An Omnichannel Approach to Risk Evaluation & Mitigation in Pharma

Compared to those in other fields, in many ways, life sciences marketers need much more precision when it comes to audience segmentation and targeting. The pharmaceutical brands that they are advertising often have very precise indications, which means the drug’s value and benefits are only relevant to a niche audience.

For example, imagine that your brand sells a drug or equipment that treats cystic fibrosis – while there are 40,000 Americans with this condition, the actual number of brand-eligible patients is certain to be much smaller. 

Using real-world data, brands can ensure that they’re actually targeting brand-eligible patients, caregivers, or the healthcare providers (HCPs) that are treating those patients who have been diagnosed with the condition. Because HCPs serve as a gatekeeper to prescriptions, educating and enabling this audience effectively is a requirement for a DTC campaign’s success. 

When identifying high-value HCPs for targeting and engagement, however, you need to confirm that the patient and practice data you’re using is as up-to-date as possible so that you’re targeting each of them effectively across channels and making the most of your advertising budget.

Employing a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) using low latency medical claims data to identify and engage HCPs is a critical success factor for REMS program implementation.

What Is REMS and Why Should Omnichannel Marketers Care?

REMS is a drug safety program that helps control the prescription and usage of pharmaceutical drugs that present serious safety concerns to patient health. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented REMS for many pain medications, including opiates like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, and tramadol, among others. 

What does this mean for providers? Before working on cases involving pain management, physicians – and other healthcare workers – are strongly encouraged to complete the training outlined in the Opioid Analgesic REMS to become a certified prescriber every few years. 

If the FDA determines that a REMS is required for an existing drug, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to develop a safety training program that meets all stated requirements (which depends on the drug itself).

While HCPs are not explicitly required to complete REMS to work with specific patient populations, those who have not completed a drug’s associated safety program will likely feel unprepared to prescribe that medication.

At the end of the day, provider-facing marketing activities should help HCPs understand the specific indication of a medication, how their patient will benefit, and when they should choose it over an alternative treatment. Making it easy for HCPs to become recertified for your brand can significantly improve the likelihood that they will treat patients with that medication. And to develop an omnichannel strategy that targets the right HCPs for recertification, brands need to leverage real-world data. 

A 6-Step Sequence to Drive Physician REMS Certification 

Brands can use PurpleLab’s HealthNexus platform to access the real-world data they need to identify HCPs who are also treating a sufficient volume of brand-eligible patients. Here’s the 6-step process:

  1. As with most provider-focused sequences, the first step is to generate a list of National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) that match your patient and practice criteria (i.e., HCPs treating a sufficient and/or growing volume of brand-eligible patients). This list will allow you to prioritize and target HCP practices that can impact the right patients , allowing you to optimize resource allocation.
  2. Provide field agents with the prioritized NPI list for recruitment purposes. Depending on your overall strategy, this can be the first point of contact or you can have agents wait to reach out to providers until they’ve had some other engagement with your brand.
  3. You can also send medical science liaisons (MSLs) a list of institutions for recruitment. Having MSLs engage with HCPs provides a critical opportunity for in-depth education on the product and the patients it can benefit, one that HCPs prefer when they are ready to engage more.
  4. Next, send Hub Services an NPI list for engagement. This will allow you to share more clinical content with high-value HCPs, which can supplement engagements with field agents and MSLs.
  5. Ship the NPI list to demand-side platforms for use in REMS recruitment and awareness building. 
  6. Invite HCPs on the prioritized NPI list to qualify for inclusion in a physician locator tool, which will help increase patient volume for low-utilization practices. 

Leverage Real-World Data to Market Efficiently at Scale

HealthNexus can help life sciences brands apply real-world data to coordinate efforts between field marketers, MSLs, and Hub Services, ultimately encouraging HCP recertification and growing your opportunity for Rx lift from previously low-utilization practices.

Streamlining how your teams coordinate and encourage HCP REMS certification means better returns from all the resources your brand invests into HCP engagements as well as patient-facing advertising across all channels.

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