a new brand engagement model for pharma?
Never before has the pharma sector faced a more optimistic future, with booming middle class populations, an increasing ageing segment, increased prevalence of chronic diseases and technology offering new solutions. Between 2000 and 2006, expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) climbed in every country in the OECD.
Yet the industry is also facing significant challenge on many fronts, and offering poor return on investment due to the high cost of entry into crowded markets with many products that are marginally differentiated
More blockbuster and other major drug patents are set to expire in the next three years than ever before, and development failure is more likely than previously as the sector strives to tackle hard to address unmet medical needs and regulators apply pressure to ensure new drugs are not only as safe, but safer and more efficacious than before.
Large sales forces pursuing doctors are finding their efforts less effective as the Payers assert their views on the activities of prescribers with restricted formulary listings, legally required generic substitution and price reductions and explore routes to link payment to performance.
At the same time, the pharma sector is faced with almost unrelenting negative media with respect to making unreasonable profits, exploiting third world needs with high priced drugs, treatment of animals … and more.
These challenges are being tackled by different businesses in the sector with widely differing strategic responses, including mergers, acquisitions, geographic and therapeutic area expansion as well as forays into adjacent businesses.
Very few seem to be looking at the potential of re-engaging stakeholders with the corporate brand.
Where then is the relevance of sponsorship?
At redmandarin we believe that the time may be right for a fresh look at the way pharma companies engage stakeholders through the corporate brand. Sponsorship has been used extensively by other sectors to manage corporate reputation, improve internal morale, retention and satisfaction, attract talent and drive internal culture change.
Our sector paper therefore considers the opportunities and challenges facing the industry – and the role that sponsorship might play in reflecting a response to these.
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