Four Questions That Will Move Pharma Forward

By AmerisourceBergen |

Insights on innovation, value and healthier futures from ThinkLive 2017.

In October, AmerisourceBergen gathered with more than 500 pharmaceutical manufacturers at ThinkLive 2017. Industry leaders and distribution and commercialization experts surfaced insights on the changing healthcare environment and ways we can partner to drive improved patient outcomes and product success.

While past events focused on macro trends and how AmerisourceBergen and our manufacturer partners can approach them, a broader theme emerged from ThinkLive 2017: purpose as a launchpad for value. Four questions surfaced that pharma—manufacturers and their partners alike—should be using to drive critical business decisions in 2018 and beyond.

1. Why do we exist?

Over the last decade, healthcare has seen seismic shifts. Consider drug development alone. The  generics market has grown and matured. Biosimilars are primed to disrupt the U.S. market and complex products like cell and gene therapies and oral oncolytics require advanced commercialization support. With so many trends and issues to track, it can be difficult to stay singularly focused.

But one fact remains: healthcare must remain focused on the patient. As more and more health systems implement specialty pharmacies, for example, a patient-centered purpose can guide manufacturers toward specialty network decisions that improve access for patients wherever they present.

“Today, we proudly and boldly declare AmerisourceBergen's purpose: We are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures."

Steve Collis, chairman, president and ceo, Amerisourcebergen
It would be easy to think distributors like AmerisourceBergen exist to manage the daily distribution of medications—or perhaps to connect healthcare and drive patient access. And while all of that is true, AmerisourceBergen’s stated purpose captures the intrinsic value the company creates—for customers, associates and the world as a whole. Fulfilling that purpose means partnering with manufacturers and providers to ensure optimal access.

To navigate the ongoing change that will continue to impact the industry, healthcare stakeholders must align on why we are here. When we do, the depth and quality of what we can all deliver to patients will improve.

2.  How do we define value?

Partnerships across healthcare should be rooted in creating value. And there’s never been a better time than now. Specialty pharmacies offer rich sources of data. Technology solutions for patient support are advancing speed to therapy like never before. And payers are asking for more intelligence to inform coverage decisions and reimbursement. A manufacturer’s ideal commercialization partner knows this and more. While a single manufacturer may know the clinical value of a single drug, the industry now needs commercialization experts who can answer, “What is the value of my drug”? That expertise must be coupled with the ability to ensure access for the sites of care where patients are presenting.

Sustainable value demands expertise that solve new challenges, including:

  • Maximizing access to innovative therapies—both post-launch and in clinical trials
  • Innovative patient support technology and data yield
  • Ongoing investments in distribution infrastructure and customer experience to improve how customers access products—and ensure manufacturers have access to the right customers
  • Financial management solutions that mitigate risk and maximize opportunities for product success
  • Integrated insights that enable better manufacturer decision-making

“It’s this combination of world-class distribution capabilities, innovative commercialization solutions, and engaged and successful downstream customers that allows us to have a more meaningful partnership with all of you.”

Bob Mauch,  EVP and Group President, Pharmaceutical Distribution & Strategic Global Sourcing, Amerisourcebergen

3.  What does the future of patient care look like?

From wearables to EHR interoperability, the emerging role of technology and data in patient care isn’t news. Perhaps the best part of the wealth of data available around the patient now is the potential to build a “narrative” around the patient experience with the right partner. Preparing for a not-so-distant future that runs on technology and patient-centered data will demand agility from everyone across healthcare (yes, even payers).

“The next big shifts in the way we manage health will be shaped by the Cloud enabled, AI moderated, data driven experiences that your kids have on a daily basis.”

mike walsh, ceo, tomorrow

4. Is innovation a partnership differentiator?

If the goal of partnership between manufacturer and distributor is creating healthier futures and new value, together, where can innovation mean the most? From investments in distribution infrastructure to advanced patient support technology, the right commercialization partner will continue to push the boundaries of what a wholesaler can do to create value in an increasingly cost-conscious market.

It is our responsibility to bring efficiency and innovation to the pharmaceutical supply chain so we can all ensure people have access to both quality care and the medications they need.

steve collis, chairman, president and ceo, Amerisourcebergen

How We Live Our Purpose

Learn more about how our purpose impacts the work we do every day.

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