Today, a pharma executive said he was proud of the patient-centricity that he inculcated in his team. I asked him if his team would recommend a competitor’s brand to a patient who couldn’t afford theirs, or point the patient to a better doctor who didn’t Rx their brand? Would they walk his talk?
If they did whatever it took to help a patient (recommend an economical brand, or a better doctor) – they would most definitely be patient-centric. But, if they thought about how it would help them, their sales target or their brand – they would be product-centric. Neither path is right or wrong. It’s just a path you choose to walk.
The question then is, why did the Pharma Executive say something that he was not? I’m sure it wasn’t to impress anyone, so I suspect it came from a misunderstanding of the term “patient-centricity”. Though altruistic, my question made a point.
This is precisely the challenge that senior management faces when it wants to drive change in the organisation. Not enough is explained. People understand what they hear from their own reference points and hence, often misunderstand and/or misrepresent what they hear. Then, they blame their misunderstanding on “jargon”.
A true understanding of “patient-centricity” would lead people at all levels within the organisation to worry or “obsess” about patients. Changing business models or driving innovative thinking for “next orbit growth” need not be themes at annual business meetings then. They would be internalised and practised everyday at every level.
People would understand that collaboration – not competition – is the way to serve patients. That’s the basis for creating health care ecosystems or “platforms” that bring different service providers together with a single purpose. Making the patient’s life better.
Call them patients or prospects or customers or consumers – the point is to obsess over whoever you are creating a product or service for. And since you can’t do everything yourself, bring together everyone who can. *That* would be selfless patient-centricity.