How patient-centricity will impact the pharma industry in the coming years

How patient-centricity will impact the pharma industry in the coming years

We are in a new era of healthcare. Patients are now moving from recipients to participants in their healthcare journey. The pharma industry must therefore change with these trends. Realigning strategies to put patients at the center of future business models is the way forward.

While there are some great examples of best practices in the pharma industry, companies are currently not addressing underlying patient needs. Pharma companies don’t engage patients in their research agendas. They don’t ask patients on their experiences in a study or trial and therefore struggle to recruit and retain them. According to a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report, a staggering 90% of patients want to know the results of their clinical trials. Yet, 93% of patients participating in these trials never receive results from the study sponsors. This gap needs to be addressed not only out of courtesy to patients but also to keep them engaged for future studies.

The healthcare industry also needs to find a way to bridge the disconnect between the R&D space and patient-centricity (i.e. the process of designing services or solutions around the patient). Companies tend to focus marketing and promotion activities on their own brand and create programs to showcase their technology advancements, but these routes sometimes fail to address imminent patient needs. As a result, patients don’t always engage with pharma companies adequately, which creates an imbalance.

So, what can pharma companies do to keep the focus on patients?

  • Be transparent

It is important that the pharma industry, as a whole, shares what is working and what isn’t. Sharing results, either positive or negative, will help create a certain bond between organizations and people. The minute pharma companies treat patients as investors in the healthcare process, they will be rewarded with loyalty and patient retention.

  • Provide a holistic view of the patient healthcare journey

If we create a ‘one-stop shop’ for medical terminology, context, meaning, perspective, drug options for patients – it will allow them to identify problems and reach out for help well in time. Equipped with this knowledge, patients will feel more positive in their outlook and become advocates of any platform that provides the latest information to them.

Data can be the answer to patient-centricity

Even though we know what patients need to stay engaged, the pharma world still has a long way to go to achieve patient-centricity. Data will be the solution to the patient-centricity puzzle. Pharma companies are sitting on a macrocosm of data that is not being used efficiently to determine patient needs. This is not just factual data, but behavioral data too. Collection, analysis and usage of this data in real-world patient challenges will help us anticipate their future needs. These insights will also help us gain a 360° view of patients and help recruit and retain them for future research studies and clinical trials.

While patient-centricity will be the key for success, pharma companies face a set of challenges along the way. Although the voice of the patient is an essential factor in today’s healthcare, companies would be remiss if they hand over complete control and expect patients to run the show. Patients play a crucial role, but not the sole role. The industry cannot base its strategic healthcare decisions on a single type of stakeholder. There needs to be an interplay of technology and behavioral economics to form long-term, impactful decisions.

OSG can help you on your journey towards patient-centricity

At OSG, we believe that superior experiences can’t be delivered unless we provide you with a 360° understanding of patients, their expectations and integrating them across all channels, whether physical or digital. PatientX, OSG’s groundbreaking solution for companies involved in clinical trials and Real World Evidence/Adherence studies post launch of new drugs can be your partner on the journey towards patient centricity. With applications for Patient Registry or Phase IV Life Cycle Management, PatientX directly improves patient recruitment, engagement and retention. PatientX makes taking part in trials far easier, enabling patients to take part more seamlessly, express interest and consent to a trial. The PatientX app works on patients’ own devices and enables them to easily download their medical records and search for trials worldwide that interest them. Patients can easily synchronize their wearable medical technology or fitness devices with PatientX and record their experiences and outcomes easily.

We hope this information has been interesting and valuable to you. Please, feel free to share it with colleagues and other people in your network. We welcome discussing this topic further with you and understanding your specific challenges.

OSG Steps to Success

OSG is a “catalyst” that helps our clients be the best at decoding their customers’ decisions. Our clients have seen a minimum 20% improvement in customer engagement by implementing smart insights delivered using our behavioral analytics products.

Medication Non-Adherence: A Self-Inflicted Health Situation

Medication Non-Adherence: A Self-Inflicted Health Situation

Do you know that in US alone 125,000 people are dying and more than 10% are hospitalized every year as they do not refill their medications or take them correctly? It is estimated that only 50% patients take their prescribed doses, whether it’s for a simple infection or a life-threatening condition. This lack of medication adherence is costing the US healthcare system between $100 billion and $290 billion annually. The cost burden is attributed to medication wastage, worsening of disease, reduced quality of life and increase in hospitalization.

Studies have shown that medication non-adherence leads to:

  • 89,000 premature deaths among hypertensive patients
  • 10% of medicare patients get readmitted to a hospital within 30 days
  • Unemployment, homelessness, and suicides amongst 41%-59% of mentally ill patients

“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them”, stated former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. Some new drugs that perform exceptionally well in studies fail to measure up once they enter the market, and many patients experience relapses or even die owing to non-adherence to prescribed medication.

By 2020 it is estimated that almost 90% prescriptions will be for generic drugs, and for these drugs adherence will be a bigger concern as compared to drug cost.

What leads to non-adherence to medications?

Medication adherence is affected by a variety of factors such as patient, provider and health systems, and interactions among them*.

Social and Economic

  • Limited language proficiency
  • Low health literacy
  • Unstable living conditions/homelessness
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Medication cost

Health care systems

  • Patient-provider relationship
  • Long wait times
  • Lack of care continuity
  • Restricted formularies

Condition related

  • Lack of Symptoms
  • Severity of Symptoms
  • Depression
  • Psychotic disorders

Therapy related

  • Complexity of the medication regimen
  • Duration of therapy
  • Frequent changes
  • Actual or perceived side effects

Behavior related

  • Visual, hearing, cognitive impairment
  • Knowledge about disease
  • Perceived risk/susceptibility to disease
  • Perceived benefit of treatment
  • Motivation and confidence


Patient-physician discord is stated to be one of the major reasons for non-adherence. Studies report that over 60% patients could not correctly report the directions provided by their physicians or misunderstood the doses or schedules prescribed.

In a large-pilot study conducted by Express Scripts in 2011, inattention and procrastination by patients accounted for over two-thirds of non-adherence– 39% of them forgot to take their medications, 20% failed to renew their prescriptions on time and 10% procrastinated on getting their refills.

It was estimated that non-adherence rates are high when patients are symptom-free. High degrees of compliance were noted by 77% patients when the treatment was designed to cure a disease than it was aimed at prevention (63%).

Improving Adherence through Patient Engagement

The rates of adherence can be improved through multiple strategies across the continuum of care and amongst them engaging patients in their health is a promising way to promote medication adherence.

Behavioral analytics and integrated data systems can help understand what nudges can better engage patients in their disease management. OSG Dynamo™ enables pharmaceutical companies to increase patient engagement through behavioral analytics, and allows the allocation of right resources to the right patients at the right time! Contact us now to find out more.



*Source: Sabate, Eduardo. Adherence to long term therapies: Evidence for action, World Health Organization, 2003.

NEJM Catalyst( @ Massachusetts Medical Society

OSG Steps to Success

OSG is a “catalyst” that helps our clients be the best at decoding their customers’ decisions. Our clients have seen a minimum 20% improvement in customer engagement by implementing smart insights delivered using our behavioral analytics products.

Medication Non-Adherence: A Self-Inflicted Health Situation

The Roles Key Opinion Leaders or Thought Leaders Play in the Pharmaceutical and Medical devices Industry

Who is a Key Opinion Leader (KOL), or more specifically a Thought Leader?

KOLs are highly influential medical experts and advisors in their domain and are respected and relied upon by their peers to provide a true assessment of efficacy and safety of a drug or a device. This is why scientific discussions/forums initiated by KOLs are recognized and tend to stand-out in this crowded and media saturated environment, making KOLs true thought leaders.

In healthcare, KOLs contribute at various stages of the drug/device life cycle, starting from discovery and R&D to marketing and end user outreach. They help in understanding various aspects of a product, including the needs of patients and guiding the clinical trial design to be more relevant and outcome-based. They thereby help companies understand patient behavior before recommending one drug or device over another.

Healthcare companies now realize that they cannot rely merely on DTC channels and sales force efforts to increase their revenues. They are now increasingly relying on KOLs to help establish the knowledge base for their products and expand their reach in different markets. It is estimated that pharmaceutical companies spend nearly 15-25% of their marketing budget on speaking events involving KOLs.

It is therefore true to say that the companies who identify, create and maintain meaningful relationships with the KOLs will reap benefits in the future with expanded market share and increased revenue.

On the other hand, not knowing your Key Opinion Leaders could hamper or mislead your way in understanding key questions that prevail in a fast-growing and complex industry like pharmaceuticals or medical devices. It is imperative to know the answers to questions such as:

  • Whom to trust for their expertise?
  • Who are the physicians/researchers that are influencing their peers?
  • How can the company’s local, national, and global reach be extended?
  • How can the needs, opinions, concerns and difficulties of patients be understood?
  • How to raise awareness of a new drug for better patient engagement?
  • How to absorb patient participation in clinical trials as well as help disseminate trial results via trusted sources?
  • How to find the accomplished investigators/collaborators for clinical trials, advisors for advisory boards, influencial speakers for peer-to-peer programs etc?

The list doesn’t end here – these are just a few questions that pharma or med device companies have to address in order to be competitive in this dynamic industry.


How can OSG help?

Developing a new drug/device is a costly affair and involves a lot of risk at each step of the life cycle. Companies will have various concerns whether their drug will get approval from regulatory bodies in this highly regulated environment or if they will lose market share to competitors. A thought leader can help companies answer these questions and many more. Thus, identifying the right leader becomes essential for a company.

OSG follows an organized approach towards KOL identification, profiling and mapping to determine the exact influence KOLs have. This in turn helps companies answer wider questions during the entire life-cycle of a drug/device.

– Who are the highly regarded people in a particular domain capable of being next generation leaders?
– Who are the leaders who will help us in decreasing the risk and increasing the chances of success for a drug/device?

– How can a company stay relevant in this ever-changing industry and at the same time remain consistent?

– Not all KOLs are equal, there are various types, including but not limited to, established thought leaders with various capabilities and development objectives. In order to engage KOLs most effectively, it becomes crucial to understand these aspects in detail.

– Which KOLs will fit in different situations and who are the peers they will have a direct as well as indirect influence on?
– This not only helps to map the right KOLs to their peers at right stage of the life-cycle (be it R&D or marketing), but also helps in identifying the immediate unmet needs to be addressed in a domain.

OSG Steps to Success

OSG is a “catalyst” that helps our clients be the best at decoding their customers’ decisions. Our clients have seen a minimum 20% improvement in customer engagement by implementing smart insights delivered using our behavioral analytics products.

Medication Non-Adherence: A Self-Inflicted Health Situation

Indian Healthcare System – A booming sector but with its many faceted challenges!

India’s healthcare system is diversified and vast, and continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors.

The rise in communicable and “lifestyle” diseases, growing & ageing population, and growing demand for affordable healthcare have resulted in a surge in the Indian healthcare industry to touch USD 372 billion by 2022.

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) report:

  • By 2023, the hospital industry is expected to reach USD 132.84 billion from USD 61.79 billion in 2017
  • The Indian diagnostic market will grow by 2022 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 20.4% from USD 5 billion in 2012 to reach USD 32 billion
  • The pharmaceutical market will expand by 2020 to USD 55 billion from USD 36.7 billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 15.92%
  • During 2015-20, the in-patient market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13%

But despite this growth, the Indian healthcare industry is facing a plethora of challenges. Some of them are:

Poor Healthcare Infrastructure

India has 0.7 physicians per 1000 individuals, compared with the WHO’s norm of 1:1000 and 1 bed for every 1050 individuals resulting in acute shortage of resources and doctors.

Disparity in Urban and Rural Healthcare

Private healthcare sector delivers about 80% of all outpatient care and 60% of all inpatient care. Majority of the hospitals and doctors are located in urban areas, leaving rural areas under served.

Out-of-Pocket Expenditure

Despite the private healthcare sector delivering about 80% of all outpatient care and 60% of all inpatient care, a majority of population below the poverty line continue to rely on the low-funded and short-staffed public sector for its healthcare needs.

Low Government Spending

Of the total healthcare expenditure, India’s government spending on health is only 1.2% – which is much lower than the WHO recommendation of 5%. Thus, most Indians pay out-of-pocket expenses to cover their healthcare needs. India’s out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare is one of the highest globally, at 68%.

Lack of Healthcare Monitoring

A 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report showed that the Health Ministry’s real-time Health Management Information System (HMIS) portal lacked basic infrastructure data of the healthcare facilities and had wide-ranging discrepancies in the reported data.

The Government of India has been taking initiatives to promote the Indian healthcare industry:

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare plans to spend more funds, over and above the current sanction of USD 148.22 million, to tackle lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, obesity and diabetes in India
  • They have launched several computer and mobile-based m-health and e-health initiatives such as LaQshya, e-RaqtKosh, India fights dengue
  • As per Union Budget 2017-18, National Health Mission was allocated USD 4.21 billion and the government plans to increase the public spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2025
  • Insurance penetration by launch of schemes such as Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Yojana 

By 2020, the pharmaceutical market will expand to USD 55 billion from USD 36.7 billion in 2016

During 2015-20, the in-patient market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13%

OSG Steps to Success

OSG is a “catalyst” that helps our clients be the best at decoding their customers’ decisions. Our clients have seen a minimum 20% improvement in customer engagement by implementing smart insights delivered using our behavioral analytics products.