The pharmaceutical industry is currently in an era of change and in some senses is being upended by these changes, thanks to the development of new technology. Patients are rapidly becoming more empowered to do their own research and make decisions about their healthcare. One of the recent technological developments in the healthcare industry enabling this is the rise of the ‘health app’. Apple products have their own integrated health app that tracks statistics such as weight, heart rate, significant medical dates and other information.
In 2017, advertising and promoting products is a minefield. The availability of detailed and extensive information on consumer spending habits provides countless ethical pitfalls that are only magnified when the product in question is a drug. In the past only magazine ads and TV commercials were utilized for drug advertising, now we have an array of choices that don't always feel like marketing, but more like a conversation with a good friend.
Why do old men have big ears? Can smiling at a crocodile affect your desire to gamble? And most importantly, can cats act as both a liquid and a solid?
These are the questions that keep us awake at night. Fortunately, there are scientists working diligently on these puzzles, as well as many other weird and curious questions. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and most recently were celebrated at the 2017 Ig Nobel Awards, a scientific recognition of the strangest and most obscure scientific experiments or studies done in that year.
You're feeling under the weather, with a cough that just won't go away, so you decide to visit your doctor. After a few minutes of one-on-one time, with some poking and prodding, you may be walking out of the office with a prescription in hand and on the way to feeling better. How much more personal does it get? Perhaps not surprisingly, it can get a lot more personal, and it has nothing to do with your doctor, and everything to do with science.
In our current system of medicine, your treatment plan has very little to do with you specifically; most likely it is the exact same treatment your doctor would give to anyone with the same condition. Medicine today is based on “standards of care,” the most prudent course of prevention or treatment for the general population. With medication treatment for depression, for example, those standards may mean treatment with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), followed by a second trial if the first one fails. If the second treatment fails, doctors and patients move on to the next one and the next in a trial and error approach.
Artificial intelligence is more than just a concept for the newest blockbuster movie, it is moving into mainstream science and the pharmaceutical industry as well. The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-pharma Manufacturers Association has recently announced the launch of a team focused on purchasing artificial technology for drug development. Artificial intelligence computing systems can be used to analyze molecular interactions, and predict drug efficacy and side effects. The technology can be utilized to guide and optimize clinical trial planning, greatly reducing the timeline for new drug development.
Over the past decade, there has been a huge shift in the way that businesses and consumers use social media. Society is undergoing rapid and dramatic change, fueled by an exponential rate of technological innovation. This has an enormous impact on the pharmaceutical industry which is in a unique position to reap the benefits of increased sales, revenue and power by augmenting their technological capital. One of the most effective methods to leverage this change is using social media, which leads us to the question:
Can social media be a game changer for pharma?
Pharmaceutical companies are one of the major beneficiaries of emerging technologies. From innovative ideas for developing new drugs to customer engagement, drug manufacturers are increasingly resorting to cutting edge digital technology to streamline business and improve efficiency. Nowhere in pharma is the boom in technology more beneficial than in data management, an area where many drug companies struggle to organize and manage massive quantities of information.
As the regulatory landscape increases in complexity, the demand for improved
data management and analytics will increase as well. With all the new challenges that these trends create, digital data management is an innovation that pharma companies should have in their toolbox.
Below are the top five reasons that your current data management system is failing your company:
Topics: Data Management
Value-based healthcare models have upended traditional patient care, becoming the wave of the future. How can pharma effectively ride this wave?
The pharmaceutical industry is facing rapid and comprehensive change, spearheaded by a new trend in consumerism, a move towards a value-based economy. This move puts the patients firmly in the driver's seat and presents increased opportunities and challenges, requiring drug companies to work more closely with patients than ever before. According to a recent report by PwC Health Research Institute, pharma’s new strategic partner may very well be patients.
The pharmaceutical and medical industries are in the business of saving lives. As a scientist, there is little to compare to the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to advancement in the treatment of an illness affecting millions of people. I imagine that physicians feel much the same way, and take great pride in their work when they have a positive impact on their patients. There is no doubt that the correct diagnosis and effective treatment are essential to a patient's survival and quality of life, and pharmaceutical companies and doctors work hand in hand in this regard.
A large percentage of illness is directly caused by the choices of the patients themselves. Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) support the idea that patient behavior is the single largest contributor to health. According to the CDC, up to 40% of annual deaths from each of five leading U.S. causes are due to “modifiable risk factors.” In addition, patients often do not understand or follow their doctor’s recommendations: after leaving an appointment, 50% of patients do not know how to follow the instructions of their healthcare provider. In case this seems like a problem with a new diagnosis, people with chronic conditions only take 50% of prescribed doses of medication.
Problems with Prescriptions
Recent restrictions on opioid prescriptions have attempted to stem the national tide of abuse and overdoses; two-thirds of the overdose deaths in the United States are related to opioids. New Jersey just passed one of the nation’s strictest laws in efforts to address the crisis. Multiple states have passed laws limiting opioid prescriptions and more states seem poised to follow suit. Recently, President Trump created a commission headed by New Jersey's Governor Christie to study the epidemic and suggest policy changes.
Topics: medicine and law