The pharmaceutical industry has been evolving throughout the years due to a whole range of factors that include global consumer demographics, emerging health issues per sector, and technological innovations in product development and marketing, among others. But no matter what generation, the industry has provided a core service to consumers by providing solutions and remedies to various ailments and diseases.
As the industry moves forward in the future, there are several trends that will shape the way it operates in the local and global level. Below are just four of these trends.
Without any doubt, medicinal, wellness, and other healthcare related products are a necessity in any part of the world, so associated expenditures are expected to reflect this reality. In the U.S., a report indicated that national spending on prescription medicines will grow from 4 percent to 7 percent within the next four years. By 2021, prescription medicine expenditures will reach $580 billion to $610 billion. In contrast, U.S. consumers spent under $500 billion in 2016, but when adjusted for discounts and rebates, fell below $400 billion. The expenditure figures show consistent growth in the industry and are expected to increase in the future.
Cloud Computing and E-commerce
Many industries have gone digital with the introduction of new cloud computing technology. This has led to more tech-savvy consumers going online to search for pharmaceutical or healthcare related information.
This innovation has led to a surge in e-related services. In fact, some doctors and other healthcare providers are now issuing e-prescriptions to their clients. In fact, the EU has been promoting this method and around 70 percent of doctors in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden are now releasing prescriptions electronically.
Cloud computing technology has also paved the growth of e-commerce within the industry. Amazon, one of the key players in this emerging sector, has begun this type of service in Japan. Industry experts say that this could potentially bring in billions to the online retail giant despite the e-commerce challenges of adhering to prescription laws.
Industries survive through product and technological development. Research development is the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry, and in recent years, new products have been introduced to serve an emerging clientele.
These innovations include biosimilar and biologic products. It also includes applying bionics in the development of medical and pharmaceutical products. An example of an innovative product in development is a tattoo that can be used to monitor glucose levels in patients suffering from diabetes.
New Digital Marketing Trend
With new products being introduced in the future, pharmaceutical sales training will also evolve to incorporate new marketing trends.
Promoting and marketing pharmaceutical products, in the past, always involves an infusion of funds. In the United States alone, spending on promotions increased from US$11.4 billion to US$29.9 billion between 1996 and 2005. But another study said that the figures are actually around $57.5 billion. Despite the huge spending, the industry has been lagging in terms of adopting digital marketing strategies, registering only $1.64 billion in online and mobile advertising expenditures last year. But this figure is expected to nearly double in the coming year.
However, huge social media platforms have developed their own programs attracting health marketers. Social media giant Facebook, in particular, has apparently reached out to pharmaceutical companies so they can tap into a new service that would increase their visibility across the social media platform.
While pharmaceutical related expenditures continue to soar, there is also a call to consider consumer spending capacity. Consumer demand and demographic health trends could potentially drive the industry forward, but there are other factors that will come into play. These factors include health and medical care policies that will be introduced by policy makers in the coming years.