The Future of Biosimilars Marketing

The U.S. biosimilars market is evolving rapidly and pharma marketing programs need to evolve as well to better meet physician needs. The increased use of biosimilars has the potential to result in significant cost savings for the U.S. healthcare system but we haven’t seen widespread acceptance by doctors and patients.

As we found in our latest physician survey, physicians are actively seeking more information on key topics such as patient affordability, patient eligibility, clinical results, formulary coverage, and more. Despite brands’ efforts to make this information available, 40% of physicians were less likely to engage with generic, non-personalized content. 1 Provider education and adoption go hand in hand, but when physicians in our research indicated how they learn about new biosimilars none of these sources are embedded in the care journey, and most rely on circumstance or resource-intensive channels.

The top ways physicians learn about new biosimilars are:

  • 56% Colleagues
  • 48% Journals
  • 42% Sales reps
  • 40% Independent research

As biosimilar manufactures continue to advance their marketing strategies, understanding and aligning with the digital patient journey have become more important than ever. But how can biosimilar brands most effectively support providers and patients throughout the care journey?

Effective Engagement in an Emerging Biosimilar Landscape

What makes or breaks HCP engagement programs is the degree to which they align with how physicians consume brand content, where physicians are facing knowledge gaps with biosimilars, and when specific information is most valuable. An effective and efficient solution to this challenge for biosimilar manufacturers is a patient-first approach that goes above and beyond the capabilities of traditional engagement approaches.

A patient-first approach enables biosimilar brands to define their ideal audience and timing based on real-world care milestones, such as knowing a patient is experiencing side effects with the biologic reference product or knowing a patient has changed to an insurance where the biosimilar product is preferred and more affordable for the patient. Once the most appropriate factors for a biosimilar brand are identified, artificial intelligence (AI) models can be used to predict when HCPs are likely to meet with ideal patient populations, so brand resources can be delivered accordingly.

AI also helps drive brands’ strategies on which message should be seen in which channel—for example, information on clinical efficacy, safety, formulary status, or interchangeability designation—and when that message will be most effective. As a result, pharma brands can optimize every single message that they are sending, targeting the right HCP on the right channel, then combining the most valuable information with the right timing for that HCP to make the best care decision for a specific patient.

Digital Pathways to Engage Physicians

Choosing digital tactics that align with HCP and patient needs at different points in the care journey can significantly impact biosimilar brand teams’ share of voice—especially when competing against biologic brands with larger marketing budgets and brand recognition. Today’s digital, point-of-care engagement solutions enable biosimilar brands to take a cost-effective, data-driven approach to identifying and connecting with providers at key moments in the care journey.

No other digital channel gives greater access to HCPs (and their patients) throughout the care journey than the electronic health record (EHR) workflow. Not only is the EHR directly in play during patient care decisions, but it also provides the depth of data needed to hyper-target HCPs who are seeing ideal patient populations. Using insights from the EHR, biosimilar brands can easily deliver disease-specific, clinical, and branded messages to HCPs while they are selecting the most appropriate medical treatment or consulting with a patient. Likewise, delivering data-driven communications on affordability support programs such as branded copay programs within the EHR not only provides another venue for brands to support patients and providers, but also reinforces the cost savings biosimilars can offer compared to their reference biologics.

Delivering Relevance: Three Questions Every Biosimilar Brand Should Ask

Your biosimilar brand should be asking three questions about your current physician marketing approach, as well as guidance on how to increase engagement impact and drive patient acquisition.

1. How are you prioritizing your NPI list? If you’re not taking a data-driven approach that focuses on identifying HCPs with the highest concentration of reference brand patients within a given period of time, your brand could be missing the chance to direct resources towards reaching and saturating the highest-value market.

2. Are you predicting patient switching before it happens? By exploring AI-driven models that apply your ideal profile to real-time patient panels and proactively communicate key information to their care team, you can help prompt conversations about switching at the moment treatment decisions are being made.

3. How integrated are your marketing channels? Digital channels like the EHR offer greater cost-efficiency, but only when physician-level engagement data is being integrated and shared to determine where and when HCPs are most likely to see—and value—content regarding your biosimilar brand.

References:

1. OptimizeRx White Paper, “Every Message, Everywhere, All at Once,” April 2023.

  • Liz Gentry

    Liz Gentry is VP Product Marketing at OptimizeRx. Liz focuses on bringing innovative solutions to pharmaceutical brands to address patient acquisition and medication access challenges. Her experience spans the life sciences services and technology industry as well as the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, most recently in access marketing and channel operations roles at MannKind and Amgen.

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