From Patents to Franchises
While the pharmaceutical industry has succeeded in creating value through innovation, it has failed to capture the value inherent in innovation by relying solely on the traditional models of product life-cycle extension. Instead, given the growing brand-name presence many drug companies have developed with consumers through DTC advertising, drug companies should exploit the consumer brand-equity they've built in their products with line-extension strategies that go beyond pharmaceuticals. While such brand extension can sometimes be dangerous if used inappropriately, it can be, as part of a new product strategy, far less expensive than new R&D programs.
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Empowered consumers are playing a more proactive role in almost all treatment decisions. For consumer-driven and lifestyle drugs, a fast-growing portion of pharma's portfolio, marketers still focus on physician detailing but must resist the temptation to rely only on physicians to interpret consumers' needs. Consumers have their own approach to evaluating the risks and rewards of a lifestyle-oriented drug. The fact that it outperforms placebo in clinical trials matters little: they expect it to be significantly better, and without unpleasant side effects. Companies must weigh these expectations early in the development process. Adjusting the paradigm where the physician is king is a major challenge. The perception that traditional detailing efforts generate the dollars, while consumer marketing only spends them, remains hard to change.
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety will consider available safety data for prostaglandin analogs isopropyl cloprostenate, ethyl tafluprostamide and others with known use in eyelash-growth cosmetic products in the EU. Currently, the substances are not restricted in cosmetic products.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has agreed to buy Mesa Biotech for $450m in cash and Hillrom will acquire Bardy Diagnostics for $375m in cash. Both deals will add complementary digital health solutions, which may be a continued trend in 2021.