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The pharmaceutical industry will lose patient trust within 10 years unless it learns to adapt to changes in healthcare delivery, a report claims.
The study, by BT Global Services, the business services and solutions division of BT Group, the privatised UK state telecommunications operator, predicts that by 2016 healthcare will become a commodity in the way energy is today.
The study claims technology will provide a joined-up patient service to meet individual requirements on a daily basis.
The transfer of electronic patient records between hospitals, clinics and GPs is already speeding up treatment times.
But new developments such as tele-health will soon provide virtual consultations that will eliminate all but essential visits to healthcare providers, BT Global Services said.
The firm is now urging the pharmaceutical industry to forge closer links with patients, who will expect to be consulted on new drugs and treatments in the future.
The paper also explores how globalisation will mean drug companies have to share knowledge to counteract the threat of the generics industry in India and China.
Laurie Bowen, managing director for commercial and brands, at BT Global Services, said: â€œPharmas must create a direct dialogue with consumers if they want to become part of the new, joined-up healthcare network.
â€œAs technology facilitates an increasingly close relationship between doctor and patients, pharmas need to reposition themselves.â€
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