Life Sciences 4.0: platform models to capture value

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EY - Pamela Spence

By Pamela Spence
EY Global Life Sciences Industry Leader

A fundamental reimagining of health care is underway. Technology, demographics and economics are shifting power away from drug developers and placing it in the hands of consumers (patients), payers and emerging digital entrants. These stakeholders are more informed, more connected and more demanding. They require better outcomes, better returns and better experiences.

In this changing health care climate, biopharma will continue to lose power — unless it, too, changes.

As health care delivery expands beyond the physician’s office, the hospital or the laboratory, and as therapeutic solutions broaden beyond the pill, a platform-based health care economy is emerging. Platforms are marketplaces that allow consumers to connect easily with supplies of products, services or solutions that are tailored to their needs. These are the Amazons or Alibabas of health care: flexible, scalable interfaces that create communities of connected users, underpinned by multiple suppliers and partners.

Granted, health care can’t yet be delivered in a package by a courier to patients’ doorsteps. But the value of health care — and of biopharmaceuticals — is now measured in outcomes delivered and improvements in system efficiency, more than in novelty or scientific innovation. Creating better outcomes demands greater customer engagement.

This kind of engagement can only be achieved if there is more sustained and closer cooperation between biopharma companies and other health care providers — including traditional competitors and new, tech-savvy entrants. It demands the expansion of health care into wellness and prevention. And importantly, it’s about how health is delivered, not just what is delivered.

In our report, we describe a series of disease category-focused platforms that offer customers appropriate personalized therapy and care choices, including preventive care. These platforms draw on resources from multiple stakeholders, and collecting accurate, secure data that quickly and seamlessly returns value back to the user.

Early platform-style experiments have already begun. Glooko’s diabetes management platform is one example that links devices, patients and payers and, since January 2017now includes Novo Nordisk. Sanofi and Google’s joint venture Onduo is another. But to be sustainable, these platforms must be scalable, offering patients the full range of therapies and services for a particular condition — not just one company’s portfolio.

By leading the creation of product-agnostic platforms, built around collaborative partnerships rather than individual transactions, biopharma will gain access to the kinds of data needed today to support product access, formulary positioning and differentiation.

Many of today’s efforts by biopharma are dispersed across building risk-sharing deals with individual payers, developing better relationships with patient advocacy groups and generating real world evidence that payers and providers will heed and trust. A convenient, holistic platform creates an environment that naturally creates and reinforces these activities. The end result is a positive feedback loop where data capture results in long-term product access to create revenues.

That amplification and value creation will only occur, however, if biopharma companies cooperate with traditional competitors and compete with tech-enabled newcomers.

And in BioPharma 4.0, it won’t be enough to focus on shareholder value creation. Value is instead created by benefiting all stakeholders. Biopharma must engage payers, providers, patients, physicians and shareholders with a clear and common purpose, helping shape the future wellness-focused, customer-driven, health-tech world.


Learn more in our latest report, Life Sciences 4.0: platform models to capture value