Future commercial models will see radical reorganisation in the coming years

As change continues to increase in pace, the ability to be flexible with scale and resources is becoming more important. That’s not just within the commercial space; it’s also within the clinical space. With finite resources it’s about asking where you are best able to deploy with a laser-like focus, where you need to be at a particular time.

With the well documented challenges facing the pharma industry (rising costs, regulatory pressures, etc.) we’re seeing a shift towards more strategic outsourcing, but rather than just having a supplier/vendor relationship, it’s important that companies are aligned properly and share the same goals – working as a true partner. Giving clients full “optionality” is essential as you can’t do everything, so picking and choosing what you want to do and actually working as a partner gives flexibility to focus where you need to maximise impact.

In addition to having financial flexibility, multi-disciplinary collaborations are driving growth in 2019. Commercial teams are entering strategic discussions earlier, often brought in by clinical partners to help define the most valuable evidence to collect. That’s driving new, frank conversations about the product development, starting from a new competitive reality: not every product has a market and not every product has the market investors might initially think. Companies need to have the courage to cut early. If you’re going to fail, fail fast. The result of this is more rapid cycling of innovation and optimisation.

A lot of the bigger pharma companies are taking lessons from other sectors to be more agile. There’s going to have to be a lot more flexibility in the way companies approach the market, and in the way they approach research, otherwise they’ll just be overtaken by companies like Amazon.

Collaboration is key. As Commercial is learning deeper science and more technical complexity from Clinical; Clinical is borrowing proven capabilities in patient and advocate engagement, and behavioural science, from Commercial. The two teams are partnering in new ways to define the economic impact and burden relief of new and established treatments. The challenge though, is that you have to break down these silos as if we don’t, nothing will change.

Meanwhile, patient centricity is also hitting its stride – we’ve got the data to understand real-world outcomes and the importance of having the patient commercially involved. The companies that are doing that are now starting to take the lead on other new models as well.

It’s important to remember that ultimately what we’re here for is to get patients access to therapy and to make people better. The more people you can make better, the more successful your drug is going to be – it should be as simple as that. It’s simple to factor them into the commercialisation strategy.

Radical Re-orgs is one of ten trends outlined in the Syneos Health 2019 Health Trend Ten which outlines critical shifts that will change how we test and commercialise novel new therapies and innovations in the years ahead. The report looks beyond numbers and statistics, turning the uncertainties our industry faces into informative trends, relevant questions and actionable insights. Download the eBook to read all ten trends at trends.health.

Dan Spacie is President, Syneos Health Selling Solutions, Europe