DIGITALIZATION. It offers opportunities to the pharmaceutical industry in terms of new channels for the customer, but also for improving internal processes.
Digitalization is on everyone’s mind but even if we ignore the buzzword itself, we see a major change in the way end users (b2c) and/or customers (b2b) are living, acting and also buying. Smartphone adoption is reaching 60% globally whilst 90% of consumers are doing their research online before making a shopping decision, thereby changing the view point of the domain of life science: physicians are talking with 1/3 of their patients about self-researched medical information that patients bring into the practice.
So obviously the world is changing – very fast – and the question is: what does that mean for pharmaceutical companies? To avoid losing focus, let’s concentrate this article and its arguments on a pharmaceutical manufacturer developing, producing and marketing over-the-counter (OTC) products.
|OTC/Over-the-counter: Unlike prescription-bound pharmaceuticals (“Rx”), the so-called over-the-counter pharmaceuticals do not require a prescription from a physician to be handed out to the patient in the pharmacy. Therefore, the decision path is different for this product group compared to Rx products.|
When looking at OTC life science sectors, the first thing we notice is that the adoption of digital technology of customer groups in this market is still not at the same level as the average population’s usage. From his own painful experience the author of these lines can confirm that fax machines are still the number one medium for the average pharmacy and a significant share of pharmacies still has limitations in receiving, reading and answering emails.
Even though this is an issue that will be resolved over time, as soon as the generation of digital natives takes over the pharmacies, we believe it is already worth it today to spend some time on discussing the options and benefits of digitalizing the business of pharmaceutical companies.
Stepping back, the opportunities and benefits split into three areas:
- Reflecting the digitalization of the customers
- Digitalizing the core processes within the company
- Reflecting the digitization of healthcare provider’s patients
If you want to learn more about the opportunities of digitalization and best practices of successful digitalization projects, download our free white paper “Digitalization for OTC companies” here.