Great Moderators Key to Pharmaceutical Advisory Board Success

Jacob Presson, pharmaceutical market access researcher
By Jacob Presson,
Senior Research Analyst

Pharmaceutical companies are evolving their advisory board strategies to keep pace with the rapid changes that the entire industry is experiencing. As payer demands increase in complexity, the importance of engaging payers to understand their needs is growing. The depth of outcomes data that payers need requires precisely targeted clinical trials to be effectively developed to meet these needs. As such, when a team is able to gather a roomful of experts together, the benefits from that time need to be maximized for both the participants’ and the company’s sake. One significant — and relatively simple — step that companies can take is to ensure that the moderator or co-chair is up to the task. Continue reading


Six Steps to Hosting a Successful Pharmaceutical Advisory Board

Generations of hopeful party planners and anxious hostesses have turned to Emily Post as the authority on all things etiquette. Her gentle but firm guidelines on manners and social norms may seem more appropriate for old-fashioned ladies throwing summer soirees or bridal luncheons than they do for high-powered life science industry executives who are delving into the latest clinical research or marketing strategies. Although pharmaceutical companies specialize in developing innovative cures, looking back to the traditional truths of hosting etiquette lends value to advisory boards. Here is a look at successful pharmaceutical advisory board management through the lens of the Emily Post Institute’s Six Ways to Be a Good Host. Continue reading


The Key to Key Account Management: Unlocking the Potential of Pharma Sales Forces

It’s old news: Gone are the days of the massive pharmaceutical rep armies.  Pharma companies have been trimming down their sales forces and looking for new ways to make the most of their physician relationships.  One option that companies implement is the switch from the sales rep model to one that focuses on account managers instead.  Often, however, this transition is nothing but a change of title, with no additional customer relationship management (CRM) techniques or change in the way that reps introduce their targets to the product. The time that physicians can give to reps is constantly on the decline, however.  Companies need to not only change the sales rep’s title, but also the behaviors he or she uses to interact with physicians so as to best grab the attention that they require. Continue reading


Thought Leader Segmentation Helps Alleviate Regulatory Pressures


By Yanis Saradjian,
Director of Consulting

Last month, the French version of the U.S. Sunshine Act was implemented, forcing medical device makers to report all exchanges of value to healthcare professionals in excess of €10, in a first step that will eventually spread to all life science companies. The French “Law No. 2011-2012 on Strengthening of Health Protection for Medicinal and Health Products” is retroactive to transactions from January 1, 2012. We believe a similar scenario as the one that unfolded in the US will prevail in France: a reduced pool of thought leaders available to work with device makers.
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Drug Companies Pay More for Research Than for Promotional Speeches

Elio Evangelista, physician fair-market value expert
By Elio Evangelista,
Senior Director

Although the government has varying motivations for requiring drug and device companies to disclose the payments they make to physicians, one consequence — intended or otherwise — is that companies have begun to pay physicians more for research activities compared to promotional speeches.  They’re also paying less money to doctors as a whole.

ProPublica’s Dollars for Doctors database houses the physician compensation data for 15 pharmaceutical companies that have been publishing information about the payments they make to doctors as far back as 2009.  The cumulative amounts paid since then by 13 of these 15 companies total more than $2 billion.  (Allergan and Valeant have disclosed payment ranges and not fixed numbers, so they’re more difficult to include in the cumulative total.) Continue reading


Companies Broaden KOL Targeting, Found Recent Cutting Edge Information Study


By Sarah Ray,
Research Analyst

Drug companies are reaching beyond specialists when targeting medical leaders to further develop their existing products.  Among 36 companies recently surveyed, nearly four-fifths targeted multiple types of key opinion leaders (KOLs): from specialists and subspecialists to primary care providers, preventative medicine practitioners and nurses.  The takeaway?  Companies’ understanding of the movers and shakers in the healthcare community is growing and no longer bound by the traditional understanding of who holds the most sway in the medical community. Continue reading


Transparency for FMV Rates: Finding a Balance Abroad

When France first released its 2011 draft of the Bertrand Act — which included a provision similar to the Sunshine Act here in the US – the legislation promised to be more stringent than US guidelines.  The draft required companies to post its payments on its website within 15 days of the activity — complete with the recipient’s name and the amount he or she received.  It also required companies to deliver a report detailing their outside spending to six professional organizations — even if payments were under the US equivalent of $95.  Continue reading


MSL Teams Face a Battle on Two Fronts to Prove Their Value to Companies

As with any industry team, medical science liaisons (MSLs) must convince their bosses that the department — and their jobs — is worth the effort and funding that go into it. For MSL teams, however, convincing upper management and key stakeholders is only half the battle; the key opinion leaders (KOLs) with whom they interact also need to perceive a certain value from them. Many companies now use a variety of performance metrics to determine both the internal and external value of their MSLs. Continue reading


Aim for Cooperation, Not Competition, Between MSLs and Sales Reps

Sales teams and medical science liaisons (MSLs) might be seen as having distinct objectives, but in reality the two groups can work well together for the benefit of the company.  ‘Synergies’ might have become an overused and clichéd business mantra, but in this case the principle holds water.  Sales teams sometimes feel threatened by the decline in numbers in their ranks while MSL groups continue to grow, though modestly.  This tension is sometimes complicated by organizational firewalls erected between commercial and medical groups that can stifle effective communication. Continue reading


Is Mobile Health Changing the Face of Pharma’s Relationships with Its Targets?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Pharma has already produced a plethora of mobile and digital devices geared to both patient and physician perspectives. With the accessibility of these versatile apps, pharma’s targets continue to demand more. While a few research organizations have reported a rapid rise in physicians’ access to tablets, it’s not about the technology inasmuch as it’s about what the technology has to offer. Continue reading