Last time we considered the potential impact of Personalised Medicine; how it will play to the strengths of Big Pharma and could wipeout profits in the generic sector.
Technology (broadly speaking) provides a lot more opportunities that threats I believe; over and above the potential of Digital Engagement as discussed previously.
Technology of recent times has focused on our ability to be connected.
Not just to each other, but to objects too. Our computers, mobile phones, vehicles, buildings, entertainment & educational systems.
We connect and share our location, our shopping habits, our preferences. Our data being transported via phone networks, wireless internet and bluetooth technologies; analysed, segmented and redistributed by servers ‘in the cloud’.
Personal devices have become a vital component of our daily lives. No longer content to have singular specific functions; today’s ‘smart’ devices are the lifeblood of our communication, organisation, entertainment and most importantly, our connection to our digital existence. Our personal and professional lives increasingly depend on our ownership and utility of a smart phone, tablet pc or netbook.
The explosive adoption of personal devices has had a similarly significant impact on the application of technology in business. The cost, size and power of processors, transponders and data storage is such that the dreams of yesterday can be reality tomorrow.
Consider some ideas from the recent mHealth Summit
- Patient communications
- Access to web based resources
- Point of care
- Disease management
- Point of care education
- Professional communication
- Administrative applications
- Financial apps
- Public health
- Body area network applications
All sounds very exciting (or scary!), but what does it have to do with generics?!
In a similar way to personalised medicine; big pharma is currently best positioned to capitalise on the powerful connection that patient diagnosis, caring, education and communication will undoubtedly achieve.
In certain markets and certain demographics, there is already a patient resistance to generics. In certain countries even GP’s and Pharmacists still have a reservation.
If Big Pharma gains a stronghold in mHealth and other efficacious technologies; where will the generic industry fit in? Will lower cost drugs actually be enough to break into a tightly woven scheme of data, treatment and patient relationships?
There is a clear pathway for the tight collaboration of technology and healthcare; the generic industry in the main seems to steer clear; stubborn in the belief that cost will always win out. If the status quo changes; will the generic industry have sufficient experience, connections, innovation and whatever else (money?!) to have an impact in the new world?
If there is a real belief that technology will indeed fundamentally change healthcare; what is the first step that the generic industry can take to ensure it isn’t left in the wake of Big Pharma?
How long can the industry wait until it makes a move? Or is it too late already?
Contribute your thoughts here, or on our LinkedIn Group: Generic Pharma 2.0