The pharmaceutical sector needs to modernise if it wants to attract the digital patient attention. It has to do it quickly because the user wants new solutions and if he cannot find it in pharma industry, he will go find it somewhere else. The experts warned you: if the pharmaceutical industry does not connect with the digital patient as fast as he wants it, the industry will be left behind. The industry-client connection will disappear.

John MacCarthy, AstraZeneca Global Digital vice-president, said it clearly during EyeForPharma: “Patients are on Amazon. They use Amazon and purchase what they want. At the same time, the pharmaceutical sector basks in its traditional model, with its different intermediaries”.

Digital patient expectations towards pharma sector are huge. The digital turning point is a day to day work. Nowadays, people get updates, communicate and buy using digital tools. People want to be able to do the same when it is about their health. Everything is digitalised, so the patient does not understand why it has to be different for his/her health. They want to get the necessary information about their disease, or health, in the same way that the other aspects of their life.

In the same vein, health professionals also ask to the pharmaceutical sector for a quick and effective digital transformation. In a few years, 50% of professionals will be digital natives. They will want to communicate with their patients in a digital way. Nowadays, they only start to do it. Patients ask for it and so HCPs need training and tools to improve the professional-patient communication.

Hence, 43% of health professionals confess that improving communication with the digital patient is a priority challenge. Does the pharmaceutical sector have to help improving this communication? The answer seems obvious: Yes.


For Davidek Herron, Teva Field Experience director, also there during EyeForPharma, the sector has to stop for a while to think about the customer-centricity concept until it keeps moving on. “What is the meaning of the client in the middle of the system?” asks Herron. “We have to put ourselves in client’s shoes and ask ourselves what added value we can offer and if the actual relation we have with patients is useful to achieve these goals” explains Herron.

At Teva, the danger seems to only focus on the ROI of determined digital actions. “The most important to determine the success of this type of movement towards digital patient is the compromission level we can have from the patient and the way we are ready to connect with them”, underlines Herron.

The pharmaceutical industry has, in the eyes of digital experts, to stop focusing on product selling and commercialisation aspects. The key is the orientation of the strategy towards the digital patient. In this sense, they will stop “selling” and start “serving”. To start serving, the fundamental postulate is to know what the digital patient needs and what the industry asks for. It will be the differentiation point for one firm to another during the sector transformation.


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