The recent merger of LDM Group and PDR Network into one company called PDR creates the largest EHR and digital communications company in the industry. The new company’s mission: Educating patients, consumers, pharmacists and HCPs, and tracking compliance and persistence continually—and more.

Mark Heinold talks about the merger and what it will bring to pharma’s table, how it can positively affect patient outcomes and the importance of pharmacists and partnering.

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PM360: The merger of LDM Group with PDR Network has created a lot of buzz. Can you tell me how this merger is trendsetting, so to speak?

Mark Heinold: I think in bringing these two organizations together, we’re setting the trend on the EMR front. And by combining resources, we will be stronger and harder charging towards cutting edge opportunities on that front. Coupled with some of the things that the legacy PDR business was doing in the pharmacy—along with the pharmacy business that LDM provided—the merger reinvigorates the direction that we’re going.

Accelerating the time to market is going to be key for us—and others, too. Ultimately, capitalizing on the platforms on the EMR side and on the pharmacy side are going be critical in creating value for the new organization. It’s exciting.

How do you see the combined capabilities working together to create a “unique” company?

When you look at the legacy of the PDR business, it was primarily focused on messaging to physicians around regulatory requirements. LDM functioned a little bit differently: We were doing more marketing/commercial messaging to physicians, to pharmacists and, ultimately, to the patient.

Now, we run the full spectrum in communicating both regulatory and consumer marketing messages. So we can reach into the provider’s office to the patient in that office, and also to the pharmacist and patient within the pharmacy.

We have a much broader reach with the two companies coming together and we’re really taking it full circle from regulatory to commercial to compliance.

How do you think it will impact patient health outcomes and pharma marketers in the healthcare industry?

That’s a good question. The results—and the learnings—of an inordinate amount of time and energy spent around innovation within the EMR space and the pharmacy space is what we are looking to bring to the table. So the resources that we’re going to deploy to meet unmet needs on the pharma manufacturer side are key.

Then, just the overall scale of both companies and the network in size and scope—and the footprint that we have to offer the manufacturers is industry leading and unreplicable at this point. For example, just the ability to touch the number of providers and the number of patients that we can in both the pharmacy setting and the professional setting is unmatched in the industry.

What’s that number?

So, on the physician side, it’ll be north of 250,000 providers. On the pharmacy side, it’s north of 16,000 pharmacies.

What is the new PDR’s mission?

Our goal is to have a positive impact on outcomes. Certainly, we believe starting upstream and educating the physicians and providing the physician with educational information about a particular decision, then carrying that through to the patient within the physician’s office and driving that patient in to fill their medication—that obviously starts the health outcome cycle.

If we’re preventing patients from abandoning their prescription and getting them in for the first fill, that will help keep them compliant, persistent and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes. The new PDR is set up to ensure that we’re tracking that patient all the way through the healthcare continuum and keeping him informed and educated on the particular medication or disease state they have been diagnosed with.

Okay.  Is this a first?

Well, I know of no other company at this point that has the breadth on the physician side or healthcare provider side and on the pharmacy side. So, yes, its unmatched and unrivaled as well.

You mentioned pharmacists a few times. How will they contribute to better adherence and improved patient outcomes?

I think the pharmacists’ role in healthcare is increasing every day. One emerging trend we are seeing: How pharmacists are now playing a greater role in providing vaccinations and injections within the pharmacy. You’re seeing these clinics pop up within pharmacies around the country. And their influence on the patient is critical. They’re a trusted healthcare source that patients go to.

And having additional time with a healthcare professional like a pharmacist is invaluable for a patient who wants to ask questions and seek understanding of their disease state. That interaction and intervention—given the way the healthcare system is set up today—is not only invaluable for the patient, but will also only lead to better outcomes for that patient.

So partnering with pharmacists is something that is absolutely necessary today.

Exactly. The pharmacist’s role is expanding, and pharma is looking for that partnership.

Do you think this kind of merger, or partnership, is something we’ll see more companies doing?

I think while some companies are struggling for scale and relevancy to their customer—which in many cases is the pharma manufacturer—many companies are trying to find partners in order to provide additional value to pharma and then ultimately, their customers.

Companies make a lot of attempts to partner. It’s hard to go from the dating stage to the marriage stage in this industry, and it becomes more and more difficult the closer you get to the end. However, I do think it’s inevitable as companies like the new PDR grow in scale—ultimately providing the new innovative offerings for pharma—other companies are going to have to figure out ways to innovate themselves. And in some cases, mergers and acquisitions may be the way they go.

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