A Managed Care Strategy

Jun 01, 2011

Leana Wood, Partner | MedAccess, a Division of The Access Group
If you're leading the charge to promote a first-in-class drug, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure that your product fares well in the presence of competition.

I worked on the Botox Cosmetic during its launch and in the ensuing years in which we prepared for a competitor.

Allergan created a robust CRM program, now called Brilliant Distinctions, aimed directly at promoting brand loyalty through education, advocacy, and incentives. Botox Cosmetic had market exclusivity for several years before Medi-cis launched Dysport The time was used to create a robust patient database and strong communication plan, which drove loyalty and sustained market share.

Compared to prescription drugs, Botox Cosmetic is unique because it's in a cash market. But the brand still relied on the patient to keep coming back for injections to keep wrinkles from returning. The repeat investment is analogous for prescription products, as many conditions are chronic in nature. Any brand should work toward establishing a relationship with the patient out of the gate. If you take the time to educate patients about your product and the related therapeutic category, they will be more inclined to comply with and ask for your brand.

A sound Managed Care strategy is a good way to establish position with physicians. Ensuring good coverage helps to decrease hurdles for both physicians and patients. When it's not a hassle, prescribing and filling becomes a habit, and physicians and patients become comfortable with your brand. Physicians will be positively impacted by patients who report a good experience with your product, at the pharmacy and beyond.

Utilize KOLs to build relationships and garner physician buy-in that only you have the opportunity to gain by being first. This buy-in goes beyond clinical trials. It's about educating physicians not just about the brand, but also about the company's commitment to them. Company equity creates a perception of partnership that goes beyond the brand. When a me-too starts making noise, the goal is for your physicians to already recognize your product not just as first-in-class but, hopefully, as best in class.

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