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Pharma in the Post-COVID Era

Going digital

Prasanthi Sadhu, Editor, Pharma Focus Asia

We live in the digital era but one would have never imagined a world with little or significantly lesser in-person interaction. COVID-19 has consumed numerous lives, crippled economies and left millions in distress. The past few months showed how social life ceased to exist, with lockdowns across countries. Slowly but certainly, the world is trying to overcome the challenges posed by the crisis, adhering to healthcare guidelines. Social distancing became the order of the day as businesses, despite being negatively impacted by the virus, began focusing their efforts on employee safety and well-being thus embracing the new norm to keep the virus at bay.

The article by Brian D Smith, Principal Advisor, PragMedic discusses the visible and invisible parts of the strategy process, how they are influenced by social distancing and how firms can adapt their strategy process to be effective even when their strategists can’t sit across the same table.

The novel corona virus has significantly impacted the way both pharma and healthcare sectors operate. The pharma industry is presented with the challenge of fast-tracking product development for a vaccine by utilising their production capabilities to the fullest extent. Healthcare organisations, meanwhile, have been relentlessly focused on treating patients and saving lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has in a way accelerated the use of technology and digital solutions in pharma and healthcare sectors. From a collaboration standpoint, pharma companies have been forced to change the way they engage with healthcare providers. Pharma companies have begun to take the digital route in conducting their businesses, be it tele-consultations with healthcare professionals or increase in online pharmacies. In-person meetings are a thing of past as leadership and strategic meetings have gone virtual now. The traditional in-person engagement model being replaced as major conferences and industry events are going digital to bring stakeholders together virtually.

COVID-19 has indeed brought about a significant change in consumption and we are starting to witness a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour with increased focus on health and well-being. This has prompted a change in strategic thinking for pharma companies. Adapting to this change isn’t going to be easy for companies. Companies have now been focused on streamlining their processes to be faster and more efficient. A latest Deloitte survey indicates biopharma companies lay focus on research & development and digital transformation as priorities while gearing up to address challenges resulting from cyber security issues.

As Sun Tzu, Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher once said… ‘In the midst of chaos, there’s also opportunity’, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world there exist opportunities amid the risk and uncertainty created by the crisis.

Digital technologies are here to stay. Investments in digital platforms and channels will help companies gain deeper insights to better execute of their strategies. It is imperative for businesses to remain resilient through the pandemic, adapt to changing market needs and demands to thrive in the marketplace.

--Issue 40--

Author Bio

Prasanthi Sadhu

Prasanthi Sadhu, Editor, Pharma Focus Asia

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