Sector News

Where to in 2020?

March 18, 2020
Life sciences

The age of blockbuster drugs has officially given way to precision medicines customised for rare diseases and individual patients. We are in the early days of a decades-long trend that will influence changes throughout the entire life sciences industry and lead to groundbreaking cures and treatments.

These new innovations are becoming the foundation of scientific discovery and, with them, an explosion of available scientific information and data – from clinical studies to real-world patient information – critical in finding patients to treat and keeping healthcare professionals and their organisations informed on the latest medicines. Getting the right information to the right people is critical for physicians in delivering the best possible care.

In 2020, we’ll see organisations better leverage data across their organisations to accelerate the move toward patient-centred healthcare. Experts at Veeva consider the greatest areas of opportunity to improve patient health outcomes.

A connected and collaborative healthcare ecosystem will drive innovation

Chris Moore – president, Veeva Europe

Healthcare spend is rising at an alarming rate. As the population ages, the spending curve will eventually become unsustainable for societies around the world. In 2020, we’ll see a more dynamic healthcare environment take root with greater collaboration among biopharmaceutical companies, providers and payers to drive greater efficiency and meet this growing challenge.

With rising healthcare costs, payers are only reimbursing premium prices for innovative treatments that demonstrate higher efficacy among targeted patient populations. Consequently, companies are becoming more agile and integrated within healthcare ecosystems to get treatments to patients. This is driving new pricing models – such as financial risk-based contracts, health outcomes contracts and indication-specific pricing – aligned with the unique characteristics of innovative products and patients’ needs.

To operate in this more interconnected and dynamic environment, companies will reduce siloed processes and systems to drive new levels of operational efficiency and collaboration. This will not only enable them to compete more effectively, but also to work better with providers and payers in delivering the right care.

For example, we’ll begin to see a data flow from the patient or healthcare professional directly through every part of the drug development and commercialisation process. This information will also flow to patients, payers and providers as industry silos break down, giving the industry faster visibility into data so that treatment decisions can be made. Data will be entered once but used many times, cutting half of today’s redundant processes and most duplicated systems. Companies ultimately will become more efficient and agile in delivering treatments to the right patients.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be applied to monitor patterns, connect scientific discovery across teams, identify the best clinical trial sites, and match trial populations to treatment populations. This new model will lead to safer, better outcomes and reduced waste throughout the industry.

Privacy-safe analytics and AI will accelerate the shift to patient-centred healthcare

Tom Schwenger – president and chief operating officer

In 2020, we’ll see two key trends collide – the continued shift toward personalised medicine and an increased concentration on data privacy. Successful commercial teams will focus their execution of patient-centred healthcare for specialty conditions in a way that’s privacy-safe and more intelligent.

Advances in specialty products have led to more effective treatments and improved health outcomes. However, the patient journey has become more complex, creating an opportunity for pharma manufacturers and hub services to better communicate and support patients and HCPs. Pharma sales and marketers will use privacy-safe predictive analytics to build a communications plan to engage HCPs at key moments along the patient journey. AI will also give teams more detailed, person-level insights to precisely identify and target patient populations and enhance their promotional strategies. HCPs and hub services can then, in turn, reach patients at the right time to drive better diagnosis, treatment and adherence.

With an increased societal focus on privacy, companies will need to balance helping patients navigate the complexity of the specialty market while also addressing privacy concerns, including allowing optional enrolment and the right level of opt-ins and opt-outs.

AI becomes a real-time coach embedded in commercial processes

Paul Shawah – senior VP, Commercial Strategy

This year, AI will become pervasive in enterprise applications and embedded within specific commercial workflows, expanding to become more contextually aware of what account teams are doing as they’re doing it and acting as a real-time coach.

AI delivers intelligence that is helping commercial organisations get the right information to HCPs to deliver the best possible care to patients. As AI becomes more context aware of what account teams are working on, it will act as a real-time coach helping reps navigate the complicated ecosystem of stakeholders much more easily. It will also enable real-time compliance. With a real-time coach, commercial teams will have the freedom to share unstructured thinking and, ultimately, deeper insights without risk to drive more informed, compliant interactions.

Patients’ active role in their healthcare decisions will transform the industry’s model of care

David Logue – senior VP of Strategy, Veeva Europe

Physicians have traditionally been the focus of manufacturer information, business development efforts and support. The industry is still in the early stages of adopting a patient-driven model that examines patients holistically, as banking, entertainment, merchandising and other industries have long since done. In 2020, the industry will continue to modernise and focus on the patient’s experience and enabling patient empowerment.

On the clinical side, pharma will focus on helping patients better research and understand medication options, risks and outcomes. On the commercial side, companies will better align their marketing efforts and account teams to focus targeted messaging to providers.

While patients are provider network subscribers and research, treatment and surgery candidates, they are also consumers in search of value, convenience, simplicity and comfort. We see the industry adapting to address medical needs and deliver treatments to patients in ways that afford greater personal empowerment.

New trial designs will usher in a new era of clinical trial data management

Richard Young – senior VP, Clinical Data Strategy

As clinical trials evolve in the age of precision medicine and new trial designs emerge, pharma companies will be called upon to develop new approaches to collecting, using, reusing and sharing trial data. Single use, throw-away data has been the mainstay within the clinical trial ecosystem, with as much as 80% of all data that’s collected being used only once.

In the coming year, we expect to see the growth of reusable data within the industry. EHR data will be combined with data from multiple trials to provide a repository of multi-sourced, multi-purposed data, analytics and insights. Real-world evidence will be collected and examined throughout a patient’s lifetime to provide an historical perspective. This data will be applied not only to the individual patient, but also to other patient populations to eliminate redundancy, streamline processes and reduce trial costs.

Synthetic data unlocks the key to greater trial efficiency

Henry Levy – general manager, Veeva Vault CDMS

With today’s emphasis on outcome and value-based payment initiatives, the ability to analyse real-world patient data is important to discovering the best treatments and improving patient outcomes. EHR and clinical trial data sharing has emerged as a primary way to speed disease diagnosis and treatment. In the coming year, we anticipate the use of synthetic data to increase trial efficiency, reduce costs and improve outcomes for all stakeholders, as well as safeguard against GDPR compliance risk.

Rather than collecting data from patients assigned to a control or standard-of-care arm, real-world data can be modelled for specific patient groups and potential outcomes. The use of this synthetic data holds vast promise in determining therapeutic regimens, identifying and mitigating drug side effects, and optimising dosages and synergies in multidrug therapies.

Synthetic data also has the potential to address compliance risk and privacy concerns. Real-world patient data is often siloed due to privacy concerns, but the use of synthetic data can be more accessible. While the full ramifications of GDPR within the healthcare industry have yet to be fully understood, one way to avoid potential compliance risk will be through the use of synthetic data.

New methods such as hybrid trials will improve patient enrolment and retention

Jim Reilly – VP, Clinical Market Strategy

Low trial enrolment and retention presents a challenge throughout the industry. Nearly one-third of all trials under-enrol, and only 7% meet their target number on deadline. Much of the challenge stems from geographic mismatch of site to patient, poor patient engagement and lack of trial awareness among patients.

In the coming year, we anticipate that pharma companies will show measurable improvements in enrolment and retention through new methods that bring trials closer to patients. These include hybrid trial delivery, community-based sites and digital engagement. Hybrid trials deliver parts of a trial digitally – from activity trackers and telehealth, to e-consent, ePRO and social apps.

Another novel idea being tested is the ability to professionalise remote or rural healthcare providers by outfitting them with training and equipment to deliver investigational treatments. Improvements in social engagement and data access will also drive better trial awareness and retention. All these methods will collectively improve trial enrolment throughout the industry.

Data curation becomes the lifeblood of organisational efficiency

John Lawrie – VP, Veeva Vault RIM

Global health authorities are driving sponsors to maintain and submit increasingly large data sets. This year, life sciences companies will evolve their business processes and operational frameworks to comply. A vast majority of companies still rely on email, manual processes and physical hand-offs to capture, document and share information – a workflow practice that is not sustainable as more regulatory controls are added throughout the supply chain.

Data curation will become as important as document authoring, and sit at the core of companies that nimbly adjust to evolving compliance standards and an ever-changing marketplace. Roles such as data curator and data scientist, along with the creation of specialty innovation teams that address stakeholder information needs and opportunities, will grow in stature. This shift will accelerate time to market, eliminate waste and enhance patient safety.

Source: Pharma Times

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