The huge revenue opportunity stemming from recent success of GLP-1 drugs is not just for the pharmaceutical companies. Is your healthcare organization poised to capture the patient care opportunity emerging from GLP-1 pharmaceutical innovation?

Revolutionizing Healthcare with Breakthroughs in Diabetes and Obesity Treatment

The new category of Diabetes, weight loss and obesity drugs called GLP-1s is predicted to be a game-changing innovation in population health management of some chronic disease types.  These drugs have shown tremendous success in treating their target diseases of Diabetes and Obesity, and adoption by patients continues to grow. The 42nd annual J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco this month gave considerable coverage to this topic and to the group of pharmaceutical companies at the core of this unparalleled movement in reducing population health issues around diabetes and weight. Drugs such as Wegovy, Mounjaro and Ozempic are currently the most highly in demand and many patients are having trouble finding supply as a result of the accelerating adoption and approvals for use. But innovation in pharma can create opportunity in other areas, and this one is already doing just that for hospitals, clinics and ACOs in the healthcare industry.

Analysts Forecast Massive Growth

Chris Schott, JP Morgan Sr. Analyst covering US Diversified Biopharma says the revenue opportunity for the pharma sector could be as much as $100B as we approach 2030 which would make it the largest therapeutic market they have ever seen.  He further predicts the capacity for GLP-1s to double in 2024 and increase another 50% in 2025, alleviating bottlenecks from a capacity standpoint. (1)

Lisa Gill, JP Morgan Sr. Analyst covering Healthcare services says things to watch are policies around coverage of these drugs. They are not currently covered by Medicaid or Medicare and should that change, volumes would likely be impacted even further. (2)

Seizing the Opportunity in GLP-1

So, what does this mean for healthcare provider organizations?  This is where accelerating healthcare’s digital transformation comes into the equation. The opportunity is huge for providers to realize significant increases in volumes of patients seeking primary care services to authorize, prescribe and manage the use of these medical treatments. These GLP-1 patients will need to be evaluated and monitored throughout their use of these medications and the current staffing levels within the US healthcare system are already strained with patients experiencing delays in appointments, long wait times for scheduling appointments and ongoing challenges in reporting daily vitals into the electronic health records without in-person visits. In addition to tracking vitals, these patients are ideally monitored for lifestyle elements such as sleep, exercise, diet, mental health and overall wellness. They benefit from coaching to help keep them on track with the lifestyle changes that go along with a successful program.

Maximizing Patient Engagement for Financial Growth and Innovation

Providers who have invested in digital-first engagement technologies such as messaging, chat, bots, voice and efficient patient orchestration processes using integrated contact centers will be best poised to handle the volumes of patients seeking care and will see the financial benefits of engaging and servicing these patient’s needs.

Healthcare providers, overwhelmingly experiencing financial challenges stemming from COVID era dips in billable visits and procedures, have been exploring ways to expand into new types of care and new sources of patients. The innovation and success of the GLP-1 category of pharmaceuticals could be one of the opportunities that provides both, and drives acceleration of new care models, digital workflow re-designs and remote patient monitoring. Providers will need to evaluate their infrastructure’s readiness for some of these new engagement models and quickly deploy technologies to capture this new business opportunity.  The good news is Cisco’s Healthcare team is already helping hospital systems deploy next generation collaboration systems including messaging, video conferencing, virtual care, and devices that are interoperable with other collaboration systems, for affordability and ease of use with existing systems and processes.

Experts predict more innovation in the pharmaceutical pipelines that will produce huge gains for other disease types too. Is your hospital system ready with a digital healthcare infrastructure that seamlessly engages patients, scales your valuable clinical resources and secures operations? The time to start is now!


1). Key opportunity spaces for the pharmaceuticals sector in 2024

2). Major themes shaping health care services in 2024


Kathryn Howe

Director, Healthcare Digital Transformation, Cisco Americas

Customer Value Acceleration/Business Transformation