Who Is Responsible for Prescribing Decisions?

For over a year, our industry has spent a lot of time talking about how the pandemic impacted the pharma sales model. But another milestone was reached in 2020 that will also have a big impact on sales strategy. The AMA’s 2020 Physician Practice Benchmark Survey found that only 49% of HCPs involved in patient care were part of a private practice. This marks the first time in this survey’s history that the majority of physicians are now employees of some larger health group. This means they have less decision-making authority over which treatments they prescribe—and that pharma needs to target someone other than the physician.

Oftentimes, that new target is not a single person and can include a health system’s chief medical officer, pharmacy director, patient experience officer, and sometimes even the CEO. Furthermore, the patient’s care is also not left to one physician, but multiple individuals within the health group. The good news: this is not a sudden development. As our author, Pete Clancy of closerlook, explains in The Complicated Art of Marketing and Selling in an Account-based Environment, this transformation has been a long time coming and accelerated with the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. But for any companies still without an account-based sales strategy, the time is now to develop one.

Of course, even if marketing and sales teams successfully get HCPs and health systems to prescribe their products there is still the long-persisting issue of making sure patients then take those medications as prescribed. Nonadherence has been an issue for as long as medications have been around, but the pandemic also magnified certain causes behind nonadherence related to access and other social determinants of health factors. Our Focus On Adherence/Compliance section digs into the impact of COVID-19 on adherence, answers questions on what factors and data sets to pay the closest attention to, and highlights eight new solutions to help solve this problem.

Our industry’s ultimate goal is always to help patients, and once again PM360 will be honoring the companies, marketers, and campaigns that best achieved that goal with this year’s Trailblazer Awards. We will announce the 2021 winners during a virtual event on September 23rd at 6 PM EST. Be there to help us celebrate the incredible results this industry achieved during one of the most difficult years we have all experienced.

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