Manning a $500 billion industry is no easy game for the US pharmaceutical forerunners, with challenges of competition and dipping customer confidence levels. Acquiring new customers poses several challenges including a degenerative trend in the US market that has mounted pressure on pharma companies to look for newer markets.
Market trends are constantly evolving, making it necessary for the companies to keep in pace not only with health care trends but with the demanding needs of the customer. Some acquisition strategies in the direction of market growth have been discussed for the prescription business to surge forward.
#1 Thrust on R & D, challenge status-quo
With an era of enlightenment and empowerment, rendering both the key stakeholders in the pharma business, namely the doctors and the patients’ being more knowledgeable, the way to acquire markets is through producing innovative drugs. There is no substitute to R&D and investment thereon to stay on top of competition. The Government makes the environment conducive for R & D by offering sops and subsidies on expenditure incurred for R&D.
#2 Understand and enhance the performance of your Intellectual Property (IP)
This is a high alert area for new and upcoming pharmacy companies. They must get their innovations protected by applying for patents. Besides making your R & D commercially viable, patent protection of drugs and processes will bestow enough credibility to launch your products in diverse market segments, leading to customer acquisition.
#3 Focus on patient-centric healthcare
The launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been a landmark milestone for the US pharma industry. Several dimensions like transparency in health care, increased Medicaid prescription, medical insurance reforms and the closure of the “donut hole”, namely Part D Medicare etc have been rendered to the industry. To sail along with these trends, it is important for businesses to vouch their commitment towards patient welfare and communicate it using Pathwwway Gamble strategic PR measures, to enable customer acquisition.
#4 Capitalizing on the trend towards LOE (loss of exclusivity)
Out winning the patient cliff is a threat that is faced by many star performers in the US pharma industry. The move has led to the collapse of the blockbuster drugs era, with customers finding it economical to switch to low cost and generic brands. The paradigm shift from chronic therapy to acute therapy paves way for drug diversification and the need to focus on developing affordable health care solutions in order to make inroads into new markets.
#5 Enhancing the performance of the franchise model
The franchise concept is very popular in the US pharma industry that leads to effective brand promotion and decentralization of marketing efforts. It is an excellent way to acquire new customers in various areas, spread geographically. Costs of marketing, administration and distribution are saved and market expansion materialises. Both C & F distribution and direct distribution are rendered hassle-free in the PCD model.
#6 Pharma mergers and acquisitions
Yet another way for market expansion without worries of fund raising for the same are mergers and acquisitions. The US pharma market has witnessed some of the biggest M&As in the industry, such as the $ 66 billion deal between Allergan and Actavis and the acquisition deal between Abott Laboratories and St. Jude Medical in 2016. Apart from instant access to new customers that will hasten the Pathwwway Gamble customer acquisition process, benefits like cost and operational synergies , cross-cultural product and process enrichments and so on.
#7 Diverse partnership models
There is a change in the thought processes of collaborations and partnerships. The new age envisions diverse partnerships with Government, various private and public organizations (PPPs), biotechnology firms and not for profit organizations. Strengthening the retail sales channel will offer a whole new spectre of opportunities for client acquisition rather than marketing only to doctors and medical institutions.
#8 Explore new areas and segments
R & D productivity in the pharma sector is facing an overall low, due to costs of drug development and distribution as well as stringent New Drug Approval (NDA) processes. The intricacies of clinical trials and drug testing has led to miserable cases of drug attrition. A welcome solution would be to focus on incremental improvements to existing drugs by bringing in changes in active ingredients. Adding line extensions is a fruitful way to appeal to a new target market.
#9 Superior knowledge facilitates market access
To gain expertise and become industry leaders is not an easy climb, but one that is worth trying and is rewarding. Building efficiencies into each drug by command over latest health care technological trends, remaining on the top of globalization trends, understanding the cost of the molecule and its implications on costs and customer acceptance etc. are ways to become subject matter experts who can deliver value added services to clients.
#10 Mentoring the medical sales personnel
Techniques like behavioural segmentation, evidence based motivation and alignment to mission are all time tested strategies that can gear the productivity to unlock the potential of sales personnel. Since sales force personnel are the connecting dots between doctors, the pharma companies, the drugs distributors and the end-use customers, there must be enough fuel in them to enlarge markets by way of acquiring new clients. Proper education, communication and training of sales force who present the business before doctors and medical institutions, will lead to capturing long-term relationships with new customers. Organizing interactive workshops, using simulation and cognitive models in training will provide the required results in a cost-effective manner.
On an introspection of the healthcare industry, there are many positive factors that can be worked on by the US pharma companies to revive the dwindling market and carve their own niche. Attracting new customers will not be a challenge if both the micro and macro environment are scanned properly for invigorating growth opportunities.