Syneos Health 2018 Trends Forecast

Jan 10, 2018

Syneos Health released its inaugural Commercial Trends Forecast. The report identifies trends in biopharmaceutical commercialization—from the frontlines of drug development to patient engagement and next-generation care.

“2018 will be a year of commercial transformation,” said Michelle Keefe, president, commercial solutions, Syneos Health. “With the intensification of disruptions to the commercial model, it’s important to have a clear view on how changes impact key health stakeholders. Understanding the most significant emerging trends will allow biopharma strategists to reallocate budgets and recalibrate actions to demonstrate more relevant value.”

Commercial leaders from across Syneos Health identified 15 important trends that shape stakeholder perspectives, challenge conventional launch wisdom, and drive innovation affecting every aspect of the customer experience, starting with early clinical development and beyond.

Trends identified by Syneos Health leaders align with four overarching themes that will drive 2018 commercial strategies:

· The influencers are changing: Today, integrated delivery networks (IDNs) own more than 60% of physician group practices. Those delivery networks as well as advocacy groups, third-party value frameworks, and an ever-smaller circle of payers all play a part in a greater shift centered on how value is defined, delivered, and measured in the current healthcare environment.

· New voices are being heard: A whole range of new voices are being elevated as influencers seeking partners who can tell a unique value story. Pharmaceutical medical teams, sales teams, key opinion leaders, advocacy partners, and other critical affiliates pool capabilities in finding new ways to engage and co-create nearly every aspect of the health experience.

· Points of influence are rapidly evolving:  The average patient journey diagram once outlined four or five predictable steps representing a real-life journey—which is no longer the case. In 2018, the patient experience map is being radically updated to reflect new points of interaction.

· The commercial outlook is shifting: In 2018, commercial teams are involved far earlier in the drug development cycle, hyper focused, and crisis ready. Pharmaceutical innovators are increasingly breaking down the silos that have long divided the clinical and commercial disciplines.  

The Commercial Trends Forecast is the latest addition to the annual trends series from Syneos Health Communications, including Consumer, Digital, Communications, and Healthcare Trends. The report series identifies shifts in media and medicine that disrupt how we think about customers, where we engage them, and what kinds of experiences we create. 

“The health experience is not just about interactions with one brand or disease state—it’s about far deeper interactions with peers, families, technology, and media,” said Leigh Householder, Managing Director of Innovation at Syneos Health Communications and lead author of the trends series. “These trends help us understand how to really make connections to better meet consumer expectations based on today’s market dynamics and contemporary behaviors.”

For additional information, download all five of the 2018 trends reports at



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