Healthy Reputations: The Foundation of Biotech and Pharma Firms’ Future
Rarely has a crisis challenged the healthcare industry like COVID-19.
The pandemic threw public health systems, private healthcare agencies and even governments into states of panic, and all eyes turned toward biotech and pharmaceutical companies for — what seemed at the time — a miracle.
And they were not disappointed.
Biotech and pharmaceutical companies worked in tandem with medical researchers globally to deliver lifesaving solutions that helped decelerate the havoc wreaked by the virus. This swift response resulted in significant reputation gains for these companies in the eyes of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the public.
Now, three years later, it has become essential for biotech and pharmaceutical companies to retain that shine in order to wield a competitive edge in a world where corporate reputation swings the consumer vote in favor of brands.
Corporate Reputation Is Critical
For biotech and pharmaceutical companies, maintaining a strong corporate reputation requires more than delivering high-quality, safe medicines. These companies must build trust and credibility with their customers — be they HCPs or patients.
HCPs are driven by their purpose: improving the quality of life of their patients. They expect biotech and pharmaceutical players to be collaborators in this mission.
In fact, WE’s Brands in Motion survey, “Healthy Reputation: More Than Medicine,” saw HCPs underlining the need for biotech and?pharmaceutical companies to support improving patient health outcomes. The survey — which covered HCPs across six countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia — showed that apart from functional factors (safety, efficacy, price, etc.), company reputation is the most influential factor for HCPs in their decision to prescribe or recommend a drug.
To stay relevant and profitable, biotech and?pharmaceutical firms must strengthen their reputation by looking beyond medical solutions and clinical health. They must use their influence and expertise to address societal issues, and they must contribute to the overall well-being of the community. And to close the loop, they must communicate clearly about the progress and impact of such initiatives.
Focus on Patient Centricity
Investing in patient engagement is a great place to start — patient centricity is the No. 1 characteristic that HCPs want brands to embody, and they place a high priority on patient education and support. But patient engagement is more than just educational pamphlets and websites.
The pharmaceutical industry is equipped with scientific expertise, tools and capabilities to accelerate innovation in patient engagement and elevate the healthcare environment. Companies can support the creation of holistic patient support models that cover the full spectrum of needs — clinical, emotional, financial and logistical. With biotech and pharma backing, patient-engagement programs can integrate human connection with cutting-edge tech tools like AI and data analysis to replace the one-size-fits-all approach with personalized patient support.
Give Back to the Community
At a broader level, biotech and pharmaceutical businesses have the wherewithal to address pressing global issues like climate change and health access for all.
According to the Brands in Motion report,?69% of global respondents believe that pharma and biotech companies need to contribute to solving the world’s environmental problems like carbon?emissions, plastic waste, climate change disasters, and water and air pollution.
Companies must collaborate and coordinate to define common indicators for measuring the environmental footprint of a drug. There is a need for action-oriented dialogue on how environmental sustainability can be combined with safety and comfort for patients.
The industry also has the potential to drive efforts to ensure healthcare access for all. Companies can help take health interventions to the people who need them the most by becoming part of or supporting charitable networks that share the same vision and work at the grassroots level.
Communicate With Transparency
Regardless of how much a company is doing above and beyond producing high-quality medicines, this work won’t influence HCPs or win customer loyalty if they don’t hear about it.
In fact, respondents to the survey said they wanted biotech and pharmaceutical companies to keep them informed about the progress and impact of their various initiatives. They expect companies to be transparent — to talk about both progress and roadblocks, success and setbacks. Both HCPs and customers want to know what brands are doing for their business, their patients and the world at large.
More Than Medicine
Corporate reputation is the North Star for all businesses today.
Biotech and pharmaceutical brands need to go beyond medicines and earn trust and credibility by investing in patient-centric initiatives and societal well-being. And to complete the cycle of engagement, they need to communicate their purpose with integrity and transparency.
Healthy and robust biotech and pharma companies strive to be committed partners to other healthcare actors. Through such partnerships, they can effectively execute their mission to ensure better and safer lives for communities across the world.
Download the full “Healthy Reputation: More Than Medicine” Brands in Motion global report to learn more about recommendations for building brand communications in the healthcare sector.
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