The managed care model has seen huge growth in the US pharmaceutical industry, with an estimated 85 percent of all prescription
drugs now reimbursed through a managed care plan. It follows that gaining access to a managed care formulary can spell the
difference between product plenty – and outright penury. But a formulary win alone is no longer sufficient to guarantee strong
commercial returns through the full extent of the product life cycle Something more is required.
That something is an effective, outward-facing "pull-through" program to increase patient acquisition and retention to therapy,
at each stage of the life cycle. Pull through programs focus on targeted messaging, qualitative insights and quantitative
data benchmarks, all designed to help sales leaders understand how to leverage the local market influences that drive perceptions
of access among healthcare providers. The goal should be to disengage the negative influences on product uptake and acquire
or "pull" more patients into the brand.
Pull through programs are a response to a customer environment that is astoundingly dense and increasingly interdependent.
It's not only payers who now control the levers on patient access to medication; there is an array of emerging stakeholders
and influencers that set that perception, including Integrated Delivery Networks, Hospital formularies, Key Opinion Leaders,
physician and organizational technology platforms, local standards of care, and national and regional healthcare policies.
What Is Pull Through?
"Pull-through" can mean different things to different people. Some define pull through as a process aimed at increasing market
share and generating sales for a specific product within a given time frame. Others define pull through as broadcasting a
formulary listing to enhance the value of managed care contracts. Others define pull through as a bridge builder to physicians.
No matter how organizations define pull through, its practical application centers on influencing physician adoption of a
drug that leads to increased patient acquisition, especially against competing therapies. The desirable outcome is that:
» Managed care, marketing, and sales executives understand how payer controls and patient affordability influence prescribing
and dispensing at all levels of the market geography – national, regional and local.
» Sales reps and marketing teams are able to initiate and deliver a simple yet powerful message about the positive patient
experience, to the highest value prescribers in the market.