Planning that Thousand Year Future - Pharmaceutical Executive


Planning that Thousand Year Future

Pharmaceutical Executive

Capital support services. How can a company add other forms of value through superior financial capabilities and support? Consider General Electric. During the past 20 years, GE Capital has grown to become a significant contributor of growth and profits within GE. Indeed, many companies that create expensive manufactured goods—healthcare, automotive, aerospace, transportation, etc.—have long realized the benefits of finance and leasing units that help bankroll customer purchases of company goods. Moreover, these units have a window into customer needs and opportunities that spur new kinds of innovation.

GE's "Healthyimagination" initiative, for example, is a cross-functional approach to advancing healthcare in its employees, customers, and partners. "Healthyimagination is designed to position GE to grow organically over the long term at two to three times GDP, with technology and investment as the foundation," GE chief executive, Jeff Immelt, recently observed in the company's annual report to shareholders. "We're tracking toward our launch goal of investing $6 billion in R&D, financing, and solutions to improve health cost, quality, and access by 15 percent."

To date, GE has used its capital resources to fund a broad base of healthcare experiments and innovations including health-site certifications to measure and reward healthy worksites, and health outcomes pilots in GE work communities. One pilot in Cincinnati, OH, a major GE employment center, is designed to improve the health of the local population, enhance the patient experience in Cincinnati clinics and hospitals, and reduce per capita health costs. Other Healthyimagination-funded experiments include consumer health apps for the iPhone, consumer health tools, employee wellness programs, a consumer-based health insurance program, a "Healthyimagination" equity fund, and venture capital investments into various healthcare-related start-ups. How might BioPharmaCo further employ its financial strengths to help stimulate new healthcare businesses, innovations, and opportunities?

Treatment adherence services. Helping patients maintain their treatments to full benefit is a well known opportunity front among chronic care brand leaders. However, it continues to stymie most biopharmaceutical companies. Some studies suggest more than 50 percent of patients prematurely stop taking their medicines across multiple therapeutic areas. What patient adherence or persistence services could benefit patients? Not all service or support innovations are obvious. Something as simple as a "packaging" innovation for the antibiotic Zithromax created a new support to help patients take their pills in the correct order and on the correct day. This packaging innovation helped address patient adherence—and helped turn Zithromax from a product that was nearly removed from the market because of poor sales—into a blockbuster. Now the "Z-pak" is a familiar medicine among many families that have required antibiotics. They often know the medicine by its packaging name better than they know its branded name. What innovative approaches to adherence could help patients, healthcare providers and BioPharmaCo? How might BioPharmaCo claim more points along the healthcare value chain—or disrupt the traditional value chain and healthcare ecosystem—through other customer-focused services?

Spotting healthcare adjacencies. "Adjacencies" are closely-related businesses or niches that exist along your core business. Sometimes value mapping is focused to identify previously unrecognized opportunities that support or exist contiguous to your core. Companies such as Microsoft, USAA, 3M, IBM, ServiceMaster, and GE have developed growth strategies to invest and expand along adjacencies among existing customers and markets. In his most recent report to shareholders, GE's Immelt revealed: "We have launched more than 20 infrastructure adjacencies and are in the process of growing them. Each can be at least $1 billion in revenue, while some will reach $10 billion or more. By expanding our core, we accelerate growth while building stronger, more diverse business models." What adjacencies are there among therapeutic areas, patient clusters, healthcare providers, hospitals, or payers that might lead BioPharmaCo into healthy new growth fronts?

Superior information and analytics. Companies and consumers stand dwarfed before an Everest-sized mountain of information—thanks to computers and the Internet. So dawns an age in which superior information integration and analytics provide great value to consumers and corporations. What might be the economic value of analytic insights that help determine which patients respond best to which medicines...or guide patients to know when and how to take certain medicines to optimize their treatment benefits? How might BioPharmaCo use superior information and analytics to add value and support growth among its many customer segments?


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