It is a well-known fact that in today’s capitalist society, money comes first. Companies and individuals want to make a profit from wherever they can, even if someone has to suffer along the way. The business carries the day. In a money minded world, it is not surprising to hear about corruption, learn about scams and fraudulent undertakings to line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Pharmaceuticals, just like government offices and conglomerates are not immune to the bad reputation of the money first mentality.
Sick victims will accuse their companies of working them too hard with little pay. Patients will accuse pharmaceuticals of administering medicines that made them sicker. Why? For an extra buck. To profit from another man’s illness. Some will go as far as to accuse the same pharmaceutical giants of treating diseases and with-holding the cure, to churn a profit in the billions. The pharmaceutical industry is rich and complicated.
When then, do they start looking out for the poor man? How can they balance their need for profit, with a goal for restored full health? The pharmaceutical industry is being pushed to establish a duty of care attitude by the society and government after several lawsuits filed against them every year. The duty of care attitude is an obvious one, put people first. However, with shareholders and investors at bay, it may be hard to implement the utilitarian strategy.
The time for pharmaceuticals is currently difficult, enough for them to start reconsidering their business models. There are several concerns due to strained government budgets for health care and they also need to learn and adopt new technology. Recently technology has been a mode of conveying services to customers in a more convenient way. Citing cheaper, faster and more quality services online and via phone. Adopting a favorable tech business model to improve customer service for hospitals, healthcare facilities and the ill can be a good way o start building goodwill again.
It is also an opportunity to make money if it is executed in a smart way, perhaps through remittance fees and the likes. Pricing models can also be adjusted to represent the true market value of drugs. Today there are several generic drugs available in the market that customers can buy at half the price of the original that will do the same job. These drugs appeal to customers because they are pocket-friendly. Adjusting prices of the more expensive drugs will enable more access to sick patients, and competition between the two drug categories. The stifling rules and bureaucratic processes also need to change to make a positive change in the pharmaceutical industry for the benefit of the sick.
Pharmaceuticals have also been known to use a silo management system. Meaning the different levels are cut off from the rest. Research and development exist separately from commercial, which is separated from the production department and the supply chain section as well. This kind of management is dysfunctional in the way that the business is run, it eliminates free communication which could lead to better market positioning and client satisfaction. More than that, access to each of these departments freely can breed inefficiency and obstruct patient access.
This causes dissatisfaction on both ends, because the customer will not buy from a detached seller, and as a result, there will be no profit making. Today consumers are very well informed of the medication prescribed and even of the illnesses they experience. In the age of information, consumerism has advanced and consumers are playing a critical role in the medication they take now more than ever. The change in consumer behavior is affecting the pharmaceuticals, policymakers, and payors.
Consumers are having more of a say in the kind of drugs being manufactured, return on research investment and the role they play in patient compliance. It comes down to being more humane in a capitalist world.