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Redefining Commercial with Modern Data for Today’s Complex Therapies: Q&A with Peter Stark, Executive VP and General Manager of Veeva Compass


Stark discusses how the ways that data is reshaping commercial strategies.

Peter Stark

Peter Stark
Executive VP and general manager
Veeva Compass

As more pharma companies are embracing new algorithm-based technologies, data is becoming more and more important. Peter Stark, executive VP and general manager of Veeva Compass spoke with Pharmaceutical Executive about how data can give pharma companies a more complete view of patient populations and the importance of gathering patient-centric data.

Pharmaceutical Executive: Why is more complete patient-centric data so important for complex therapies?
Peter Stark: Imagine you are a commercial leader trying to find the right patients at the right time for a complex therapy. In rare disease and precision medicine you may be looking for a patient that has not yet been diagnosed by their healthcare professionals (HCP). The dynamic has changed. You are no longer following the prescription, you are now guided by the patient journey of prescriptions and procedures.

More than a third of all prescribed brands in the past year are found in medical claims, including in-office administered therapies, injections, and infusions. However, the detailed data on how HCPs are prescribing medicines like cell and gene therapies is a blind spot. So, you try to rely on your legacy retail data, but you can’t access it in a timely way and you are looking at pieces and parts.You are trying to find the patients and HCPs you can't see. You need to move fast to get the medicine to the patient, but the data is incomplete and has become an anchor slowing you down.

What biopharmas need now is speed, not an anchor. They need to effectively manage commercial teams and increase their ability to reach new HCPs and patients. The time to access data has changed from weeks or a month to a day or even hours.

With new patient-centric data for modern medicines, that commercial leader can now have complete, timely visibility into prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies, along with treatments administered in office settings.

PE: How can the speed of modern data advance commercial strategies?
Stark: What creates that speed is precision and agility. Commercial leaders require more complete and precise data they can trust. They need to know specific providers for a particular product or indication, who to target and prioritize, as well as how many territories and field teams they need. Commercial operations are under increasing pressure to get to the right HCPs at the right location — something that has been especially challenging for complex therapies.

Agility comes from gaining unlimited, timely access to complete data — which means it is not patched together — so teams can gain an accurate 360-degree view. That seems simple, but commercial teams haven’t had full access before.

The freedom to use all available data at any time, for any need, unlocks deeper patient and HCP-level insights that can redefine a commercial approach. We work with companies that now set alerts throughout the patient journey so they can get to the right patient at the right time for treatment. That’s the kind of agility that advances the industry for the benefit of patients.

PE: Tell me about the challenges in understanding retail and non-retail prescription data.
Stark:Brands that are medically administered via procedures have been using data that shows units sold to a central location — without the much-needed detail of who wrote the prescription or administered the procedure. Instead of turning to standard data, they rely on their field teams to tell them where their product is actually being used and who is prescribing it, and that method lacks scale and accuracy.

Without a complete view you may not be able to find all relevant patients or identify and reach the true priority HCPs who are seeing, diagnosing, and treating them. The downstream implications are huge. This creates inaccuracy that impacts HCP targeting, territory alignments, field team sizing, resource optimization, and even incentive compensation.

PE: How will full access to modern data impact sales teams?
Stark: This will create a change the industry hasn’t seen before. Now, sales teams can have a full view with anonymous patient longitudinal data, and also projections for prescriptions and procedures at the HCP, HCO, Zip, state, and national levels. This allows commercial operations teams to execute with speed and precision. They can create the right size field teams, align them to territories, and alert them of new patients and HCPs with more accuracy.

Without a complete picture, especially where there are both retail and non-retail products, misaligned focus can result in inefficient allocation of field resources and lost time. Prescriber-level projected prescriptions and procedures allow brands to segment and target with the entirety of their full prescription and procedures activity, as well as state and national level projections for more accurate forecasting, performance, and competitive analysis.

New data can now guide commercial strategies for how a sales team is built from the number of people to how the territories are aligned, how performance success is defined and measured, or how the organization plans for the future.

This is significant because when commercial strategies are planned with complete patient-centric data, they can reach more patients in need faster.

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