ELITE Digital Crusader Richard Black of Astellas Pharma US, Inc.

Richard Black

Executive Director, Health Systems Marketing

Astellas Pharma US, Inc.


Digitally Improving Quality of Care

Richard Black champions the notion that digital is a great way to drive customer interaction, and as a result he advocates for comprehensive and effective digital assets to support products across the Astellas portfolio. Over the past four years, he has worked with Astellas on the launch of six successful and high-profile product entrants across a variety of therapeutic categories, and Richard has been a strong advocate for digital initiatives throughout each of these launches.

One successful digital project recently launched by Richard’s team was the development of the Trends in Oncology website (www.trendsinoncology.com). This disease state initiative was developed as a tool to elevate perceptions of Astellas as a trusted partner for health system insights into metastatic prostate cancer. The website provides information that aids payers, healthcare providers, specialty pharmacies, and distributors in making clinical and economic decisions to support patient care. Early feedback and response to the website from various stakeholders has been very positive.

Another notable digital initiative that was spearheaded by Richard’s team was based upon Qnav Quality Navigator tool, licensed from Precision for Value. Qnav combines proprietary technology with data derived from quality and performance metrics—including HEDIS data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Qnav allows users to identify opportunities for quality improvement strategies and align resources with specific quality needs, searching across multiple data sets to produce broad and detailed views of quality performance—digitally providing quick and actionable access to data resources.

In deploying the Qnav tool, Astellas chose some strategic quality metrics that existed through NCQA/HEDIS, then aligned the metrics to their therapeutic areas and used the Qnav app to share quality metrics with payer customers, focusing on opportunities to highlight areas to improve patient care aligned with Astellas’ therapeutic areas of focus. Richard’s championing and use of the Qnav tool—as well as his focus on the development of an in-app integrated training overlay—helped facilitate the successful adoption by Astellas account managers who were then able to engage in informed quality-based conversations on the basis of the digital tool and the customized reporting package.


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