Essential Takeaways from the 2023 ECRM Conference
Archbow's Kevin Cast, Paul J Furgal, and Shannon Hybner recently attended the ECRM BrandRx & Vaccine Session in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The ECRM event brought together multiple stakeholders from the pharmaceutical industry, with a primary focus on discussing new products and related launch plans, along with ongoing distribution and patient support education. It was a timely opportunity to connect with industry partners and learn how Archbow Consulting can contribute to their product life cycle and supply chain solution success.
After meeting with many partners and potential clients, we gleaned three essential takeaways to share:
1. Early Planning is (Still) the Key to a Successful Product Launch
Companies invest a decade or more in Research & Development and millions of dollars in developing an asset. The commercial success of that asset comes down to proper launch planning to maximize uptake in the first several months. Those companies with a recent product launch expressed the importance of advanced planning, ideally 18-20 months before launch. While the necessity of advanced planning is nothing new, it was reassuring to hear that market access plans and channel strategy must be incorporated into early planning efforts to assure the best chance of success.
2. Reconsider the Type of Copay Card Programs Offered Pharma manufacturers typically offer some type of copay card to help reduce out-of-pocket patient costs. It is important to know that there are multiple options in the market, all designed and operationalized differently. Archbow met with many pharma companies that had reservations regarding their copay voucher design. While voucher programs may have a place in the market, we repeatedly heard that company executives are not happy with the ROI of these programs. Therefore, it's imperative to consider voucher strategy when designing financial assistance programs carefully.
3. Re-evaluate HUB Program Strategy and 3PL Providers More Frequently
A HUB is intended to provide improved patient support services throughout a patient's journey. HUBs provide a unified entry point and centralized point of contact for patients utilizing a manufacturer's therapy. HUBs have become essential and more prevalent recently, along with the rise of specialty products. As new competing products enter the market, enhanced service offerings could benefit the patient. Unfortunately, we've found that many manufacturers put a HUB in place, allowing their strategy to grow stagnant. Additionally, service-provider relationships can diminish over time. It's critical to re-evaluate your HUB provider and related patient support services every 2-3 years. The same rule applies to third-party logistics (3PL) providers that provide manufacturers' product handling, storage, order-to-cash services, and distribution needs. As new 3PLs continue to break into the market, pharma manufacturers must remain informed of critical offerings and services across all providers. 3PL programs should be re-evaluated every 2-3 years to proactively resolve issues with day-to-day account management, turnaround times, performance metrics, and holding providers accountable for their service levels.
If you need to re-evaluate your business strategy to drive success for your current/next project, Archbow can help. Because our team helps pharma and biotech companies design, build, and optimize product distribution and patient access strategies, we understand which questions need to be answered and how to develop solutions that meet your needs. Learn more about Team Archbow and the methodology that matters most to successful programs and contact us today for assistance with your strategic and tactical patient support needs.
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Archbow Consulting helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the USA and Europe reach their commercial goals with strategic and tactical approaches to distribution, pharmacy, and patient access. Archbow was founded by industry veterans to meet a need in the marketplace for consulting options that offer diverse real-world experience, are able to leverage deep connections across the industry, and can also provide actionable strategic guidance. We invite you to learn more about our team, services, and clients’ success, and connect with us via email, LinkedIn, Twitter or subscribing to this blog which you can do below.