Survey: Pharma tries "selling outcomes"

Where's the growth? According to a Financial Times survey, a quarter of pharma execs agree that diversifying away from medications and stepping up sales in emerging markets are the way to go. Drugmakers are not only shifting into diagnostics and vaccines, but also are working to boost patients' compliance to their drug regimens for chronic conditions--to keep the sales coming--and are linking payments to performance. "They are shifting...from selling pills to selling health outcomes," said a management consultant who handled the poll.

Think Roche's big buyout of Ventana, the diagnostics firm: It was hailed as a step toward personalized medicine. Patients who'd benefit from Roche meds could be identified with Ventana tests. Or consider Novartis' big diversification push, or Johnson & Johnson's agreement to offer its cancer drug Velcade on a pay-for-performance basis in the U.K.

The execs were also asked about the industry's greatest challenges. Access to new markets and reimbursement problems tied with pricing pressures as the most oft-cited problems. R&D productivity came in a close third.

The survey also found that of execs expect more layoffs and restructuring ahead. Two-fifths say there's still "cost-cutting potential" in sales, and almost as many ID'd marketing as a potential ax victim.

- read the FT article