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

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If We Pull the Plug on Drug Rebates, Can We Finally Focus on Value?

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Thu, Oct 18, 2018


As more healthcare stakeholders clamor for price transparency, prescription drug rebates’ days could be numbered. Whether the behind-the-scenes negotiation tool—which has been linked to a growing discrepancy between a drug’s list and net prices—will partially or completely disappear is up for debate, but one certainty at this point is that the price transparency knock rarely goes unanswered.

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Topics: patient outcomes, Bill Coyle, Pratap Khedkar, Drug pricing, Howard Deutsch, pharma companies, rebates, product value

What Do IDNs Care About? We Have the Data

Posted by Joe Stevens on Mon, Jul 16, 2018

Paul Darling co-authored this blog post with Joe Stevens.

Physicians continue to trade in the keys to their private practices in exchange for employee badges within large provider systems. Integrated delivery networks have become major players in healthcare delivery, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies are working hard to tailor their commercial approaches to suit these increasingly complex and diverse stakeholders, which is proving to be quite the challenge. As one industry executive recently told me, “If you know one IDN, you know one IDN.”

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Topics: patient outcomes, Paul Darling, IDNs, healthcare delivery, meaningful patient experience, standardization, high-quality care, Joe Stevens, integrated provider network, provider organization partnership tracker survey

How Understanding Unconscious Biases Can Improve Pharma Marketing

Posted by Fiona Taylor on Thu, Mar 01, 2018

Every day, our brains outsource hundreds of decisions to our subconscious, which uses mental shortcuts to get us to an answer fast. Understanding these shortcuts and the biases that we may fall prey to can shed light on all sorts of decisions we make, from the car we drive to where we live to how we choose our healthcare treatments.

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Topics: patient outcomes, patient experience, patient communication, pharma marketing, behavioral science

The Keys to Pharma’s AI Success Include ‘Disruptive Collaborations’ and a Willingness to Innovate and Iterate

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Wed, Jan 24, 2018

This is the final post in a three-part series on artificial intelligence in healthcare. 

Of all of the marketplace dynamics and advances currently posing a threat to pharma’s traditional methods and models, artificial intelligence and advanced data science are causing their fair share of consternation. I recently addressed this issue with my colleague John Piccone, a ZS principal and advanced data science expert who previously led IBM Watson Health’s life sciences offerings, and he succinctly stated the commercial transformation challenge that lies ahead: “Pharma’s role is going to change from educating people to educating algorithms.” How can pharma get there? What steps can companies start taking now to adapt? John has some ideas.

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Topics: patient outcomes, outcomes, artificial intelligence, commercial strategy, pharma companies, artificial intelligence & pharma, educate algorithms, innovators, traditional model, AI blog series

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