Pharma 3.0: Origin and Evolution

November 28th, 2018 - 0 Comments

The present day pharmaceutical industry has earned a new dimension compared to its previous counterparts. The emergence of rapidly changing technology and new processes are changing the overall picture of the pharmaceutical industry, and the change is mostly for good. The changing pharma eras are usually segregated as the following:

Pharma 1.0: There was a time when pharmaceutical companies focused all the available resources to source more information about new drugs to tackle particular types of infections, discover new vaccines and molecules, and research on other healthcare aspects that affected mankind. This model is referred to as Pharma 1.0. The 20th century witnessed the Pharma 1.0 business models. The entire era of research and development intended to deliver blockbuster drugs. Pharma companies were earning billions in these ventures. The traditional Pharma 1.0, which was built on the scaffold of producing blockbuster drugs, paved its way towards a more diversified Pharma 2.0 model. The goal was to bring broader and more diversified product offerings to the global market.

Pharma 2.0: Drug delivery plays an important role in bringing a drug’s therapeutic value to patients. In the face of competition, drug makers were not only competing for new therapeutic entities but also for novel drug delivery systems to fully acknowledge the value of a known drug.

Pharma 3.0: Today’s pharmaceutical industry can be described as Pharma 3.0. It is about reducing the costs, cheaper medicinal alternatives, and greater options to bring drugs to the market. There are low returns compared to the investments. Strict regulatory requirements are important in Pharma 3.0. Companies are merging and collaborating with other players such as IT, medical technology, and food companies. Pharma 3.0 delivers patient-centric products and more importantly, services. Pharma companies have been implementing the patient-centric approach with various pilot projects. Doctors no longer remain the real customers. It is the end user that one has to target as they have access to all the worldwide information. The consumer is aware and more evaluative of the medicines he/she is consuming.

Initially, people were of the opinion that healthcare is where the technology startups opt to die. Pharmacy and technology were not considered to be even remotely related. This outlook has changed. Pharma 3.0 has made a shift from traditional life science companies to those investing in health technology. Technologically-equipped pharma companies have differentiating factors and produce better outcomes.

Pharma 3.0 is the next generation pharma. The emergence of contract manufacturers, Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs), and Contract Research Organizations (CROs) to help and support the future drug innovation owners will redefine, rephrase, and reframe the strategic role of customers. Pharma companies are spreading their wings, have begun delivering, or are rather collaborating with the healthcare industry in new and effective ways to produce better patient and social outcomes.

Pharma 4.0: Pharma 4.0 can be described as a mix of the physical world, people, and data within the industry to increase the overall volume of drugs, and their quality and profit using data analytics. Pharma 4.0 technology will be about continuous, real-time monitoring of manufacturing processes so that any shift from specified parameters can be anticipated and corrected before it deviates. This cuts down costs, time, and loss of products. Pharma 4.0 will focus more on research and development, and more personalized therapies are something to look forward to in this era.

An exciting future awaits the pharmaceutical industry and it will be interesting to see how the pharma 4.0 journey shapes up in terms of the new manufacturing techniques. The future belongs to those who understand the nuances of the changing customer requirements and e-health winds. Companies must shift from simply producing new drugs to demonstrating improvement in health outcomes via initiatives such as smartphone apps, educational websites, social media platforms, and other programs. Companies will have to expand the mission and role of their IT department from a mere support function to an integral part of corporate strategy to thrive in this era. Information will be the currency of choice here.


Pharma 3.0 reflects the quest of the pharmaceutical industry to navigate broader, more diversified product offerings globally. The pharmaceutical industry is facing a challenging business environment. Controlled pricing, cheaper generic alternative, greater alternatives to bring innovative drugs to the market, and unsatisfactory results from research investment stakes are some of the factors responsible. There is a strong need to shift towards the new business model of pharma 3.0, a model that addresses the real need of industry customers and foresees new generation patient requirements. It calls for an upscale focus on product and services specifically designed for health improvement. A successful player in pharma will have to operate multiple business models catering to particular groups of customers in different healthcare systems and demographic environments at the same time. All pharma companies will be challenged to adapt to business models catering to the needs of the present-day requirements. However, the future seems bright.


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