Until the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world in early 2020, pharma had been pretty resistant to the idea of involving the end-customer, or the patient, into their business models. COVID-19 not only left pharma no choice but to take this challenge head on, it also paved the way for pharma to build extensive awareness of their brands, as several big names have been in the spotlight in the fight against COVID-19. This increased recognition among every day people practically handed pharma the chance to reconsider its direct relationship with patients.

In 2021, there are two main areas expected to rapidly grow for the pharma industry.

This year patient engagement will be at the heart of many pharma companies business models, an approach that typically took a back seat in the past. We will begin to witness newly structured strategies and business models that will greatly change the pace of more traditional routes that carried little-to-no direct engagement with patients.

Being patient centric comes with several benefits to pharma. According to a survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group, “HCPs said they were more willing to engage and work with pharma companies that they perceived as more patients centric, with 50 percent of doctors agreeing that they were more likely to prescribe medication from pharma companies considered to be more patient centric.” Getting HCPs more on board with pharma is crucial for optimal patient health outcomes.

On the innovation side of things, pharma will continue to grow as innovators in the sector by embracing digital and data for personalized patient engagement, and these techniques will start to revolutionize how pharma engages with its end-customers. Last proved to be the year that digital setting really took off, especially in the health care space. More and more patients are choosing to handle their healthy journeys digitally.

According to data reported by BlueNovius (via Accenture), 54 percent of patients want to use their phones to communicate with their healthcare provider, while 79 percent of patients are more likely to select a healthcare provider that allows them to manage their healthcare information online or using a phone.”

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated the use of digital channels across all industries, but pharma has and will continue to incorporate digital engagement in services offered more than ever before. And since HCPs cannot do all the work, pharma is stepping up to improve patient health outcomes through the creation of digital patient engagement tools that benefit both parties.

Time is of the essence – there is no better time than now for pharma to tackle the challenge of sharpening its patient engagement.


  1. https://www.pharmexec.com/view/2021-projections-on-the-future-of-patient-engagement-in-pharma
  2. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/what-patients-want-is-pharma-delivering
  3. https://www.bluenovius.com/healthcare-marketing/digital-patient-engagement/