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There's power in collaboration

Over the past few years we have seen the world go through a period of rapid change, facing unexpected challenges and unpredicted turmoil.

These challenges have had a lasting and ongoing impact on the healthcare system, including here in the UK. From budget cuts to resource shortfalls, and talent shortages to long treatment waiting times, it can feel as though the pressure is relentless.

One noticeable phenomenon sparked by this period of global ‘storming’, is an increased concern within healthcare companies about how to do better than competitors, how to ‘one up’ them and stay ahead. However, the majority of complaints coming from customers are not really about what individual companies are doing at all, but about a much bigger issue sparked by the uncertain times and faced by almost every healthcare company out there… the scourge of supply chain issues, amplified by factors such as the need to keep drugs at certain temperatures, storage issues for smaller hospitals, and the other moving parts within the supply chain which can add up to a heavy impact on the healthcare industry. So prevalent are these issues, that one Deloitte industry study found that more than 57% of surveyed healthcare professionals could recall a time when a physician didn’t have the product required for a patient’s procedure1.

So why is it, that in a time where we are facing industry-wide challenges, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies spend such a large portion of time competing with one another rather than taking on the bigger picture as a unified force? Perhaps, it’s time to put the ‘us and them’ aside, to think about how all the players within the industry can come together to solve the biggest problems and to remember who we are ultimately here to help. It’s time to set sail for a green ocean strategy, to create a sustainable space for ourselves and our competitors in the market, to come together to support the NHS and government bodies, and to ensure everyone benefits in the long run – especially the people waiting for treatment with products their care providers currently can’t access. Because ultimately, what we’re all here for is to provide the best standard of care to all patients… isn’t it?

We’re already seeing the beginnings of what the industry can do when we put competition aside and work together. We’ve seen healthcare agencies changing how they conduct pitching with the ‘Pitch Positive Pledge’ – where competing agencies came together to discuss how they wanted to see the pitch process become a more positive one. The competitive nature of pitching was temporarily set aside so the industry could work in harmony to improve things.

And this isn’t just a theory. We have seen what can happen when industry players collaborate during times of uncertainty. Just look at the success of the Covid-19 vaccine development… from the collaboration between AstraZeneca, Oxford University and it’s Vaccitech company to the partnership between BioNTech, Fosun Pharma and Pfizer, the fastest development of a vaccine in history is evidence that when we come together, we can make magic happen.

This is about changing a mindset – to adopt a partnership-centric approach; to be brave and start the conversation. Of course, competition is healthy, and we can all benefit from it, but we must also think laterally to identify where opportunities lie beyond the competition. Healthcare companies should be looking for relationships that understand the wider impact of health and the broader role pharma can play, because together, we can create a more unified industry that ensures better patient outcomes. It’s time to talk about the issues we all face and to discuss how we can come together to overcome the challenges of an evolving world. It’s time to imagine new solutions and to put the patient back into the centre of the picture.

By Asma Shirazi, Page & Page and Partners


20th October 2022


Company Details

Page & Page and Partners

+44 (0)20 8617 8250

Contact Website

The Ministry
79-81 Borough Road
United Kingdom

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