One consequence of the pandemic was the opportunity for businesses to fully understand their risk exposure as they dealt with multiple emergencies. Travel restrictions, lockdown measures, supply chain snarls, facility closures, and health concerns were just a few of the issues that forced operational change. In early 2021, the World Economic Forum reported that the business landscape will face greater uncertainty going forward, with many organizations focused not just on survival but on building resilience to navigate future challenges.
The drug and device development crunch
Five years ago, the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions warned of a “tidal wave” of diseases set to hit the pharmaceutical industry, with improvements in life expectancy contributing to significantly higher rates of cancer and dementia in every region of the world by 2030. Changing lifestyle behaviors will also increase the incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes. To meet these challenges, life science companies must develop breakthrough innovations more quickly, at a lower cost, than ever before. Medical device teams are also feeling the pinch as the ongoing shift to value-based care puts pressure on R&D teams.
The pandemic exacerbated these challenges, and the next crisis will increase the pressure unless life science organizations can adopt processes to reduce risk and increase agility.
What risks are life science companies facing?
As the world attempts to move forward amid setbacks due to coronavirus variants, companies will use lessons learned to re-shape operations and better navigate the next phase of the crisis – or a new crisis altogether. And it’s likely that the next major crisis event will look much like the one we’re experiencing now: in terms of likelihood, the threat of infectious disease ranks fourth; in terms of impact, it tops the list of threats.
For pharmaceutical and medical device companies, risk comes in many forms. Development timelines, rising costs, the accelerating rate of research, increased regulatory scrutiny, and payer resistance are among the primary challenges to the industry as a whole. Rather than fighting separate battles on multiple fronts, the key to solving these challenges may lie in treating them as part of one larger problem: inefficient and unorganized insights management.
How can insights management reduce risk for pharma and medtech?
All stages of drug and device development are threatened by the insight gap – multiple breakdowns in the process of gathering and using insights to inform strategic decisions. These breakdowns occur at several points during the product development lifecycle, including expert selection, engagement, and analysis.
Put simply, the insight gap exposes life science companies to the risk of making decisions based on outdated or incomplete data. This could leave pharma or medical device teams vulnerable to forces like rising costs and tight development timelines while opening opportunities for competitors.
Within3 created our insights management platform to reduce risk in the product development process. Life science organizations can be more targeted in their expert selection, leading to more productive engagements that yield better insights. And those insights are analyzed more quickly, with technology doing the heavy lifting in real-time rather than waiting months for manual processing.
In the real world: how life science companies use insights management
How a project unfolds over time is often decided right at the beginning. Medical affairs and commercial teams might use the same experts for multiple projects because they are reluctant to make changes based on past success. Teams may also hesitate to take the time to build new relationships or potentially damage existing ones. But getting better results begins by understanding who exerts influence in the community a life science team wants to engage.
One Within3 client wanted to improve physician compliance and grow market share for their product ahead of a competitor’s entry. However, the company’s engagement list prioritized physicians directly involved with patient treatment while overlooking researchers. By working with Within3 and looking more closely at which experts had the most influential relationships, the client created an enterprise-wide global strategy to ensure it was targeting all the key influencers – including researchers.
As life science organizations explore ways to reduce risk in the product development process, technology will provide many potential solutions. From shorter development timelines and lower costs to getting granular on KOL selection and finding new markets, insights management can reduce risk across the product lifecycle, even in the face of a global crisis.
To learn more about identifying and solving the insight gap problem, download our white paper.