Innovation and New Technologies: A New Market Access Point For Pharma?

Paris welcomed major pharma players for the BIO-Europe spring conference. Innovation was one of the recurring themes here because pharma companies are facing a strong need to reinvent themselves to stay competitive and find new sources of income. But, there also is a risk where pharma companies would  want to play safe and avoid innovation.

Although pharma companies say that they have a holistic view of the patient, there are areas for improvement.  For instance, every pharma company is running towards orphan drugs as it is more tractable than chronic diseases. Nonetheless, they need to understand the patients better, and place them more at the center of the processes. Both patients and payers are key groups for pharma companies.

The actual challenge is not so much to innovate but to define patients’ needs in a way that promotes smarter innovation.  And this is one of the spots that definitely has room for collaboration between pharma and health tech companies.

Pharma companies are starting to look at the health tech industry, especially the connected objects, seeing them as a new market access point. But many pharma companies are still in the ‘stand-by’ phase- they don’t have an innovation department that could actually embrace health tech. Their main concern towards connected objects remains compliance.

As Pfizer highlighted in its presentation, pharma needs to be involved in the health care ecosystem and play with different actors, in order to innovate new capabilities. That’s the stand that Bayer Healthcare took through its Grants4App program, collaborating with startups who are developing solutions that could enhance business lines.

We will deep dive into that subject in May during our Health 2.0 Europe conference with a Pharma 2.0 panel, where we will discuss how new technologies can help pharma companies go ‘beyond the pills’, revolutionize clinical trials, and pharmacovigilance. We will also be showcasing various tech companies currently collaborating with the pharma industry.

Aline Noizet is the General Manager of Health 2.0 Barcelona. She can be reached at @anoizet.


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