Antengene Corp. appointed Thomas Karalis as head of Asia Pacific Regions.

“Put the patient first.” It’s every pharma marketer’s favorite buzz-phrase in 2020. And why not? Patients are our real customers; they use and (hopefully) benefit from our products, and their wants and needs drive the success or failure of everything we do.

With 270 million Americans currently under a “stay at home” directive, only activities deemed “essential” are happening in person. In healthcare, which relies significantly on personal connections – between patients and HCPs, HCPs and pharma reps, and even marketers and their teams – there have been dramatic shifts in the way we all work and operate over the last couple of weeks.

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. physicians (73 percent) reported not being able to test patients quickly and easily for coronavirus, despite 50 percent reporting that they had treated at least one patient with possible COVID-19 symptoms, according to a nationwide survey of more than 2,600 physicians on the Doximity network.

Public safety is the world’s singular goal as mandatory quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, travel restrictions, and mandatory work-from-home policies go into effect to curb the spread of COVID-19. In response, many biopharmaceutical companies are shifting how they work: Amarin withdrew part of its field force, while Amgen and Merck have instructed their sales teams to halt all in-person meetings with physicians and hospitals.

According to a study released by Infogroup, a provider of data and data-driven intelligence solutions, four in five consumers say they are more concerned about privacy than they used to be – a tendency marketers ought to keep in mind.

A quarter of healthcare organizations’ revenue is tied to value-based payments, according to a survey by the healthcare data analytics and policy company DataGen. Those with 550 or more beds reported the largest portion of risk, with an average of 37.9 percent of revenue tied to VBP.

In these days of the COVID-19 epidemic, many in the pharma industry are facing the challenge of accessing their customers and engaging in communication. The good news is that there are virtual solutions and approaches that are proven to deliver when in-person selling is limited or no longer an option.

The Bloc’s Dan Sontupe explores why the failure to educate patients about their conditions and treatment plans is a far bigger driver of healthcare costs than the price of prescription drugs.

Fingerpaint’s Ed Mitzen wrote a book about factoring empathy into ad agency culture. The new publication is titled “More Than a Number: The Power of Empathy and Philanthropy in Driving Ad Agency Performance.” Med Ad News chatted with him about the reasons for writing the book and what he hopes clients, as well as managers in other industries, can learn from how things are done at the agency.