I made was that Pharma was maturing to a point where they were thinking about product development as an endpoint journey and not a Phase 1, 2 ,3, 3b, 4 journey any more. This shift meant that commercial teams were being brought into the development plans much earlier, in many cases as early as Proof of Concept (PoC) read out. My decision to re-join the service provider/CRO segment was driven by finding a company that could deliver clinical and commercial services for innovative products and drive value through the utilization of insights in data, not just output. Being a strategic division of the largest PBM in the world, Express Scripts, it is clear that the industry sees value in UBC the same way I did. It was the only choice for me amongst many options to return to the biopharmaceutical services segment, because the potential is untapped and the results are real.  Bottom line, there is no definition of a CRO anymore, but forward-thinking manufacturers will leverage the power of today’s UBC to maximize the value for patients.
Chris Rull, Vice President, Business Development & Account Management


Recognizing the Pharma Heroes of the World

Last year we launched Pharma Heroes – a campaign to recognize the people behind the science.  These everyday heroes are improving the lives of patients by developing new products, ensuring safe use and helping patients overcome hurdles to access.  Our industry’s reputation is under more scrutiny than ever, and we won’t change the perception simply by talking about numbers.  When we take time to celebrate those who make the pharma industry great, we not only recognize individual contributions, but we also elevate our collective impact on healthcare. Join us by recognizing an outstanding member of our field as a Pharma Hero.
Patrick Lindsay, President


Our team of experts is poised to assist pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers of all sizes to bring innovative medicines to market and into the hands of patients. Contact us to put them to work for your product.