The life sciences business model is changing, moving away from simply developing and selling pills or devices and toward becoming a partner in the care management process. In some places, we’re starting to see a workload shift, with life sciences companies taking on activities traditionally associated with payers and providers.
By Dr. Sven Jansen, Industry General Manager, CSC Healthcare and Life Sciences, Central and Eastern Europe
This shift benefits all stakeholders: It removes workload from the providers – hospital and healthcare practitioner officers – who are preoccupied with their organizational and administrative tasks; It benefits the payers because they don’t have the resources to tackle care management; and It benefits patients and their families since having points of interaction along the healthcare journey – call center, nurse, care team, etc. – has a significant impact on adherence and patient engagement outcomes.
For life sciences companies, taking over the care management journey gives them direct access to the patient, providing them with the data they need to demonstrate the efficacy of their product and, equally importantly, evidence that their medication works better than that of a competitor. This information is critical since companies must demonstrate the efficacy profile of their products to get onto or stay on formularies and reimbursement schemes.
Globally, life sciences companies are becoming change agents responding to the accountable care organization-style model that is now a bigger priority in all major markets. For example, one major life sciences company founded a management company in Germany – an ACO-style organization that manages the patient journey through the system. This company is working with payers and providers in a specific region in Germany to manage the health of people in that system with the goal of helping patients get well faster and with higher quality long-term outcomes. While there was a lot of criticism by the media at the outset amid concerns over conflict of interest, the project has been hugely successful and is now widely endorsed.
Managing the Traditional Business
These developments, however, raise some questions: How will the life sciences industry manage its traditional business as it diverts resources toward a broader role in the healthcare journey? On one hand, as the “blockbuster drug” model dries up, the resources required to discover and support those products are being diverted. However, managing products on the market remains critical and leading life sciences companies are starting to recognize where the real value-add lies and which aspects of the business are important but no longer strategic. This includes many aspects related to the management of product submissions and across the product life cycle.
Beyond the simple logistics of managing submission documents, life sciences companies can also gain advantages through business process services (BPS) that allow them to streamline processes, leverage business and market insights, and even digitize the end-to-end environment. So at the same time as companies reinvent the business model and become part of the healthcare continuum, they can also take advantage of advanced analytics, intelligent software, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve how knowledge is gathered and used.
The move into care management also brings with it new tools and new data. Life sciences companies need to be sure those tools interact with solutions elsewhere in the enterprise and that the data gathered can be appropriately accessed and used.
As the life sciences industry converges with traditional healthcare in the management of patient care, the imperative to manage and leverage information seamlessly will become all the more critical. This will create need for new types of collaboration and partnership that will allow the life sciences company of the future to grow and adapt to the changing environment.
In a follow-up blog, my colleague Katja Koesterke-Wagner will explore what BPS means to the industry in light of the changing life sciences business model.