Authors: Briana Saddler, Research Associate and Matt Arnold, Principal Analyst
The below is an excerpt from our Innovating Beyond the Pill report from the Manhattan Research ePharma Consumer® study - find out if your company is already a client to receive the full report. We also work with healthcare brands to help plan data-driven beyond the pill and patient support initiatives - contact us to learn more.
Pharma has begun the process of converting the buzz around “beyond the pill” into tangible digital solutions that add value to their legacy drug and biologic offerings. Consumers’ use of these solutions remains modest, reflecting the sparseness of available offerings, but their interest is robust.
Several categories with mature technology and clear use cases, including diabetes and asthma/COPD, have seen a burst of activity as brands seek to differentiate themselves—or keep up with the innovators.
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Pharmas are forming partnerships with tech giants and startups, seeking to leverage tech’s design expertise and off-the-shelf solutions rather than reinventing the wheel. Tech companies are, in turn, leveraging pharma’s expertise in navigating the regulatory process and understanding patients and caregivers.
Developing beyond-the-pill offerings takes pharmas well out of their comfort zones. Identifying opportunities for value-adds is a challenge for brands in many categories—hence the proliferation of innovation challenges at pharmas over the past several years. Executing truly innovative tools and services is tricky, given the paucity of benchmarks and best practices. It’s often a leap into the unknown, but the rewards in an increasingly value-driven world are too great to pass up.
But while we know there's tremendous opportunity beyond the pill, the concept remains broad and nebulous, the applications thereof often unique to a brand or therapeutic category. Many brand marketers are scratching their heads, wondering: what does "beyond the pill" mean for my product and my customers? Can it really move the needle and change behavior?
Here are a few questions that your team should answer before investing in beyond the pill solutions:
- What are the factors enabling and driving new forms of beyond the pill solutions?
- What types of technologies and support are most needed by and likely to be adopted by your patients? Which ones influence your physicians’ prescribing? What moves the needle on formulary decisions? What’s the convergence of these for the best all-around solution for all customers and your brand?
- What are some best-in-class beyond the pill initiatives in your category and beyond it? What’s working and what's not? What types of behavior and results can you expect from your investment?
- Are you prepared to invest in driving awareness and uptake of the solution? What are the best channels and messaging to do so?
Our Innovating Beyond the Pill report addresses these questions and examines consumer behavior and attitudes with respect to pharma beyond-the-pill offerings - with a view toward helping brands identify opportunities and shape or strengthen beyond the pill strategies and offerings.
Contact us to learn more about this report – as well as how we’ve helped healthcare brands plan data-driven beyond the pill and patient support initiatives tailored to their audience and objectives.