Facing Challenges Together

Collaboration In The Pharma Industry

Collaboration is important, especially when it is about facing challenges together. Lately, more and more pharmaceutical companies are collaborating with other companies, organizations, patients, and even with competitors. Where is this trend coming from and what are the main challenges being faced?

Sharing resources and expertise are usually the benefits of a collaboration. Pharmaceutical companies know especially how important it is to have partners these days when facing challenges like expiring patents or the emergence of new regulations. Hardly a day goes by when there is not an announcement about a new partnership. However, it is important not to mix-up simple cooperation with collaboration. While a cooperation describes the process of working together for a common benefit, a collaboration encompasses relationships and interaction. A collaboration is a cooperation but the partnership is much stronger and more powerful.  

ncreasing productivity, saving time and money or making new discoveries are only some of the benefits which come along with technological progress. New technologies provide promising opportunities but they also bring challenges. Body sensors for example measure health parameters. This is a comfortable way of collecting data and helps to ensure real-time monitoring of patients. Pharma companies who want to realize procedures like this need to possess essential knowledge first. Therefore, collaborating with technological companies is often the first step to gaining this knowledge.

Finding treatments for complex diseases often requires collaboration too. In this instance, sharing expertise plays a big role, especially when governmental aims have to be fulfilled. Take for example, the UK Prime Minister's challenge in dementia 2020. This challenge has been set by the Prime Minister in 2012 in order to improve UK's dementia care and support. The key themes of this challenge are risk reduction, health and care, dementia awareness, social action and research. In order to achieve these commitments, pharma companies are collaborating with organizations like the Alzheimer's Society. 

While patients have usually been the passive receivers of treatment, they are now willing to get more engaged with pharmaceutical companies. Healthcare providers like the NHS have noticed that patients wish to get more involved regarding their treatments. Incorporating the patients view has two big advantages: drug development becomes more effective and communication between pharma companies and their patients is improved.

The benefits of collaboration seem to be obvious. However, to make a collaboration successful, pharma companies have to recognize the benefits first. A simple cooperation is not enough to face the challenges of the pharmaceutical industry these days. Sharing expertise and resources works best when there is mutual trust and continual interaction.

References:

http://www.pharmexec.com/pharma-must-move-beyond-cooperation-true-collaboration

https://www.technologynetworks.com/drug-discovery/articles/the-importance-of-collaboration-in-the-pharmaceutical-industry-299095

http://medicalfuturist.com/disruptive-technology-pharma/