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All things Pharma

Replacing traditional brand management with multichannel interaction

Graham McIntosh, Managing Director of Commercial & Clinical Pharma, at Uniphar Group plc looks at how the traditional brand management approach isn’t working anymore – combining expertise holds the key to success.

The age of the ‘empowered patient’ is upon us. With the click of a button, an individual can access a wealth of information about their diagnosis, or they can connect with other patients. As patients become increasingly engaged in treatment decision-making, their needs must be addressed. The rising power of the ‘consumer patient’ is challenging the status quo for all healthcare stakeholders.

The shared vision of many within the healthcare ecosystem is to ‘get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time’. Regardless of whether you work in a biopharma, medtech or healthtech company, we all have a responsibility to work collaboratively with healthcare professionals to provide optimal treatment for patients. Across the Uniphar Group, we take our role in this ecosystem very seriously. Our vision is to improve patient access to pharmaco-medical products and treatments by developing connectivity between manufacturers and healthcare stakeholders.

“Too often, data captured during product development and commercialisation remains an untapped asset”

A new ecosystem

The traditional era of the ‘blockbuster’, which addressed large patient populations, meant a brand management team could project the product lifecycle and develop a brand strategy based on the broad needs of a large patient population. The ecosystem we operate within today is very different; healthcare organisations are partnering across the ecosystem to develop complex speciality products and ‘next-gen’ therapies that target a patient’s unique genetic profile. The old approach to brand strategy will no longer cut it in such a complex and dynamic environment.

As we move forward, effective brand engagement requires a comprehensive understanding of the needs of patients and an integrated approach to HCP education; an integrated approach that will ensure we effectively meet patients’ needs. We believe the key to this is data. Too often, data captured during product development and commercialisation remains an untapped asset and organisations fail to leverage the wealth of external data that can be used to better understand the needs of patients and HCPs.

As a health insights and technology leader, we are challenging the old ‘brand management’ paradigm. The strategic acquisitions of Star, OUTiCO, Point of Care and Clinical Cube and the subsequent financial investment to integrate all data sources, means we have been able to build a unique and rich customer-centric healthcare database. We can provide holistic and innovative solutions for our clients at all stages of their brand lifecycle.

Continuous improvement

‘Intelligent Brand Engagement’ is a unique approach to engaging healthcare stakeholders which delivers factual data-driven insight. Significant investment in technology, platforms and experienced resource means we have the ‘real time’ capability to share insights on all aspects of the healthcare ecosystem. Based on this insight, we design tailored client solutions which enable meaningful multi-channel interactions with all healthcare stakeholders. We then measure the outcome of each interaction and learn to ensure we continue to improve engagement.

Through each ‘Data; Insight; Outcome; Learn’ loop, the brand strategy evolves, and we deliver more intelligent customer-centric solutions for our clients. ‘Intelligent Brand Engagement’ is our backbone and runs through the core of all the services we provide for our clients.

In the sales and marketing space, our pioneering multichannel HCP and patient engagement offering is disrupting the traditional ‘push’ model to a new ‘pull’ model. Combining behavioural science theory, and data from both interactions and research, we can predict the optimal approach to HCP stakeholder engagement; the right channel, the right time and the right purpose to meet their needs. In doing so, we empower our clients to have tailored and impactful interactions with healthcare stakeholders, from the delivery of patient support programmes and managed access programmes, to medical sales representatives engaging with HCPs, to HCPs and nurses engaging with patients.

We also offer clinical and distribution services for our clients which harness the power of data. For example, our innovative distribution models are designed using insights generated through combining internal operational data with external geolocation and weather data to ensure that we get the right medicine to the right location at the right time.

As we continue through this unprecedented era of ‘empowered patients’ and ‘personalised medicines’, healthcare organisations must evolve in order to meet the needs of the patient. We are at the forefront of this change and believe that ‘Intelligent Brand Engagement’ centred around insights will deliver the critical connectivity. A partnership between manufacturers and healthcare stakeholders that will ensure the right treatments get to the right patient at the right time. We are up for the challenge, are you?

Graham McIntosh is Managing Director, Commercial & Clinical (Pharma), at Uniphar Group plc. Go to www.starmedical.co.uk

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Graham McIntosh
Graham McIntosh is Managing Director, Commercial & Clinical (Pharma), at Uniphar Group plc. Go to www.starmedical.co.uk


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