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Leveraging the Untapped Patient Pool

1st September, 2016

Category: Consumer Segmentation & Targeting

As pharmaceutical companies growth starts to plateau and drug discovery becomes more and more challenging, the industry is looking at ways in which to continue to maintain profitability whilst growing their accessible market.

Pharmaceutical firms are typically involved in three phases of patient care:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Treatment
  3. Monitoring

But the number of diseases that can be treated is finite, and the competitive landscape within chronic diseases is becoming ever more saturated.

So, how can pharmaceutical companies capitalise on patient healthcare even before the diagnosis phase of a disease?

How can a new market segment be created?

Leveraging the trend to be more patient centric in their approach to care, pharmaceutical companies can actively be involved in prevention versus just cure – and the opportunities are plenty.

Potential patients can be targeted through earlier stages, whether patients are:

  1. Healthy
  2. Aware
  3. At Risk

How can this untapped market be reached?

Nutraceuticals – categorized as dietary fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and other different types of herbal/natural foods. Their value is based on the premise that nutrition is not only essential to maintain good health, but can also prevent common health problems – a simple, yet effective premise for pharmaceutical professionals to adopt.

Whilst there is high awareness around food supplements in Western markets, the challenges in the Middle East come from a limited awareness around this topic. The more pharmaceutical companies can be involved in awareness campaigns, the greater the opportunities they have in terms of capitalising on the untapped patient segment, both in the early stages, alongside diagnosis and treatment phases when drug treatment is required.

The opportunity, however, is clear. The Middle East has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world for both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, areas in which nutraceuticals have historically shown proven delayed onset of disease. The size of this addressable market, alongside the increasingly health conscious population presents a strong opportunity in the region, one that must be capitalised early on in order to truly reap the benefits.

What steps can pharmaceutical companies take now?

There is a wealth of research to be undertaken, to either acquire or create products that best match each individual pharma company’s portfolio. Furthermore, communication strategies will need to be improved to disseminate the targeted information around the breadth of reach the pharma company will now have for end to end patient solutions.

Through working towards improved health across individual patient journey’s, pharmaceutical companies can both maintain a patient centric approach to care, whilst increasing their top and bottom lines.