MedCity Influencers

Pharma industry suffers from fear of unnecessary complication

This post is sponsored by eyeforpharma. I’m going to confess to a certain amount of childish pride. A few weeks ago, in an article published in eyeforpharma, I created a word and I’m proud of it, just as a child is proud of the unidentifiable widgets he builds out of worn tinker toys. I refer […]

This post is sponsored by eyeforpharma.

I’m going to confess to a certain amount of childish pride. A few weeks ago, in an article published in eyeforpharma, I created a word and I’m proud of it, just as a child is proud of the unidentifiable widgets he builds out of worn tinker toys. I refer to supercalifragiphobia.

What is supercalifragiphobia and what does it have to do with the pharmaceutical industry? Simple: supercalifragiphobia (even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious) refers to the fear of unnecessary complication and I believe it is rife in the pharmaceutical industry.

I’m not saying that a healthy fear of unnecessary complication is not a good thing. On the contrary, any company should consider any change with a skeptical eye, but the pharma industry has a tendency to be paralyzed by supercalifragiphobia. This is understandable… pharma makes far more money than most industries and if necessity is the mother of invention we can see why pharmaceutical creativity finds itself orphaned. However, necessity is creeping up on pharmaceutical sales and marketing executives: legislation is shifting, science is evolving, customers are changing and those companies most firmly in the grip of supercalifragiphobia will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

Consider three key changes and the reins that hold us back:

1.) Technology offers new ways to deal with the traditional customer base…but pharma hesitates to use real, advanced communications methods like closed-loop marketing out of fear of systems complexity. Does Amazon.com?

2.) New customer groups, the latter three out of the famous 4Ps of prescribers, patients, payers and providers, are gaining just as much if not more influence on business results as prescribers, particularly with respect to patient adherence… but the overwhelming majority of marketing and sales resources remains focused on prescribers. Does McDonald’s focus only on parents because they’re the ones who pay?

3.) All customer groups need healthcare services more than they need drugs… but pharma is one of the most goods-focused industries in the world. Does IBM still primarily promote machines?

It’s not just fear of change that holds pharma back. Often, when you talk about these kinds of things with pharmaceutical executives they will raise the point that new systems and approaches are complicated, and complication is bad. True, but when you catch yourself saying that, ask yourself all the same if there’s not a bit of supercalifragiphobia going on.

In an effort to bring relief to supercalifragiphobiacs, eyeforpharma is trying to make change a little less complicated…

For the first time, eyeforpharma’s flagship US conference: Philadelphia, June 3rd & 4th will join-up the sales, marketing and mobile agendas to focus on how pharma can adapt exciting new approaches without unnecessary complication, shining a light on innovators and allowing them to explain what works and what doesn’t.

Download your event brochure today.

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