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The Active Ingredient features expert insights and commentary from leaders of ZS Associates' global pharmaceuticals practice.

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Taking the Long View on Pharma’s Reputation Management

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Tue, Aug 08, 2017

This is the second post in a two-part series on reputation management in the pharmaceutical industry. 

I concluded my last post by saying that the actions of one company can affect the public’s perceptions of many. That, in a nutshell, is a primary contributor to the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation problem. Over the past year, for example, a few companies’ drastic drug price increases have shaped the public’s perceptions of pharmaceutical pricing overall—so much so that, in an attempt to counteract negative perceptions, many pharma companies have publicly announced plans to keep their own price increases reined in. Last October, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders promised to avoid any price increases greater than 10% per year, and a half dozen or so companies followed suit. 

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Topics: marketing, Pratap Khedkar, Pharma, Pharmaceutical Companies, Pharmaceutical Marketing, healthcare ecosystem, reputation marketing, reputation management, reputation, corporate reputation, pharma marketing, Jeanne Ryan, perception

Reputation Is Paramount, So What’s Holding Pharma Companies Back?

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Tue, Aug 01, 2017

This is the first post in a two-part series on reputation management in the pharmaceutical industry.

Recent polls and surveys demonstrate that the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation continues to be plagued by negative perceptions. While there have been some signs of improvement here and there over the past few years, many consumers still consider pharma’s reputation to be on par with the tobacco industry, positioning one product category that treats cancer just above a product category that causes it. A survey released in March 2017 by PatientView, a U.K.-based organization that researches patient groups globally, revealed that the drug industry’s reputation took a hit in 2016 following a five-year period of progress.

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Topics: marketing, Pratap Khedkar, Pharma, Pharmaceutical Companies, healthcare ecosystem, reputation marketing, reputation management, reputation, corporate reputation, pharma marketing, Jeanne Ryan, perception

Why Pharma Manufacturers Should Partner With Rare Disease Communities

Posted by ZS Editors on Thu, Jul 06, 2017

Patient communities are a valuable asset within the life sciences industry. In the rare disease space, these groups are a vital resource for families battling disease, and serve as much-needed patient representatives to help spur funding, research and scientific advancement. ZS’s Rachael Pius weighs in on why pharmaceutical companies should view these patient communities as partners in clinical development. 

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Pharma, rare diseases, clinical trials, patient communities, rachael pius, RWE

Discussing Patient Centricity’s Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Wed, Jun 21, 2017

In my last blog post, I used the pharmaceutical industry’s quest for patient centricity as a jumping-off point to discuss how pharma companies need to focus on customer centricity, rethinking their commercial strategies to better address their many stakeholders in the evolving healthcare ecosystem. But since patients’ wellness is the pharmaceutical industry’s reason for being, patient centricity should remain pharma’s North Star. 

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Topics: go-to-market strategy, marketing, ZS Associates, marketing strategy, ZS, commercial operations, Pratap Khedkar, customer centricity, Pharma, Hensley Evans, healthcare, DTC, healthcare ecosystem, R&D, commercial strategy, patient centricity, reputation marketing, biopharma, patient advocacy

How Biopharma Companies Can Adapt to Industry Changes: Step Three

Posted by Jude Konzelmann on Mon, Jun 19, 2017

Karan Dhundia co-wrote this blog post with Jude Konzelmann.

In the first and second parts of our blog series, we discussed two steps for adapting to the evolving healthcare landscape, which has seen massive shifts when it comes to delivering care, assessing value and reaching customers. Here’s the third step.   Read More

Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Jude Konzelmann, Pharma, Commercial Operation, healthcare ecosystem, sales force design, biopharmaceuticals, local healthcare market, karan dhundia, commercial organization design

International Customer Segmentation and Targeting: Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Iain Fratter on Mon, Jun 12, 2017

This blog post is the first in a three-part series on why biopharmaceutical companies should develop and implement an international customer segmentation and targeting strategy, what it takes to get started, and how one company has found success. 

With high shareholder expectations, biopharmaceutical companies must focus on customer experience through stronger international customer segmentation and targeting in order to deliver sustainable competitive advantage. The problem? These companies compete amid complex markets and organizational tensions that can hold back commercial transformation. 

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Topics: customer experience, sales, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, Pharma, targeting, segmentation, biopharmaceuticals, global strategy, international customer segmentation and targeting, Iain Fritter

Four MDM Trends From Informatica World

Posted by Mahmood Majeed on Mon, Jun 05, 2017

Ammar Feroz co-wrote this blog post with Mahmood Majeed.

While data and analytics have been top-of-mind issues in life sciences for many years, master data management, in particular, was one of the most talked-about issues at this year’s Informatica World summit, held May 15-18 in San Francisco.

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Topics: Master Data Management (MDM), customer data governance, customer experience, ZS Associates, ZS, Pharma, Analytics, data, Mahmood Majeed, MDM, artificial intelligence, biopharmaceuticals, Ammar Feroz, Informatica World, machine learning

Three Tips on How to Align Your Sales Comp With Evolving Customer-Facing Roles

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Jun 02, 2017

Changes within the healthcare ecosystem—continued M&A activity, the emergence of value-based care, influences within local healthcare markets—are affecting many ways in which biopharmaceutical manufacturers are going to market. Companies are adapting by adding new sales roles, differentiating the types of roles across the nation, co-developing solutions with large providers, and rethinking their sales compensation strategies

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, commercial operations, Mike Martin, Pharma, sales comp, healthcare ecosystem, biopharmaceuticals, sales comp plan, sales roles

How Biopharma Companies Can Adapt to Industry Changes: Step Two

Posted by Jude Konzelmann on Wed, May 17, 2017


Karan Dhundia co-wrote this blog post with Jude Konzelmann.

In our last blog post, we discussed three pressing challenges for commercial organizations within the biopharmaceutical industry: the increasing evolution and (often uneven) consolidation of healthcare customers, the complexity of each geography’s key influencers and how they work together to deliver care in different therapy areas, and stakeholders’ inconsistent definitions of value. To address these challenges, we proposed a four-part transition framework—covering deployment, roles, structure and marketing—and we delved into step one: the reorganization of field-based commercial personnel. Now let’s get to step two.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Jude Konzelmann, commercial operations, Pharma, Sales force decisions, Sales operations, healthcare ecosystem, sales force design, biopharmaceuticals, local healthcare market, karan dhundia, commercial organization design

Five Observations From the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Mon, May 15, 2017

In May, I joined various members of governmental organizations, patient organizations and the life sciences industry at the 2017 Fair Pricing Forum, an invitation-only meeting to discuss “fair pricing” for medications in Amsterdam. Organized by the World Health Organization and the Dutch Ministry of Health, the meeting prompted a productive dialogue among stakeholders but also revealed a worrisome gap in the overall perception of the drug pricing discussion. The pharmaceutical industry’s viewpoint was widely underrepresented, with attendance heavily weighted toward governments and activists, and only a small industry delegation.

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Topics: ZS Associates, generics, ZS, Pharma, Ed Schoonveld, R&D, 2017 Fair Pricing Forum, World Health Organization, WHO, value-based pricing, fair pricing, price transparency, antimicrobial drugs

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