By: Ed Roberts

Currently, pharmaceutical companies must complete four phases to bring a drug to market:

  1. Pre-clinical testing (drug discovery)-Non humans
  2. Phase 1-Determine safety & dosage on human volunteers
  3. Phase 2-Evaluate effectiveness and side effects on human
  4. Phase 3-Verify effectiveness & monitor adverse long term use

The third step is critical in the process. Clinical trials determine whether a drug is safe and effective in treating certain illnesses. If not, the FDA will not approve its production. But clinical trials aren’t only of use to the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the drugs, insurance companies also evaluate the data to determine which drugs to offer on their formularies. In comparing the trial data of competing drugs targeting the same illnesses, they make decisions about which are the most cost-effective, while also providing the most effective form of treatment.

While this data is necessary and useful, what’s missing from this evaluation is a comparison of the value of a drug, which is different than the cost. This type of data requires an economic study that analyzes monetary acquisition cost, the drug’s efficacy, and the direct and indirect health interventions eliminated or required when the drug is administered.

This type of data focuses on humanistic outcomes that save the health system time and money in the long term, such as the number of years added to a patient’s life as a result of the drug, or details on how the drug improved a patient’s overall quality of life and productivity.

In recent years, fueled by the ACA, there has been a push for pharmaceutical economic outcomes data by insurance companies, providers, and patients. Rather than waiting for health insurance providers or consumers to ask for such data, some pharmaceutical companies have begun promoting economic studies via their account management and Health Economics Outcomes teams earlier in the lifecycle of a product. We see these proactive studies taking place especially for drugs that are joining a category with one or more entrenched competitor. The resulting data is invaluable in formulary decision-making and price negotiations with insurance companies.

Leveraging economic data

Of course, once you launch a study and have the data, what do you do with it? That’s where we come in. The fact of the matter is that pharmaceutical account managers need a specific skillset to ensure that they are using this data appropriately and effectively in meeting their objectives.

The Brooks Group specializes in making measurable improvements in the communication skills of those in the healthcare field. We can help you position and understand the customer value of your economic outcome data and:

  • Drive Account Management (AM) skills for internal business case creation and presentation to internal teams, as the AM advocates on behalf of their customers to get studies funded and completed.
  • Master value-based negotiation for conversations with insurance companies
  • Understand and explain relevant financial information to key stakeholders
  • Manage stakeholder financial and patient outcome expectations
  • Craft messaging around the results of the study

To ensure that these skills are fully developed, we recommend attending one of our training classes. All of these classes are available by request, though we offer many of them on an on-going basis via our public training calendar.

Pharmaceutical Value-Based Negotiating

Participants of this course will learn to apply negotiation skills throughout company and customer interactions as a way to drive business results. Learning objectives include discussing the planning and preparation necessary for negotiations, understanding what motivates people and how that impacts negotiations, considering options/alternatives for negotiations, and determining how to build a value base.

Matrix Team Management and Selling

By the end of this course, participants will be able to identify customers’ business needs in order to effectively sell as a highly integrated team. Throughout the program, we will facilitate team gapping meetings with customers, conduct team solutions presentations with customers, and describe the critical points involved in managing without direct authority.

Executive Level Presence

This program will teach participants how to communicate clearly and concisely while in any situation. This one-day skill enhancement program enables business executives to develop and deliver high-impact presentations that drive their business agenda.

To learn more, contact Peter Haines. Put the work in now to reap the return on investment for your drug.

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