The pharma industry has reached a turning point

  • The pharma industry cannot continue “business as usual”.
  • Patients have too many treatment options and feel pharma “is the enemy”.
  • The industry continues to ignore the most serious patients in need.
  • DTC tries too hard to sell.

Our country is in the midst of change.  The polarizing political climate continues to divide the country, but too many people just don’t have the time to research topics that are important to them.  Despite the fact that many pharma companies have frozen prices the public’s perception of the industry is largely negative.

Over the last few weeks I was reading prescription drug pricing horror stories on social media.  One woman said she cried after spending $600 on insulin while another said that she had wiped out her 401K on co-pays for a cancer drug.  The response from the industry has been a loud silence.

PhRMA has been using social media to promote the industry talking points, but the public isn’t buying it while co-pays rise and the price of new drugs continues to rise.  What’s missing is the genuine, empathetic voice from someone, anyone, within pharma.

The process for getting help in paying for prescription drugs is antiquated at best.  Pharma companies are quick to reach out to Wall Street analysts but God forbid they should reach out to a patient and say “call me, we can help you pay for our medication”.  I’m still waiting for a pharma CEO to say “nobody will ever go without our medication because they can’t afford it”.

With the changes in the market DTC continues to rely heavily on TV.  Their product websites aren’t getting the job done and DTC marketers seem only to care about bad metrics like total number of visitors.


One of the biggest problems facing pharma is talent.  They continue with an outdated hiring process that often takes weeks and weed out the people who  can come in and change a culture that needs to be changed desperately.   People who speak up are often branded as pirates and God forbid we have a person that rocks the boat in our department!

The bottom line is the industry will change or change will be forced upon it, but then again the CEO’s who are making most of the decisions now will be gone with their golden parachutes by then.