After a whole year of feeding its M&A appetite, the healthcare and pharma industry is experiencing a steadier period in dealmaking. Though major takeovers may not make headlines anymore, pharma will face other challenges that will mark its evolution.
In 2016, several highly profitable drugs are going off-patent and cheaper generics are hitting the shelves. At the same time, political pressure on drug pricing is growing and the presidential election has brought the Affordable Care Act back into the spotlight.
With a highly dynamic market and increased competition, pharma companies have to adapt to optimize their sales performance. The increasing complexity of the healthcare system and the pharmaceutical value chain creates many challenges for sales forces and sales operations. Take a look at the stats and trends that will influence the industry throughout this year:
- After a record year for dealmaking, with more than $600 billion in acquisitions, the healthcare’s buying binge is expected to slow.
- The US election cycle brought healthcare and the pharma industry back in the spotlight: 85 percent of voters say the Affordable Care Act will factor into their vote for the next president.
- A number of major drugs lose patent protection in 2016.
- The continued rise of specialty markets will influence pharma sales and sales operations. One in ten Americans is diagnosed with a rare disease while more than 450 orphan drugs are in development.
- Patients and prescribers continue to learn about treatment options through an increasingly diverse set of channels, making it difficult for sales organizations to measure their direct impact.
- Consumers are more ready than ever to embrace high-tech medical devices. 52% of US clinicians are recommending mobile apps and devices that monitor vital signs.
- The number of wearable devices is expected to reach 130 million by 2018.
- In 2016, millions of Americans will have their first video consults, be prescribed their first health apps, and use their smartphones as diagnostic tools for the first time.
- While technology is largely embraced, the industry has to deal with more privacy and security concerns. For three-quarters of American consumers, data security is more important than gaining quick access to information.