DKSH’s Role in Shaping Healthcare Progress in Asia Pacific

Through digitalization, focus on specialty and chronic care, and patient engagement.

In Asia Pacific’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, significant transformations are underway. The integration of digital health solutions, the transition to a value-based care approach, and the growing role of patient engagement are some of the key examples. In this article, Bijay Singh, Global Head of Healthcare Business Unit at DKSH, shares insights and observations on how the market is progressing and underscores the critical role of the right partner for success. 

As part of its mission to enrich people’s lives, DKSH has been instrumental in supporting companies as they navigate and expand their presence in the Asia Pacific region. Building on its deep understanding of the complexity of the region, the company supports clients in pharmaceutical and medical device industry with extensive modernized distribution and logistics infrastructure, along with commercial outsourcing. To support customers, the company also expanded its brand ownership with the acquisition of brands such as muscle relaxant Myonal. To connect all stakeholders and solve challenges for patients, DKSH is now also offering additional value-added services such as Patient Support Programs and home care services. 

Given its proven track record, DKSH has been awarded the right to commercialize key portfolios for pharmaceuticals and medical device clients looking to expand their footprint in the region. Some notable examples include the partnership with Dexcom to launch the G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring system in Southeast Asia, helping patients with diabetes in better manage their conditions. Additionally, we recently announced partnership with Glenmark to bring a wide range of products, focusing on dermatology, respiratory, cardiovascular, and women health, to Vietnam.  

Digitalization Trends in Healthcare 

Although the adoption of technology in healthcare, particularly in digital communications, may not have progressed as rapidly as in fast-moving consumer goods, over the years, there have been significant changes in customer behaviour and the way healthcare professionals engage with patients. Within DKSH, we have observed that our customers, including healthcare providers, pharmacists, and doctors, are increasingly open to engaging through digital channels. This trend has prompted our investment in eCommerce platforms and digital platforms, facilitating easier access to physicians.   

This shift has paved the way for adopting digital platforms and technologies to gain insights and engage with patients. Healthcare practitioners are increasingly appreciating the convenience and accessibility of online education and information, enabling them to stay updated and engage with patients more effectively. 

The Need for Patient Engagement in Specialty and Chronic Care 

Another notable change in the healthcare landscape is the growing focus on specialty medicines and the treatment of chronic care. While primary care diseases have seen significant advancements and availability of cheaper genericized treatments, specialty diseases require more targeted and personalized approaches. The pharmaceutical industry has witnessed remarkable advancements in areas such as oncology, with the development of targeted therapies and novel treatment options. 

The emergence of specialty diseases has led to a greater need for patient engagement and support. Pharmaceutical companies emphasize the importance of engaging with patients in a compliant manner and providing them with the necessary resources and information. For example, Cancer 101 – The Cancer Navigation Program is an initiative owned and managed by Roche. The program helps patients and carers access the right information in a timely manner to empower them to make informed decisions so that they can get the right diagnosis earlier and initiate suitable treatment earlier, and recently won Customer Experience of the Year Award in Hong Kong.  Patient support programs serve as a valuable tool for fostering patient engagement, addressing their specific needs, and providing ongoing support beyond the doctor’s office. 

Connecting Our Clients With Patients Through Patient Support Programs 

The healthcare landscape comprises various stakeholders, including manufacturers, healthcare providers (such as hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies), and patients. DKSH’s expertise lies in connecting manufacturers to the market and the end customer, leveraging its deep understanding of the customer base. By bridging the gap between manufacturers and healthcare providers, DKSH helps ensure that patients have access to the products they need. 

“A few reasons why these programs work well in Asia Pacific are that many of the patients do not have reimbursement or insurance coverage and have to pay for the healthcare cost from their out-of-pocket expenses. After consultations with doctors, patients may also require additional educational support while adhering to their treatment plans. Integrated approach using human support along with technology is critical. Our clients recognize that DKSH can provide these value-added services.”

Bijay Singh, Global Head of Business Unit Healthcare at DKSH

With eight years of experience, DKSH Patient Solutions have successfully executed over 150 projects for biopharmaceutical and medical device clients. Some of the key therapeutic areas that we are managing include oncology, immunology, rare disease, respiratory conditions and chronic diseases. We continue to expand our patient services business in alignment with the Business Unit Healthcare’s strategy through the acquisition of Partizan, a leading patient support healthcare solutions provider in Australia. 

Progressing Towards Growth and More Efficiency

Looking ahead, DKSH is excited about the potential for further growth and expansion of the healthcare market in Asia Pacific. By reaching more patients and helping them, we are enriching their lives and achieve better outcomes through more access and adherence to treatment.  

We have a strong commitment to help clients and customers innovate and grow by adding value, acting with integrity, provide high quality services, and leveraging our deep market knowledge. Together we are making a significant impact in advancing healthcare in the Asia Pacific region.