Track Patients, Not Prescriptions - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Track Patients, Not Prescriptions
Why pharma companies reject anonymous patient-level data, and why they can't do without it for long.


Pharmaceutical Executive


In order to leverage the power of APLD in their businesses fully, pharma companies must assemble a team that can modify analytic engines for business decision-making. In addition, companies must adopt new systems, procedures, and business processes to make effective and efficient use of APLD.

Next Steps Companies must look beyond the pharmacy to the increasing number of specialty drugs, often biologics, that will be administered in physicians' offices. There are already examples of these, including older drugs such as Leupron and Avonex, and newer ones such as Kinaret, Remicaid, and most oncology drugs. Currently, when it comes to these drugs, companies have no reliable mechanism of measuring individual physicians' prescribing patterns. APLD would improve current, imprecise mechanisms like physician surveys greatly.

Functional managers in pharma companies often feel that implementing a major change in business processes, such as converting to APLD, involves too much risk. It is easier to take the blame for a catastrophe than to get the credit for a coup. Senior executives must take responsibility for implementing APLD by defining the business-case requirements needed—returns required, level of risk, and required demonstration—to justify a sweeping change.

Jeffrey Boschwitz (
is principal, Joyjit Saha Choudhury (
is senior associate, and Charley Beever (
is vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton.


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