Blockbuster Healthcare: Innovation Lab

October 11, 2017 at Zurich, Switzerland (2 days, client event)

Innolab is a fast and focused process for strategy and innovation, brands and marketing projects.

The process helps you to accelerate your best ideas to market, working with your key people, stretching and shaping their thinking, and guiding them through the phases of insight and ideation, design and evaluation, strategy and implementation. The process is built around three key workshops, typically two-days each, with some work in between:

  • Future Lab – opening up through insight and ideation, from the future back
  • Innovation Lab – creatively shaping and evaluating the best concepts
  • Action Lab – defining a strategy and implementation plan

Innolab is a well structured, practical and proven process for taking your team rapidly through the phases of problem-solving and creative development. It can be used for any form of business or brand strategy development, innovation of new products, concepts and businesses.

Building patient-centric brands

Pharma companies often express their desire to be patient-centric organisations. Whether “inspired by patients, driven by science” (UCB);  “science and patients … the heart of everything we do” (AstraZeneca); or being “a global integrated healthcare leader focused on patients’ needs” (Sanofi), the industry has enthusiastically grasped the idea of patient-centricity. Of course, its how they behave, not just what they say that matters. But an orientation around patients is a good starting point, to thinking and behaving in a more human, relevant and outcomes-driven way.

In simple terms, patient-centricity means placing the patient at the centre of business activity and to consider how decisions about business will affect the patient. This seems far-fetched but there are in fact many aspects of a pharma company’s operation that can be re-imagined to be more aligned with the interest of the patient. They include:

  • Drug Discovery
  • Formulation
  • Drug Delivery Device Development
  • Clinical Trial Design
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Sales
  • Supply-Chain Management.

What is most significant is in how patient-centric thinking truly permeates leadership and decision making, and in particular

  • Leadership that drives the culture in every one of its words and actions
  • Business innovation that embraces it in business models and strategic development
  • Strategic planning that reformats future plans around patients not sales first
  • Payment models built around outcomes not traditional reimbursements
  • Performance incentives likewise built around patients

Fortunately for patients in need of better therapies and experiences, the vast majority of pharma companies have started a journey towards more patient-centricity. While no hard metrics exist that can track success of such initiatives, annual patient-centricity ranking and awards published by industry organizations nevertheless attempt to provide a degree of feedback to the industry.

In a 2013 survey on patient-centricity by research firm Patient-View, for example, ViiV Healthcare (the GSK & Pfizer joint venture focussed on HIV therapies), Gilead, AbbVie, Menarini and Janssen occupied the top 5 spots. Fast forward to 2016 and a review of the eyeforpharma Barcelona Awards 2016 shows not a single one of these companies won in the “Most Valuable Patient Initiative or Service” category, arguably the award most focussed on patient-centricity. Instead, Sanofi took the top spot, and Merck, Roche, Novartis and TEVA were the remaining nominees. UCB, with its renewed focus on the patient, did particularly well that year with 3 nominations and 1 award across categories.

It is noteworthy that even generic pharma companies are focusing more on the patient. The behemoth of the category, TEVA, has a number of initiatives in this space, and the CEO of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, India’s largest maker of generic pharmaceuticals, recently shared in an interview that all innovation at his company has to be patient focussed.

Patient-centricity in pharma is not a fad – it is decidedly here to stay. The reason for this is very simple: Being patient-centric is good for the bottom line. In a 2015 survey by Pharma Marketing News, an impressive 86% of pharma executives either agreed or strongly agreed that “a focus on patient-centricity is the best route to future profitability”.


Developing a patient-led brand strategy, white paper by Couch

2017 the year of patient-centric creativity, 6 steps to get started, article by ZineOne

Humanising the patient-centric brand experience with social media, ebook by Aspire


Find out more and book >