Internet trends like big-data, social networking, and mobility aren't just affecting various industries, they're changing them in dramatic ways. And companies that don't understand this metamorphosis are bound to get left behind.
That's one takeaway from a recent brief report from McKinsey & Company that outlines how the Internet data explosion is changing the pharmaceuticals industry.
In "Biopharma in the coming era of 'connected health'," several of the consulting firm's authors describe how demand for more and better healthcare information is bound to affect suppliers of medicine and consumer healthcare services:
Information transparency will allow customers, regulators, and competitors to understand the performance of biopharma products as well as, or even better than, the manufacturer does...
This transparency will probably drive down the margins of biopharma's innovative products by restricting access, challenging reimbursement rates, and highlighting safety issues.
The analysts compare the shift that social media, big-data, and mobility are forcing on the biopharma industry with what occurred in the computer industry over the last 20 years: "Value shifted away from the computer industry's physical product -- hardware -- to the software and services surrounding it."
The McKinsey & Co. analysts advise biopharma companies to take action now in order to be prepared for making less from medicines and consumer health services. They suggest investments in big-data and analytics and in new models of collaboration and partnerships.
By allocating resources in these areas now, McKinsey says that biopharma firms will be prepared to engage in alternatives to their traditional revenue models.
For example, biopharma firms are well positioned to track and predict what medical protocols will fit specific populations or patients. They can also offer monitoring services for use once medicines have been prescribed. And by managing the flow of insurance information, companies can create new sources of revenue.
The point is well taken for leaders in any industry sector: Social media, mobility, and big-data are changing the very nature of business, and taking steps toward accepting and building on these new realities are essential to corporate survival.
— Mary Jander , Executive Editor, Internet Evolution