Today’s post comes to us from our GLOBALHealthPR partner in the United Kingdom, Aurora Healthcare Communications.

In England, we often hear that the National Health Service is the envy of the world. But is it really?


To find out, we decided to contact GLOBALHealthPR to ask the partners in the network about their perceptions of the NHS, comparisons with their own healthcare system and which health system is deemed the worst in the developed world.

Guess what? The NHS is not big news elsewhere and awareness of the service is limited. Any positive mentions are generally related to processes, such as NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), and the system is only ever really understood by healthcare professionals and journalists. The public doesn’t really care; they have their own healthcare systems to consider.

But what does this mean for pharma? 

In a world where we interact globally, it increasingly seems that individual countries’ healthcare systems want to stay in their silos, focusing inwards. Surely this cannot be good for pharma trying to launch new medicines and technologies across the globe, right? Pharma therefore needs to offer local value propositions across a global market place in a way that is cost effective for their customers and their own business.

So what can pharma do to make it easier?

  • Segmenting audiences and understanding the key decision makers in every single healthcare system is absolutely vital. But having a long list of names and job titles isn’t enough. Pharma should be looking to understand how their key stakeholders interact with each other and who influences who. This needs to be done on a global scale, with the information broken down locally.
  • Good value will mean different things to different healthcare systems and different localities, but also to each individual whether they work in a clinical or payer capacity. Ensuring pharma understands these nuances when presenting value propositions is a must. A one size fits all approach just doesn’t work. This understanding comes with extensive relationship building with key stakeholders across a vast landscape.
  • Recognise that corporate brand reputation is a powerful ally. There will be times when your new medicine isn’t seen as a priority by certain customers in certain healthcare systems. How else can you help? What added value can you bring to make your key customers’ jobs easier? Building relationships for the long term will ensure you reap the benefits when you have a proposition valued by your customers.

As with any new product launch, understanding the customer and preparing the marketplace is often more important than the launch itself. It seems that in a world in which we interact globally, our understanding of, and interaction with, healthcare systems is still very much localised. Pharma should be doing the same.

What else do you believe pharma needs to do to be competitive in this global/local marketplace? Have you got the tools to truly understand your stakeholders?

If you would like to learn more about how to map your stakeholders and understand how they influence each other, please get in touch.