The pharmaceutical business model is changing radically. The NHS has completely re-vamped its buying model, which has created more uncertainty in the healthcare sector, and uncertainty is generally associated with cost-control. It is now the more flexible and multi-channel approach, supported by appropriate education and evidence-based information, which is rapidly becoming the blueprint for commercial success.
The need for flexibility and cost control has meant more companies are choosing to partner with contract sales organisations (CSOs) in longer-term framework agreements. CSOs are helping their clients not only to change their sales models from a focus on detailing to a focus on key account management, but are also bringing innovations from other markets as well as providing new solutions for market access challenges. As a result, there is increased demand for service providers with broad and integrated service portfolios and international experience.
Over the past 16 years, Ashfield has responded to these shifting sands of the pharmaceutical industry, and developed a comprehensive service portfolio that belies its origins as a small Contract Sales Organisation. The business has subsequently grown beyond recognition.
This spring, the whole of the Ashfield business unites under the divisional brand of Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services. The development brings our organisation together and, at a time when the industry is looking for trusted strategic partners to unlock growth, will help us collaborate both locally and internationally to provide compelling integrated solutions for our clients.
Our market-leading portfolio offers world-class services and expertise across a diverse range of disciplines; medical communications, marketing consultancy, market research, market access, business intelligence, clinical nurse educators, medical information, pharmacovigilance, meetings and events management, training and, of course, sales teams.
With operations in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, Japan, and South America, and ambitions for future growth into Australia, Africa and the emerging markets, Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services offers the powerful combination of a full-service integrated portfolio and a truly international market presence.
It’s a new breed of CSO – one where sales expands to services and solutions – one which is designed to help pharmaceutical and healthcare companies develop ingenious solutions to improve patient access to medical innovations.
The pharmaceutical business model is definitely changing and it’s clear that pharma companies are increasingly looking to complement in-house capabilities with partners like Ashfield, who can provide collaboration, innovation and expertise to drive growth.
Chris Corbin is the CEO and Managing Director of Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services and Executive Director of UDG Healthcare.