In a time where the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in healthcare have changed considerably, pharmaceutical companies face different challenges and opportunities compared to ten years ago. It is no longer sufficient to provide individual stakeholders with information through direct dialogue and indirect communication: stakeholders now interact with and influence each other to a large extent, resulting in new processes of decision-making based on new combinations of arguments. In many countries, like Sweden, decision-making is even more difficult to understand and predict due to the different levels of decision-making: local, regional, and/or national.
Stakeholders have also changed their attitude towards and expectations on pharmaceutical companies, resulting in varying interest to communicate and cooperate with “the industry”. As a consequence of these changes, Stakeholder Management has become a critical competence for success.
Pharmaceutical companies need to:
- Know their stakeholders and their main contact persons
- Understand their stakeholders: their roles, their responsibilities and their interaction within and between stakeholder groups
- Manage their stakeholders: prioritize contact persons, develop long-term relationships, follow changes
- Influence their stakeholders where necessary and relevant, making sure stakeholders have up-to-date information and are not limited by false information or incorrect assumptions.
Successful stakeholder management offers pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to take the lead and develop strong, long-lasting relationships with relevant stakeholders based on mutual interest and mutual respect. It enables companies to provide input in discussions and decision-making as well as to better predict on-going and planned changes in healthcare systems.
Successful stakeholder management not only requires certain competence and skill sets but may also involve organizational changes. Opticom has helped many pharmaceutical companies to optimize their Stakeholder Management by means of one or more of the following services: