Sameer Kolhe consolidated his credentials as a rising star when he was instrumental in new market entries internationally, ensuring robust business growth as part of the international business divisions of Kopran Ltd and then Indoco Remedies Ltd for a good 7-8 years till the year 2011. Sameer Kolhe’s credentials remain unique in that he has the right blend of multitude of strategic skills. Developing businesses in difficult markets using strategic moves, he remains an ace at his profession. Adding to this are his technical knowledge in the pharmaceutical space, and insights in finance in an industry with huge implications more so after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patients have always been at the centre of the healthcare industry and most of the efforts have been dedicated to improve the efficacy of treatments. While this isn’t exactly a discovery but more a fact ever since humans understood the value of lessening pain and trauma thru external medications, the idea has undergone further and humongous changes with emphasis on efficacy of medication, reducing side effects, lowering of costs and boosting productivity. A major aspect which has not been at the centre of the attention is compliance or convenience. In the Indian context, unlike the west, things are more than a tad slower for multiple reasons.
That though is changing, and rightly so for reasons that include:
- Increased awareness in people as they get ready to experiment with newer dosage forms of medicines and wellness products. Some interesting examples include chewable forms instead of standard tablets or Probiotic drops which can be mixed with water or food for easy consumption.
- A need to change from the monolith system of healthcare and medication to something more flexible but equally (if not more) effective in drug delivery that can improve compliance
- A need to move into means that causes less trauma and provide long term relief while maintaining the efficacy of treatments. For example pain management patches provide a long term alternative to gels, sprays or creams.
While the industry is slowly realizing the value created by patient centric treatments, there is a clear trend emerging. There are some dosage forms that have shown a marked acceptance among the public, due to convenience, efficiency, and efficacy at what it does best! These, among others include:
- Probiotics for infants & kids in the form of drops! Be it a cholic-afflicted infant or a toddler finding it difficult to chew or swallow medication of any kind, the best way to administer it could be in the form of drops that are administered straight into the mouth or mixed with the food. The most interesting fact about probiotics is that they are those ‘good bacteria’ which are friends of our digestive systems. This helps us reduce the dependency on chemical medicines which are generally hated by kids. There is growing awareness about probiotics and many people are making them a part of daily lives for healthy living.
- Chewable gummies: If you thought these were only for kids and decided not to take them seriously then you could be mistaken. The systematic innovation has taken this form of drug delivery to some niche areas like eye care! Yes, eye-care that stands head-over-shoulder to mundane things including bone density, general health and immunity, and daily nutritional needs. Take the case of eye-care. Gummies with antioxidants having strong anti-inflammatory properties are known to reduce inflammation after surgeries, reduce eye damage brought about by retinopathy, delay the progression of cataract and AMD in adults, improve quality of tears besides helping protect the eyes from UV rays. While it may seem a tall order, this has been achieved by known pharma companies in India and is well accepted by healthcare professionals and patients alike.
- Transdermal Patches: Remember the time not so long ago when the only cure for a sprained ankle was a pungent greasy cream that smeared itself to anything that your leg touched from linen to sofas to clothes? And in hindsight, you now know that it wasn’t such a great relief after all. The same applied to so many such applications, lotions, and potions whose use affected the normal way of life by impacting movement or adding a constant uneasy feeling. Patient-centric dosage forms have brought change in this direction with the introduction of transdermal patches which contain natural ingredients and can provide relief through the skin as effectively as the traditional options. The added advantage is highly convenient application which does not affect regular movement of the person using it. Be it a sprained ankle or knee, pains in the back, neck, shoulders, or other region for reasons arising out of torn cartilages, muscles or even bones, all it calls for are these patches which need to be applied to the affected area(s). At the same time, these patches come in customized shapes for specific set of muscles. The most interesting one I have used is the knee patch which has a unique two-faced design. Such innovations are adding value to people’s lives by allowing them to continue their regular lifestyle while the treatment is ongoing.
These in fact, are the proverbial tips of the healthcare industry’s innovative delivery system iceberg which is truly vast and with their own set of challenges. These newer interventions are making things easy for every stakeholder in the process right from patients who stand at the centre and get most of the benefit, to companies whose newer dosage forms while helping them stay close to patients, brings price premium, brand equity and customer loyalty; to medical practitioners who get to see happier patients with far less reservations in consuming medicines.
Given the way patients, caregivers and doctors are going for value added dosage forms, it’s only a matter of time before they become a routine for us. These in fact are likely to become the mainstay in medication in some time.
Stay with us for more. It only gets more interesting hereon in the world of patient-centric medications!