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10 IDC Predictions for Commercial Life Sciences in 2020

December 17, 2019

by Judy Hanover, Senior Director Life Science Product Marketing

Recently, Model N hosted Mike Townsend, Research Director for IDC’s Worldwide Life Sciences Commercial Strategies practice. Mike shared his thoughts on the coming year in commercial life sciences with our customers and prospects as well as the larger commercial life science community.

Many of you may know Mike from his appearances at industry conferences and events, and he’ll also be joining Model N at Rainmaker 2020, March 11-13, 2020.  For this end-of-the-year briefing he focused on the trends we’ll be talking about in the coming year, and the predictions specific to commercial life science.

Taking a high-level approach, Mike focused on several important trends driving the predictions, which included:

  • The continuing focus on digital transformation, including progress in mobile, IoT, cloud, security and analytics as well as the emerging emphasis on AI, blockchain and AR/VR.
  • Patient engagement as it affects areas across the business, with payers, providers and life sciences companies all struggling to adjust to the consumerization of patients and their demand for input and information about the services and products providers prescribe.
  • The unrelenting pricing pressure manufacturers are experiencing, both when it comes to reducing or limiting increases in prices for drugs and devices (gross and net prices), and the transparency demands of patients and regulators.
  • The expected impact of regulatory changes like the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) and other emerging bills and proposals.

Looking forward, Mike offered two predictions specifically for the commercial life science organizations participating in this webinar, in addition to the more general life science predictions published by IDC. These predictions focus on how manufacturers will embrace innovation and technology while also sorting through new compliance requirements in the coming year.  The commercial life sciences predictions included:

  1. Revenue management in life sciences is moving to the cloud. IDC has estimated that 4% of life sciences (pharma and biotech) revenue is lost to revenue leakage and IDC has determined that staying on top of the latest contract automation technology by leveraging the cloud means keeping revenue leakage lower.  At Model N, our cloud customers appreciate the strong ROI and ability to avoid complexity even while embracing more powerful capabilities.  These benefits have led many Model N contracting, government pricing, rebate and chargeback customers to our cloud, and we expect more to follow in 2020.
  2. Life science companies are investing in mobile, cloud and IoT digital transformation capabilities. Mike cited a recent IDC Global IoT Decision Maker 2019 survey that indicated this transformation was already occurring at 40% of biopharma companies surveyed, alongside cloud transformation at 30% of these companies, making it a high strategic priority.  Model N’s product direction clearly reflects this.


Highlights from the life science predictions included:

  1. Economics will drive the near-term use of real-world evidence (RWE) in quantifying best practices and value in the life sciences, resulting in 50% of strategic insights directly supported by RWE by 2021. With real time apps come RWE, and RWE is becoming a critical part of assessing value from medicines and devices while supporting regulatory approvals.  The breakthrough device approval process is a direct example of this and is expected to proliferate with new device approvals in 2020.  RWE is also being used to add alternate indications for existing drugs and devices with improved time to market and approval.
  2. By 2021, 50% of health organizations will leverage technology to integrate all dimensions of health to deliver personalized care and receive compensation for improved outcomes. Value based agreements and outcome-based contracting will be top of mind in 2020, with expanded value-based pricing and contracting strategies becoming a key part of manufacturers go-to-market portfolio.
  3. By 2021, 50% of healthcare organizations will leverage technology to deliver personalized care, with incentives for improving outcomes. To do this, they will leverage medications and devices alongside apps and connected care.
  4. By 2022, 30% of pharma companies and 40% of healthcare providers will offer apps to improve medication adherence and/or patient engagement. Medication adherence is crucial to achieving outcomes and driving patient loyalty that leads to adherence.  Manufacturers are increasingly recognizing this and working with providers to create and market apps that drive adherence via engagement.
  5. By 2022, 20% of healthcare and 30% of life science companies will have achieved data excellence with analytics that support human-machine collaboration. By 2023, 30% of health and life science organizations’ business and clinical decisions will be informed by AI insights.  Analytics isn’t enough on its own, actionable analytics needs to be automated and integrated into workflows and decision-making so that the right information is available at the right place and time, more often.  At Model N we are designing our products for clean data and achieving data excellence through good data governance, while minimizing human error and making information available inside workflows through RPA and automation.

If you missed the webinar and would like to hear the replay and learn about the additional predictions, click here.  You can also check out the full report on IDC Health Insights website here, for more predictions and expert analysis.  To speak with someone at Model N about our products and solutions,  email for more information.

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