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Innovation in drug delivery services can usher in business benefits for category managers

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by Sakthi Prasad
5 November 2014

Drug delivery devices are designed for targeted delivery of a particular drug with the aim of increasing the efficacy of the therapeutic agent.

In general, drug delivery devices cover a wide gamut of therapeutic segments; and the segments where it finds most usage are Injectors and Inhalers.

Category managers in charge of procuring delivery devices in the above two segments usually consider factors such as quality of materials supplied, financial health of the supplier, continuity of supply and so on. All these factors are non-negotiable to a certain extent, meaning there is little room for buyers to compromise on the levels of agreeable quality or supplier performance.

However, procurement teams can derive high business value if they push ""Innovation"" high up the priority list.

Focusing on innovation becomes important because it has the power to satisfy the needs of the three P's: Payers, Pharma companies and Patients.

An innovative drug delivery device, which is also cost effective would satisfy the payers (reimbursement agencies) because of the inherent functionality as well as cost savings opportunities.

For pharma companies, innovative delivery devices can help bring about product differentiation in a world where many drugs are going off patents.

And any innovation that ushers in ease of use would be favorably viewed by the all important P: Patients. Also, FDA mandates the ""ease of use"" of devices, which has to be adhered to by companies.

Considering the evolving nature of delivery devices segment, category managers would have to rethink their current supplier-engagement models so as to incorporate the Innovation factor into their decision making process. And it becomes important for procurement teams to marry the needs of all stakeholders: the three Ps.

There is also a business angle to Innovation: It has become crucial for pharmaceutical companies to partner with the right device designers and manufacturers in order to determine effective technologies that would boost the sales of critical drug portfolios.

For their part, device developers are also coming up with innovative products that are patient-friendly and cost effective. In such a scenario, device manufacturers would have to be prudent in identifying innovations that would strike a balance between offering additional functionalities for patients and ensuring that costs are kept under control.

During the Webinar scheduled for Nov. 12, Swaminathan Narayan, Beroe's Senior Research Analyst -- Drug Delivery Devices, will talk about current technologies that will have a strong impact on innovation in the drug delivery device segment.

Swami will also focus on procurement opportunities for novel device technologies and will discuss about new innovations both in terms of cost and other factors that govern device success (patient adherence levels, data safety etc.).

Importantly, Swami will also spell out a set of KPIs -- relating to Innovation -- to help category managers choose right suppliers in accordance with their needs.

Key Takeaway

  • Innovation in delivery device formats
  • What are the key influencing factors that drive innovation in devices?
  • Key technical and procurement challenges in successfully bringing an innovative package format into the market - additional costs, data security measures, cloud connectivity etc.
  • Case-based scenarios analysing cost effective sourcing of innovative delivery device formats
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