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Capitalising on new drug opportunities in mid-income countries

More can be done in five key therapy areas

Online Physician CommunitiesOpportunities for new drugs in mid-income countries have come under the spotlight, following a survey by Charles River Associates (CRA), which says that more could be done to increase the 'significant value' that they are already delivering in five key therapy areas – namely coronary heart disease (CHD), depression, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and rotavirus infection.

The report recommends national prioritisation, investments in healthcare infrastructure and building better epidemiological and cost databases for effective evaluation of therapies as key ways to address the issue. These are, of course, important, but there is also much that pharma could do to engage with doctors in order to build their knowledge and understanding of such therapies, and to convince them that further investment would be worthwhile.

Oxana Kolosova, managing partner of, a professional online community which covers Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and is part of Networks in Health, says that in some mid income countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus, medicine is still generally opinion-based, key opinion leaders have a strong influence and local pharma companies dominate the market.

She said: “In many middle income countries it is difficult for foreign pharma companies to simply enter the local market and start selling their products. They need to spend time getting to know doctors and building their trust. And the earlier they start engaging with them, the more likely they are to succeed.

“In essence, if they are to convince doctors of the merits of new drugs, they must 'think local but act global'. This means, for example, creating bespoke materials that do not simply overcome the language barrier, but also ensure that messages are couched in an appropriate way that reflects the economic issues of a particular country and other challenges that it faces, compared to the western world.”

Digital channels provide a time and cost-effective method of delivering such messages since they enable pharma companies to target specific groups of doctors with tailored resources, monitor their response and optimise materials accordingly.
Networks in Health can further simplify the process for pharma by managing and co-ordinating promotion or disease awareness programmes centrally but delivering them locally via the locally trusted physician channel in individual countries. This helps ensure that brand presentation and messages are consistent, timely and well targeted as well as being in line with local culture and regulations. Clients also benefit from efficiencies through standardised measurement and reporting, governance and procurement across territories.

For more information on Networks in Health, please email You can also follow Networks in Health on Twitter @netwrksinhealth

25th February 2014

From: Marketing



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Aptus Health is dedicated to advancing health engagement. The company offers end-to-end digital health engagement solutions spanning all areas of...