How to become more patient-centric in pharma

Hear insights from Heidi Padilla, Director of Customer Engagement at GSK, on how to transform your patient-centric marketing practices

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Pharma IQ
12/09/2020

Ahead of Pharma IQ’s exclusive one-day masterclass, we caught up with Heidi Padilla, Director, Customer Engagement at GSK, to explore the powerful impact taking a patient-centric approach can have in an evolving health landscape.

Pharma IQ: What benefits do patient-centricity offer a pharma organization?

Heidi Padilla: The Covid-19 pandemic has really pushed the pharmaceutical industry to more broadly seek a patient-centric approach in healthcare, focusing on new infrastructure and remote capabilities that allow patients to continue to access medication and treatment during this time. It makes perfect sense to design solutions and services around the patient, because they are the ones who are fundamentally using the products we are creating, or the therapies and services we provide.

A patient-centric approach can offer organizations numerous benefits if implemented correctly and which positively link to patient safety and clinical effectiveness. This approach can also solve the unmet emotional needs of patients, while ensuring they are more engaged and well managed, especially in terms of adherence and control.

Pharma IQ: What is the best way to operationalize patient engagement?

HP: In my experience, I found using a 360 CRM solution is a great source for operationalizing patient engagement. Healthcare providers (HCPs) are able to communicate with patients effectively and receive insights in a timely manner, which can be used to ensure patient adherence and create richer experiences that engage patients with physicians and partners. Integrating a modern 360-degree-view CRM solution also allows pharma companies to break away from legacy architecture and siloed data sources, which will help to transform the pharma industry’s digital economy. 

Pharma IQ: What marketing solutions exist for those struggling to solve the patient-centricity crisis?

HP: In a world where the patient is becoming more empowered to understand their own healthcare, it is more important than ever for marketers to deliver information about a healthcare brand that is relevant, actionable and engaging. While there are some patient-centric marketing solutions that exist in pharma to boost patient engagement with brands such as high social media engagement and value-driven content, these solutions are not always very efficient. This is because the industry has not been fully integrated into the digital world. As a starting point, if the industry continues to participate in discussions on how to transform its digital economy, naturally these discussions will lead to the discovery of new engagement opportunities with patients and new marketing solutions.

In addition, by incorporating a design thinking approach to our marketing strategies will mean we are taking an immediate human-centered approach to our marketing. We will be considering the value of patients in our processes and working in partnership with patients from the very beginning.  

Pharma IQ: How do you see the pharma industry developing its patient-centric strategies for the future?

HP: Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic technology in pharma. We are seeing AI emerge in research and development to accelerate high content screening – a key element of early drug discovery – and clinical operations to make it simpler for HCPs and researchers to access patient data. Going forward, however, I do see AI-powered predictive models being used more and more to enhance the patient journey from pre-diagnosis to adherence, validating data insights and helping clinicians better understand adherence, patient drop-off risks, treatment and clinical decision-making.

I also see the pharma industry taking more of an enterprise-wide approach to the patient-centricity mission and its importance, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing new challenges of remote patient and HCP communication to the surface. I believe we will see pharma companies instilling patient-centricity as a core value, which begins with the hiring process and encouraging employees to improve the patient experience by constantly putting themselves in the patient’s shoes, so they can frame project work around the patient story.

Save your free seat at Pharma IQ’s exclusive one-day masterclass to discover how design thinking, digital transformation and connected packaging can advance your digital communication strategy on the patient and amplify the customer-brand connection in an increasingly digitalized business world.

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