The past two years have been hard on many people all over the world, though they have also taught many valuable lessons. Pharma companies, in particular, have slowly begun to realize the need to change their way of operating. Patients are now expecting and demanding that their real needs are considered and addressed. So, can customer centricity rebuild trust in pharma?
The American people’s trust in pharma hit a low level during COVID. Continue reading this article to learn more about how a customer-centric approach that considers health equity and inclusion can be the way forward.
American trust in pharma: The real problem comes down to cost
In 2021, a study from Accenture revealed that mistrust in pharma is still an issue in the US. The people’s trust is relied on for more than a successful vaccine response. It was a matter of cost.
In an inquiry regarding what would increase trust in pharma, many respondents pointed to two particular points. One is reduced medication costs (41%), and the other points to more transparency in pricing (39%).
The matter of the costs hurts more than just the patients in this equation. According to Accenture, two big factors influenced this. One was the acceleration of private-sector forces. The other had to do with the threat of policy and regulatory change. This created pressure on pharma from more than one angle.
Over the past five years, the average premium for family coverage has increased by 22 percent; over the last ten, by 55 percent. Not to mention the fact that financial considerations have caused friction between pharmacy benefit managers, payers, physicians, and patients.
The overall message of this report focused on the fact that companies need to change their cost narrative with customers. A bigger focus on value and outcome-based pricing will help mend the trust of American consumers.
The need for inclusion and health equity
There is also the matter of adopting an inclusive approach to deepen the trust of the people. Not only to the common people but also to a variety of other communities.
With each passing year, the United States becomes more diverse. As a result, there are new expectations and needs to be met. With a variety of communities in focus, companies must start to see their business priorities from a different perspective. Especially, to consider communities’ needs.
Many pharma companies have made a great effort to address and mitigate inequities. However, patients’ needs are evolving, and they want pharma to be more proactive and ambitious. The need for feedback from more than one source will help many underrepresented patients have a voice in the spectrum.
The importance of partnerships and collaboration
Collaboration and partnerships will also play a significant role in the mending of trust in pharma. If there was a lesson learned from the pandemic, it was that cooperation has powerful results in healthcare.
The alliance between technology and health is a significant factor in the evolution of healthcare. With this comes successful innovation in this area at a much faster pace than ever before.
Pharma has a variety of opportunities if it’s willing to extend the level of transparency. Aligning their ideas with those of patients and advocacy organizations will be essential to getting a better notion of the needs of the public.
Having a partnership based on the common goal of helping patients has the potential to eliminate silos. As well as remove barriers and build trust. Pharma companies should also continue to push for a healthcare system that rewards quality care and successful patient outcomes. Instead of reimbursing the set costs for services and products.
Customer centricity in pharma
Still, in the matter of partnerships, there’s also one potential partner that pharma needs to take into account: the patient. When consumers become partners, there is space for innovation. For example, consider how pharmaceutical companies design clinical trials.
COVID-19 has moved from pandemic to endemic. Yet, whatever changes it has brought will be here to stay. The new, hybrid approaches will have a significant impact on the way patients receive healthcare.
Pharma had significant progress during the past two years, which was remarkable. The companies need to take the significantly positive performances that stood out during COVID. And from there, they discover how to industrialize it and scale it across the rest of their business. A good example is the vaccine development witnessed in this period.
Another game-changer will be the adoption of digital and technological innovations. These brought changes to drug development and market strategies. Thus, digital innovation has a part to play in the progress of the industry.
Yet for this to work, organizations must consider patients’ needs. In an era where they also have access to digital tools, this means that their needs will change. Pharma must work closely with these tools and patient data to provide a truly customer-centric approach to patients.
More than that, there’s also the matter of showing a more sensible side in patient interactions. In showing human kindness, humility, and vulnerability, and also by demonstrating flexibility and true partnership. This way, the industry will contribute to the creation of a more sustainable, patient-centric healthcare system in the US.
The main conclusions
Unpredictability also brings a chance for opportunity. For public trust to be truly repaired, pharmaceutical companies need to be ready to fully embrace this change. The companies that succeed will truly be ready for the creation of a new innovative relationship that will benefit both them and the consumers in the process.
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