A dermatology manufacturer had several challenges impacting their products and sales team success. Communication to the physician offices and the patients was inadequate where you would expect it to be heightened, for an oral product with numerous barriers and a limited time frame to dispense as a part of an extensive REMS component for the product, ordering challenges, coordinating additional patient tests and office visits brought frustration to the manufacturer’s new sales team.
Additionally, the company had 5 topical steroid products that were not gaining sales momentum due to the lack of a dedicated support team assisting the physicians and patients. The current support program was too impersonal, reporting did not provide enough detail to assist the sales team and their customers with navigating the complex system. As a result, prescriptions were not being filled and sales did not increase as projected.
Our group recommended to transition the dermatology patient support program from a limited distribution, pharmacy direct to a fully integrated HUB program; a concierge program for the prescriptions. The core product was a branded isotretinoin.
Through our design phase, time to transition was scheduled for 6 months. A comprehensive review of the existing program’s standard operating procedures was done to identify known and potential gaps. This lead to several collaborative, brainstorming sessions to best understand the brand messaging, clinical benefits of the products and current sales challenges. Processes were crafted that would bring the best results. Baseline metrics were recorded from the current vendor, and a new and improved program was implemented. Phase one of implementation focused on the initial team to support the oral isotretinoin product only. The goal was to provide a dedicated case manager and reimbursement specialist to be the single point of contact for each territory to assist with benefits, prior authorizations, and REMS compliance for expedited shipping within the time restrictive window. Workflow was prioritized based upon the original, required recorded test results and the date the referral was received. The introduction of welcome calls to the patients were customized and prioritized based upon male and female population segments. Communication templates were drafted to use at designated points during the process to ensure physicians and their staff were aware of progression and blockers, so intervention could occur timely. Hourly data feeds were established to transfer prescriptions ready to fill to the pharmacy partners in the newly expanded network.
By conducting the benefits investigation and understanding the in-network pharmacy with the patients’ insurance, we decreased the time to fill by eliminating multiple triages and transferring the prescription to the appropriate dispensing location. Referral volume and physician satisfaction increased rapidly over 3 months. Additionally, the accompanying topical steroid suite of products was integrated into the program.
An independently owned company, PharmaCord provides services to biopharma manufacturers supporting the commercialization of specialty products. The company is the connector between manufacturers, patients, physicians and payors. Solutions drive efficient and rapid therapy initiation and increased patient engagement.