Greg Skalicky, Chief Revenue Officer, EVERSANA
The “Great Gatsby Era” was an exciting time of new prosperity, infinite creativity and dramatic social change. Long-standing social norms and traditions gave way to the “mass culture” and consumerism that modernized American society. “What will they think of next?” was a popular expression that defined the era.
On the 100-year anniversary of this revolutionary decade, the pharma industry should take note: breaking from tradition is the catalyst for real, long-lasting transformation. Innovative therapies require innovative thinking.
In just the past 10 years, we’ve seen both clinical and manufacturing outsourced to single partners who successfully reduced costs, minimized risk, and maintained product integrity. Commercialization, on the other hand, is lagging behind and continues to be outsourced to multiple vendors, often creating silos and conflicting priorities amongst service providers. Let’s not forget the impact these silos have on data integration and transparency.
Consider these examples:
- In Phase III, you can deploy your Medical Science Liaisons to engage key influencers, plan for the launch by analyzing key targets, and train your sales force faster than ever. But does your field force strategy both describe value AND capture the data to measure value for all patients, payers, and providers?
- Distribution is much more complex than storing and shipping product from Point A to Point B. Do you have the flexibility to tailor your programs to assume the chain of custody, manage payer relationships AND ship directly to the patient?
- You launch your product and get that first script to a patient. How will your partners track real-world evidence to pay off the promise of your HEOR strategy?
- Patient services now require multiple, value-add touchpoints. If we can get real-time updates for pizza delivery, why can’t a patient who is getting a life-saving medicine be able to get similar information on a timely basis?
Pockets of transformation may address these concerns, but to effectively commercialize a product, traditional service silos stand in the way of true healthcare transformation. Do disparate service providers look at the life cycle in the same way you do? There is a real need for a market access strategy that converts into measurable value, and it’s crucial how everything from pricing and payer outreach informs the 3PL, specialty pharmacy, HUB, and pharmacovigilance services. Most importantly, these services must integrate into a seamless patient experience that’s strong enough to withstand loss of exclusivity or competing products.
At EVERSANA, we recently helped a client with a first-to-market orphan drug. The therapy was for a complex disease with adherence challenges and our client needed to establish and maintain leading market share in an increasingly competitive segment. With our integrated commercial platform, we created a single access point for all onboarding and patient support, established dedicated patient service coordinators and coordinated care for each patient, including wraparound education and support, and home care.
Our client saw tremendous results, including 95.3% patient compliance, 94.5% patient loyalty and 96% patient satisfaction. We established accountability as a single service provider, shared operational goals, and delivered leading market share (even with three other products in market).
Another client, a mid-sized manufacturer launching a new GI product, needed an experienced commercial and clinical field force and a fully integrated patient services platform. We conducted research and analysis to strategize market access, pricing, field force size, and KOL mapping. After recruiting, hiring and training 75 sales reps and 6 medical science liaisons in high value territories with strong KOL presence, we developed product modules for the launch meeting. Simultaneously, we collaborated with patients, caregivers and disease state experts to co-create programs and content that enhanced the patient experience, got patients on therapy faster, and increased patient adherence. As a result of an effective and cohesive field force and patient services team, the product grew 43% in just 9 months post-launch.
The Time Is Now
The New Roaring 20s gives us a clean slate to rethink and reimagine how to take a product to market in the era of “patient-as-consumer” and “outcomes-based healthcare.” In the next few years, we’ll also see the rich pipeline of digital and regenerative therapies hit the market, setting off high-touch technologies and trends.
Outsourced commercialization strategies should be looked at holistically and achieve the following to ignite real, long-lasting transformation:
- VALUE THE VOICE OF THE PATIENT. Listen and collaborate with the patient community (earlier!) for genuine and actionable understanding.
- PROTECT YOUR REVENUE. Research, assess and develop global pricing and market access strategies that propel and preserve revenue during market peaks and valleys.
- REACH ALL STAKEHOLDERS NOW. Deploy a sales and clinical field force that builds key KOL relationships and shares information from the frontline to inform the continued program management and long-term performance.
- PREPARE FOR OPTIMAL DISTRIBUTION. Plan a distribution strategy to address unique patient populations, therapy and channel/network needs, and use a 3PL with one million square feet of cross-country warehouse space with 99.98% unit level accuracy.
- INVEST IN THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE. Develop and deploy a patient-centered care model that delivers value enabled by innovative technologies and measured by actionable data.
After decades in this industry, I continue to be impressed by the innovation, but disappointed that it hasn’t converted into more value for patients. That’s why EVERSANA developed an integrated and independent commercial services platform designed to solve pricing, access, reimbursement, adherence and product delivery challenges across the life cycle. Because the services are integrated and managed by us, we’ll contractually guarantee performance and share financial risk. Together, we can create better patient experiences and bring effective therapies to patients for decades to come.