Outsourcing: Enhance, Support, Grow

Contributed by:

Erin Neary and Dennis McLoughlin, The Remedy Group

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

You cannot do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” The wise words of Nelson Jackson should be the driving force behind every outsourcing partnership today. Implementing innovative strategies through outsourcing helps pharmaceutical companies meet the changing demands of the marketplace and realize their long-term goals. There might be some uncertainties around outsourcing that keep companies from making the leap. The belief is that outsourcing a project means a loss of control over the way a project is carried out. For example, when outsourcing a commercialization team, there can be concern that the outsourced account managers may not be of the same caliber as those hired by a company’s own team. Or, the pharmaceutical company may fear that it will not receive frequent and accurate reporting to determine the success of the project as it progresses. A trusted outsourcing partner prides itself on its ability to integrate closely into the client company by developing a strategic. This model of true in-sourcing allows companies to be relieved of the burden while maintaining control of the project parameters, taking on minimal risk with minimal investment, and yielding maximum return. Of course, pharmaceutical companies have years of experience, and know how to put together commercialization teams, hire brand managers, develop messaging and training programs, analyze territories, and develop an entire launch strategy. However, do they have the resources? Does it make sense for them to put their efforts into hiring a team? Or, more often, spread the current team thin by adding to their responsibilities? A pharmaceutical company’s time is better spent focused on areas of business development and growth, while an outsourcing team of experts can focus on implementing the vision through to completion. To keep up with the rapidly changing and growing industry, both pharmaceutical manufacturers and outsourcing companies must be equally rapid and flexible. In a time where patent life is in jeopardy and healthcare reform, price cuts, and payer mixes will have a great impact on drug spending, an experienced outsourcing partner will provide value to healthcare providers and most importantly, patients, through fast and effective penetration into specialty markets. It is imperative that companies focus on acquisitions of generics or other manufacturers as well as acquire licensing and access to niche therapeutic areas to remain players. The goal is growth, of course. What both parties can accomplish together is allowing the pharmaceutical company to focus on the best way to achieve growth, while the service provider carries out the strategic commercial objectives of its partner company. Growth is not one contract, not one acquisition, not one niche market, it’s the long-term development of a pipeline. An outsourcing partner allows the pharmaceutical manufacturer and its team of experts the freedom to build the brand, expand into emerging markets, while allowing for the natural shifts, changes, and scale up or down to fit the promotional needs over time. Because third-party providers are flexible and adaptable, they can effectively enter a niche market with a highly qualified team, making an immediate impact on the bottom line. This can be accomplished in several ways. Strategic Business Planning Versatile outsourcing partners offer a proprietary mix of market knowledge and analytics to customize a team of brand managers, field account managers, and virtual sales representatives to achieve a client’s goals. In-sourced Sales A multidimensional partner provides an all-in-one sales solution using industry experience and best practices to target specialty markets, such as: DoD/VA, managed care, college health, public health, pediatrics, women’s health, immunizations, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health, antibiotics, and gastrointestinal, to name just a few. Account Managers Together, with the client, an outsourcing partner can determine the most effective hybrid of two models — field account managers and virtual sales representatives (VSR) — to best meet the needs of the project. The utilization of these two invaluable resources can drive sales for clients (see figure A). Field representatives can be quickly scaled up or down based on the client’s needs. The company can work in conjunction with virtual representatives in order to qualify leads, schedule appointments, and follow up, creating the perfect synergy of customer service. The cutting-edge virtual sales model is an extremely effective tool with unparalleled reach and frequency yielding a peak return on investment. VSRs are able to utilize technology such as online webinars to educate HCPs, gather market intelligence, and uncover product objections with skill and efficiency. Not only cost-effective, the VSR model has also proven to rival the field force model in the ability of experienced and customer service-oriented representatives to foster genuine relationships and breakdown barriers with HCPs and decision makers by providing value and differentiation. For example, over a six-month period of just VSRs leading a commercialization initiative of a prescription product in the cardiovascular market, sales increased by 25% each month yielding a total increase of 110% over prior year (see figure B). Training Through a team of dedicated experts, an outsourcing partner has the ability to quickly recruit, train, and implement a team of account managers who act as an extension of the pharmaceutical company. Training programs can developed around corporate culture and include comprehensive disease state, product, competitive industry knowledge, and pharmacovigilance platforms, ensuring the account managers in the field offer value and credibility to healthcare providers and patients as they represent a client’s brand. Compliance A good outsourcing partnership philosophy revolves around the integration of the provider’s company into the client’s culture, therefore to ensure the partner can truly act as an extension of the client’s organization representatives should participate in and be certified in a compliance program. A strict curriculum adheres to the stringent, no-tolerance policies of the OIG ensuring complete compliance with the latest PhRMA guidelines. Often this training can extend beyond the field and virtual sales forces to include the client’s field force as well. Technology In addition, most outsourcing partners have developed sophisticated technology solutions that allows for a virtual integration with the client. Real-time reporting and metrics with dashboards are accessible by clients at all times to receive real-time updates. Reporting A partnership is only as good as the results, and there should be a 100% commitment to accountability and transparency. Customized reports that capture all communication and sales metrics, allow clients to keep control of how their company is represented. Real-time data analysis allows clients to overcome identified barriers and realize new opportunities by quickly changing marketing strategies. Ronald Reagan said, “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” Outsourcing partners provide a team of experts who know the markets you are about to enter. As a long-term business partner, committed to the strategic and commercial objectives of your company, an outsourcing company can carry out the vision and everybody can grow together. Erin Neary VP Training & Development, Chief Compliance Officer The Remedy Group Dennis McLoughlin Founder & President, The Remedy Group Return on Investment Outcomes Cardiovascular Product 2011 The Remedy Group is a team of industry experts who provide customized solutions for specialty markets with innovative, comprehensive sales and marketing solutions. { For more information, visit remedygroup.com. Geocentric Integration Model

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