Is Biopharma in or out? Shaping the New Healthcare Eco-system.

It’s like a small earthquake occurring in the Biopharma/LS Industry. But an earthquake nonetheless!

As usual, we start with the tumult of reports, trends, the content angst of “Change”… Start with a report from a Big 4 Consulting firm saying, “The silos must come down!”, and then another from Manhattan Research saying, Top Trend for 2014*: “Continuity of Care continues to build, meaning many points of care…”; or another Manhattan Trend, “Customers proliferate, demanding a coordinated approach.”

Then you read some out-of-left-field news that Samsung is going to produce an Rheumatoid Arthritis drug and app to support it. And here’s a view of some of the non-Healthcare players moving in:

Pharma new players outsiders 5.22

The Healthcare Eco-System is breaking apart and coming together.

Where, how, can or will Biopharma play a role? How can payers, providers, manufacturers all sit around the campfire called “Outcomes”, define their part but play together for the betterment of business and people? This has been a concern of mine for years: was Biopharma going to evolve, see passed its past, re-organize its’ ossified structure and get out of its own way.

My hope was the organizations would eventually be forced to use more imagination and reinvention — even the move to integrate of Regulatory and Marketing, which is heresy but a common sense requirement to compete and be market-nimble.

But something else is happening. The earthquake is shaking the “norm” up —  some companies are starting to break out of their traditional business model and become…Venture Capitalists. Incubators. Enablers of Connected Health. Let’s look at some examples, and hopefully you will find some inspiration for your own brand, franchise or enterprise.

A few weeks ago I attended EyeforPharma 2014**, and saw the walls of Castle Pharma beginning to fall. Janssen, Merck, and of course, Sanofi seem to be leading the way to becoming active players in evolving the Healthcare Eco-system and to not lose out on being part of the healthcare end-game, Connected Health. (There are others, but these stand out.) While some would say we have yet to evolve to fully enable the “Beyond the Pill” services model; I would argue that while this evolution is happening too slowly, it is at least happening. But it is already old news.

First, I saw an amazing example presented by Kimberly Park, VP at Janssen Healthcare Innovation on Care4Today programs for cardiac health, among other conditions. The careful orchestrated strategy of care is based on bringing together many insights and tools, and a huge dollop of Humanity, to craft a positive-outcomes story. They picked a major outcome situation — post-heart attack hospital re-admission — and constructed a multi-channel solution.  All the pieces were there to create an effective patient-support/education program, but now they are working with a hospital system to make real.

Janssen health innovation 5.22.14


Care4Today Cardiac 5.3.14

Of all the useful, inspiring, pragmatic information in Ms. Park’s presentation — besides her incredible enthusiasm and caring for their Mission — I focused in on how they got funded: R&D. Brilliant. The need for ROI issue cannot be confused with ignoring innovation in challenging times, or else you end up like…Blackberry. Merck M2i2 work — using contests, Incubator/VC-style work — was also enlightening. mERCK hEALTH sOLUTIONS H.PAGE 5.22.14

One message comes out, loud and clear: consortium. Collaboration. Joint Mission. All the elements to take an idea to fruition and spread it across the Eco-system. The guidelines and process should set a model for evolving the HC Eco-system.  This site and the companion for the coalition has an eye-opening amount of content and inspiration. Last, but never least, Sanofi. Sanofi innovation center 5.3.14

The diabetes division at Sanofi has been the ground-breaker for so many patient-centric marketing strategies, innovations, support, Social Media ( Whereas Merck had a broad Corporate and IT focus, Sanofi stays laser-like on diabetes.

Two large issues loom for all these initiatives: scale and noise. Scale in that, does it pay out if the “idea” works and can be expanded? Is the “noise” of so many players, especially those crowding into Healthcare, make these initiatives ever more difficult to gain traction.

Like all earthquakes, when the dust settles some things are standing, some are fallen.

From a business culture POV, these initiatives must be championed and shared. It is a key way to inseminate the need and acceptance for innovation, not just for some special group, but as a vanguard for the companies to see beyond their silos into a more viable, less uncertain future. Two final notes about the changing HC Eco-system.

Notice how MS Health Vault doesn’t even include Pharma/Biotech companies in their own vision of the Eco-system. Subtle!

MS HealthVaultecosystem(en-us,MSDN.10)

MS Vault is wrong, of course.  This is what is really happening: POharma future eco-system 5.16.14

In providing these examples, I am hoping to inspire, agitate and open our minds.

It is not if we get into shaping the HC Eco-system, it is when and how.

Last, a video from Novo Nordisk UK on a virtual patient “game” called Diabetes Voyager. I add this for innovation, but also because it is just fun to watch.

NNI Diabetes disocvery game 5.22

Thank you!