Doug Long of IQVIA Discusses the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Healthcare, Pharmaceutical Market

Long, the vice president of industry relations at IQVIA, gives his take on the lingering effects of the pandemic on the healthcare sector and pharmaceutical market.

To state the numbingly obvious, the COVID-19 pandemic upended normal business for healthcare and the pharmaceutical sectors during much of 2020 and 2021.

Doug Long, vice president industry relations at IQVIA and a speaker at the 2022 Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI) Annual National Conference this week in Orlando, Florida, discussed the effects of the pandemic in an interview with Managed Healthcare Executive® conducted after the meeting.

"What we are talking about is what's the normal," said Long.

Long noted that the pandemic had claimed a million lives and that many of those who had died were older people with chronic diseases managed with several medications. For the pharmaceutical market, that could have mean fewer prescriptions for some drugs. But Long also also said that "we are seeing signs of recovery" and that the pharmaceutical market "is fairly strong."

As for medical services he said "we see that everything is more or less recovered" with the exception of the number of elective surgeries, which is lagging below pre-pandemic, perhaps because of inflation.

Long also mentioned the delayed effect of missed screening and the possibility of people being diagnosed a later stage of disease, particularly the types of cancer for which there are preventive screening tests, such as breast cancer and colon cancer.