The healthcare industry is in a radical state of transformation, and biopharma players need to adapt to a systems-oriented approach to protect revenues, grow market share and obtain regulatory approval for new treatments.

For decades, healthcare stakeholders – biopharma, providers, payers, physicians, regulators, patients – have operated in a state of isolation, relying on their own processes, skills and intellectual property to deliver standalone solutions. But the era of isolation is over. A profound shift is occurring that demands an integrated model for the discovery, development and delivery of healthcare solutions that encompass the entire healthcare continuum. It requires stakeholders to think holistically about their business processes, focusing on quality, cost and value outcomes that can be achieved only through transparent partnerships with peers and competitors.

To explore this shift toward an interoperable and integrated healthcare system, Quintiles commissioned a survey of nearly 300 healthcare stakeholders. The survey data show that although all industry players are making some moves to support partnerships, foster transparency and adapt their methodologies to benefit from cross-industry initiatives, most of their efforts are cursory and the individual players lack the skills and agility to create lasting and profitable new business models.

The risk/reward scenario is clear. Organizations that embrace systems thinking will be able to harness innovative opportunities to deliver quality-driven therapies faster at lower costs and with greater commercial viability. In contrast, those that eschew this model will struggle, funneling millions of dollars and years of effort into guarded projects that do not reap the benefits of efforts that integrate product development with commercial reality.

Biopharma leaders should be leading this transformation because they are most able to be the catalysts of change. Operating status quo, they have the most at risk if products are not commercially viable after years of investing in them. By breaking down silos and adapting their processes and partnerships to engage other healthcare stakeholders, they can cut time, cost and risk from their development cycle while bringing more transformative treatments to market.

We’ve reached a tipping point in the healthcare industry as it moves toward a more integrated systems-oriented environment. In the next three to five years, the organizations that aggressively adapt their processes to participate in this integrated economy will take charge and will find their positions in the marketplace dramatically enhanced.