Increasing Profits by Reaching Pharma’s Silent Majority

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We hear a lot in pharma about the voice of the customer, but the drug industry can’t hear the voices of millions of people around the world who might become its customers. Many die each year because they can’t afford to buy the medications they need to treat their illnesses.

The pharmaceutical industry must be aware of this silent majority of global citizens. There are strong altruistic reasons for responding to them, but let’s focus on a strong business case: increasing profits and restoring the industry’s troubled image.

Inflated drug prices are responsible, not only for pharma’s negative public opinion and for drug shortages, but also for depressed market demand.

Price controls or socialized solutions are not the answer.

What is needed, instead, are economies of scale, and better, innovative manufacturing technologies.

I’ve often written about these solutions in the context of improving efficiency and product quality, and reducing costs. But they’re also the key to increasing demand for pharmaceuticals.

I thought of these issues this week, when I read about India’s rejection of Roche’s patent for the breast cancer treatment herceptin, and the fact that Roche had previously lowered the price of the drug in India by 31%, to around $1,366 per month.

Source: Pharma Evolution (link opens in a new window)

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