Disease management promises gains

July 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Pharmaceutical companies are placing their faith in the short-term and long-term gains that involvement in disease management promises.

Pharmaceutical companies are placing their faith in the short-term and long-term gains that involvement in disease management promises, according to New York-based market analysis firm Datamonitor.

More than 65% of top executives at leading companies surveyed by Datamonitor indicated they would double the size of their disease management efforts over the course of the next five years, the firm stated in its recent report titled "Disease Management: Is it working?" All executive-level survey respondents added that supporting a new product with a disease management program gave them a more competitive advantage when they sat down at negotiating tables with managed care formulary committees.

Eight out of 10 of those executives said they were concerned primarily with the short-term benefits of investing in disease management programs, primarily because they need to be able to demonstrate returns on investment to executive board members. Short-term advantages, according to Datamonitor, include:


• Being included on a managed care formulary.


• Reducing the discount - with which the pharmaceutical company has to agree - for inclusion on a formulary.


• Blocking a competitor's drug from inclusion on the same formulary.


• Increasing product sales by changing the way that drugs are prescribed and dispensed on a plan.

However, disease management appears to offer significant long-term gains as well. In addition to enhancing relations with managed care organizations, disease management programs can improve company, brand and disease awareness; increase identified prevalent populations through screening programs; and provide access to utilization data for use in product targeting, according to Datamonitor.

Although the disease management market is roughly valued between $300 million to $500 million, Datamonitor estimated that pharmaceutical companies' investment in the market is closer to $100 million, leaving the market with plenty of room to grow. PR

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