New drugs get one shot with the physician - reason & solution

Written by
Mikkel Arnoldi
New drugs get one shot with the physician - reason & solution

Often your new product gets only one shot with the physician – either you are in or you are out. If you are in, you can move physician up the adoption ladder heading for success and repeat prescriptions. However, the problem is your lack of influence...

The science and the sales reps ability to detail it, is generally perceived to be what makes or break it for the new product entering the market. However, there is ONE determining Moment Of Truth (MOT), which is often forgotten and which greatly influences the HCPs perception a certain product and her likelihood to ever prescribe the product again. This MOT is connected to the patient feedback and the dialogue taking place during the first consultation after the patient has tried the product and returns to the HCP. I believe there a solution right in front of us.

Looking at the following factors, which determine the HCPs likelihood to initiate or switch a patient to a drug she has never prescribed before, I fully acknowledge that the sales reps cover most bases:

Patient Reported Outcome = Moment Of Truth
While the above factors are important for the initial product buy-in of the HCP, a different event will determine if it leads to repeat and additional prescriptions and if a HCP successfully is moved up the adoption ladder. Unfortunately, pharma has little impact on this event today. I am talking about the follow-up consultation, where the patient, after being home on the product for some months comes back to the HCP with the verdict: Thumbs up or thumbs down? It is this conversation and patient reported outcome (emotionally and physically), which determine if the HCP perceives the product and himself a success, having tried something new and “risky” as opposed staying on older/classic products.

The problem for pharma today is that they have limited impact on the patient reported outcome beyond the science. During the first period on the product the patient is on his own with the product, remembering only parts of what the doctor explained, feeling emotional about the need for treatment changes, anxious about the potential disease progression and experiencing physical changes, having to administer and titrate alone, forgetting to medicate as prescribed, etc. All these factors determine the patient experience and reported outcome expressed at the first consultation after treatment initiation. Several of which are not related to the pharmacological or biological solution itself, but has to do with the patient’s ability and motivation to remember, understand and execute instructions.

Dialogue and Education tool can impact Moment Of Truth

Clearly, many different factors influence a HCP's decision to continue or discontinue treatment with a new drug, however I believe pharma has a great opportunity to influence the Moment of Truth and thus the likely hood of continued and additional prescriptions. Recent research suggests, that patient support services is greatly and increasingly appreciated by HCPs and I believe such services, created and executed well, have the ability to impact initial Patient Reported Outcome (iPRO).

Recent experience with digitally based dialogue tools suggests, that such a tool could work very well in this case and be promoted along with the product by sales reps. The core concept and value proposition of the tool would be to improve product experience by delivering value in 3 key areas:

  1. HCP education: Train the HCP in the product (treatment guidelines, patient profile, etc.)
  2. Facilitate an educational dialogue between patient and HCP at first prescription (disease, treatment, product, administration/titration, expectations, etc.)
  3. Deliver patient support elements during home stay addressing the most common topics, which often lead to a negative product experience and thereby impact iPRO.

Vertic concept for coaching HCPs to have more effective conversations with their patients is called Vertic Talkability. It is a proprietary process and technology platform. It defines a process that begins with the development of detailed patient profiles, applies a dialogue framework and uses simulation and evaluation tools to allow them to learn the best strategies firsthand.

Written by

Mikkel Arnoldi

Head Healthcare

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