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The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the healthcare landscape as well as the way patients access healthcare. Due to lockdowns and restricted access to medical facilities since the start of the pandemic, digital services like telehealth and telepharmacy have gone on to play an important role in healthcare delivery.
According to DKSH’s recent Route to Market survey conducted with decision-makers in the pharmaceutical, consumer health, and medical device companies, they are aware of the need to transform and have chosen to outsource sales and marketing for their business growth.
Based on the findings from the survey, here are the three key commercial outsourcing services to tap into during and after the pandemic.
The role of a pharmacist is expected to evolve beyond merely taking orders and counting pills. When customers and patients have limited access to primary care providers, they tend to rely on pharmacists in nearby local stores for medical advice and guidance on their health conditions.
Healthcare brands need to develop a strong and healthy relationship with local pharmacies to sell and promote their products and have adequate information so they can inform patients on medication use and support patient outcomes.
Strong partnership, however, is built up over time, so it might be more cost and time-efficient for healthcare brands to outsource pharmacy sales and promotion to a professional outsourcing company that has the industry expertise and a vast and strong network of pharmacies in the area.
The pandemic has pushed pharmaceutical products and medical devices into new territories as the demand for COVID-related medicines, test kits, and vaccines continues to grow.
Although patients faced some limited access to healthcare services due to lockdowns, they tend to go to hospitals and clinics for COVID-19 tests and vaccines. Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure also rely on essential medicines and medical devices provided by their medical providers to self-diagnose themselves and for assisting doctors in monitoring, analyzing, and managing patient outcomes. Many hospitals also use innovative devices like surgical robots and life-saving devices to help patients get the medical care they need.
In swiftly meeting this rising demand for essential medicines and medical devices, pharma companies and medical device manufacturers prefer to outsource their sales and marketing activities in local hospitals and clinics when entering or expanding into a market. Commercial outsourcing business partners have the right mix of expertise, experience, and market access to help pharma and medical device companies drive revenue, while they can focus on what matters the most, which is product development and production.
COVID-19 has led to growth in the eCommerce sector across most business sectors, especially in healthcare. According to the Healthcare eCommerce Global Market Report 2022 published by ReportLinker, the global healthcare markets grew from USD 261 billion in 2021 to over USD 309 billion in 2022. The market is expected to exceed USD 613 billion in 2026.
The healthcare eCommerce market includes digital sales and marketing of healthcare products and services. As omni-channel eCommerce is becoming more sophisticated and complex, healthcare companies tend to work with a professional outsourcing partner that can provide omni-channel eCommerce support.
The services include digital marketing and channel management, allowing healthcare institutions, healthcare providers, clinics, and pharmacies to order products through different channels quickly, more transparent, and increased efficiency.