Pharma companies need the data hospitals collect. Source: Shutterstock

Pharma companies need the data hospitals collect. Source: Shutterstock

Why AstraZeneca feels data can transform the pharma industry

DATA is powerful. It helps businesses understand their customers, spot trends, and analyze customer behavior among other things. In a nutshell, data holds the keys to transforming and leading the marketplace.

According to a Financial Times report on AstraZeneca, the company feels data can align the pharmaceuticals industry with healthcare more closely, and transform the two to deliver better outcomes to customers.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot pointed out that health systems and insurers receive a rebate if a certain percentage of patients taking Brilinta (a heart disease drug) suffer a second heart attack.

Soriot believes such a model could be part of the solution for reducing overall health costs in the future. In his opinion, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies need to come to a point where they are able to price a product based on the overall treatment of cost or disease.

Medication that prevents further trouble for patients, heart disease or otherwise, might involve higher costs to develop and produce but also mean significantly lower future costs in terms of recurring hospitalizations and support.

However, in order to make this a reality, the company needs the ministry of health (in every country they operate in) to work on integrating its healthcare infrastructure. Doing so will allow for the collection and management of patient data at every point, irrespective of whether they were treated in a public or private institution.

Soriot sees this as a great opportunity for the UK post-Brexit and feels the government’s support in this regard will not only help the sector go digital but also attract more research funding and investments.

Data can make healthcare more affordable

AstraZeneca is working on using data to improve pricing by reducing the overall, long-term costs per patient, but they’re not the only ones interested in the value that data can create.

Pfizer, Reckitt Benckiser, and several industry leaders are working on using data in interesting ways to transform how they discover new drugs, support customers at various stages, and improve pricing.

However, in order for pharmaceutical companies to really be able to get more out of data, they’ll need the support of all stakeholders in the industry.

These companies aren’t privy to data from actual clinical use of drugs. All they have is data from trials. The former, however, is what they need to gain access to in order to understand how their drugs impact the health of a customer.

In the future, with help from regulators, this data might be made available to pharmaceutical companies — but regulators need to be cautious about ensuring that the information is only used to make improvements to the healthcare system in any country rather than put people at a disadvantage in any way.

Best use cases, as suggested by industry experts, however, show that data can really help regulators, hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies pool their resources together and reduce the overall cost (and quality) of healthcare.