Workflows within physician practices have drastically evolved over the last few decades. This shift is due to the transition to value-based payment models, technological advancements, and changing patient expectations for a modern access experience.
Additionally, health insurer policies designed to manage growing healthcare resource utilization continue to disrupt the natural flow of patient care by introducing new administrative requirements that create challenges for providers. According to U.S. Surgeon’s Office advisory, time constraints and administrative demands that compete with patient care – exacerbated by growing prior authorization (PA) requirements and staff shortages – are major contributors top hysician frustration and burnout.
Time-constricted HCP workflows can negatively impact the commercialization of branded therapies as HCPs often seek alternative therapies if they lack confidence in patient access. Life sciences companies must adapt accordingly so their patients and branded therapies can thrive.
Healthcare provider time constraints can reduce the effectiveness of sales efforts, leading to slow adoption at launch and throughout the product life cycle. Pharmaceutical sales representatives' access to physicians has become increasingly difficult over the last several decades. At least half of HCP practices restrict rep visits in some way – up from just a quarter in 2008. With physician practices experiencing growing administrative burdens and turnover, getting quality face-face time with providers to speak to the clinical efficacy of a product is more difficult than ever.
The burden of utilization management requirements, such as PAs, is often negatively correlated with prescriber adoption of branded therapies . A 2022 national survey of physicians revealed that over 80% of providers refrain from prescribing certain medications over half the time due to utilization management requirements. And if the prescriber or patient has a poor experience during the PA process, brand loyalty will undoubtedly suffer, with the manufacturer risking the loss of a long-term prescriber.
As life science companies face numerous challenges in the pharmaceutical marketplace, including adapting to HCP evolving workflows, conventional commercialization strategies are waning in their effectiveness.
The following four approaches are highly effective in helping brand teams mitigate the negative impacts of provider time constraints to grow brand loyalty:
A 2021–22 report found that 70% of HCPs feel that field reps “do not completely understand their needs and expectations,” and 62% say that the most significant area where pharma representatives can add value is by understanding their needs and sharing only relevant content with them to make the interactions more insightful.
The key takeaway is that field teams need to evolve their approach to be more responsive and relevant in the limited time they have with HCPs. Life science companies should be educating reps on the tools they have at their disposal, how these tools facilitate success, how the patient access support program benefits them and their customers, and how any copay or bridge programs work.
Sales reps must be able to answer questions about insurance coverage and work in tandem with the field reimbursement specialist to address any PA and reimbursement issues that arise. With the right information and tools in hand, integrated field teams can drive brand performance and patient access more effectively.
Time constraints impact how physicians prefer to receive information. To build trust and engagement with a physician audience, it’s crucial to respect these preferences.
Consider the following findings on HCP digital channel preferences:
68% identified webinars or webcasts as their most preferred channel to receive information
62% and 57% preferred to receive clinical and medical content on their computers and laptops, respectively.
50% prefer to receive promotional content on their mobile or tablet
47% prefer receiving communication through the marketing email channel.
From the point of prescribing to driving therapy adherence, automated processes reduce friction across the prescription journey. According to a Deloitte survey, 72% of physicians identify PAs as one of the biggest workflow issues to be solved with technological solutions.
Manufacturers can meet HCPs where they are by leveraging technology to improve patient access. Tech-enabled patient access services should ensure the PA process works within current HCP workflows, staying within the prescriber’s EHR, pre-populates required forms with clinical information, and monitors PAs for submission success. By making prescribing as easy as possible and simplifying the PA process, HCPs are more likely to write scripts and help patients get started on their prescribed therapy more quickly.
To bring value to time-constrained providers, commercialization teams must understand what is happening across the prescription journey. Life science companies that invest in capabilities to capture and analyze the best data to make informed commercialization decisions will realize better brand outcomes and a competitive advantage.
Tracking the right metrics enables greater visibility into the prescription journey and how it impacts HCPs and patients so meaningful changes can be made, when necessary, throughout the brand’s lifecycle. Whether a PA has stalled due to missing data on a form or the pharmacy has not done an electronic benefits verification, the field team can proactively assist the provider before frustration sets in and expedite the patient’s access to therapy.
The impact of constrained HCP workflows can reverberate through the entire lifecycle of your branded therapy. The challenges are undeniable – limited physician access, utilization management hurdles, and dynamic communication preferences threaten brand success. By aligning your approach with the evolving needs of providers, you can secure your brand’s position in the market, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately maximize patient access.
As an end-to-end commercialization partner, Phil helps life sciences companies deliver a tech-enabled, data-driven patient access experience, mitigating the burden of the PA process for physicians and their staff and empowering them to spend more time on patient care while facilitating therapy access and adherence. Download this prior authorization guide to learn how the PhilRx platform leverages technology to modernize the hub experience and streamline the payer utilization management process for physicians.
Our consultants will work with you to analyze your current channel strategy and make recommendations for how to improve patient access and increase the percentage of scripts getting covered by insurance.