Data in Action

This blog is part two in a series exploring how to leverage real world data to transform brand planning, launch and management created in collaboration with Fierce Pharma. 

Life sciences companies are operating in a new world, one where new treatments are being developed at breakneck speed, which holds unprecedented promise for patients. However, this new world is also one that requires the use of real world data (RWD) to empower marketing teams to effectively engage with various stakeholders – and ultimately lead healthcare providers to prescribe innovative drugs to the patients who will truly benefit from these treatment therapies.

Data in Action 

Life sciences marketing teams can leverage comprehensive RWD to:

Respond to crisis situations: The omni-stakeholder approach proved to be crucial when brand teams were faced with the challenge of getting patients needed medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis prompted life sciences leaders to cull insights from an array of stakeholders while trying to quickly engage patients, while adapting to near daily (if not hourly) insights into an evolving landscape.

This reinforced a well-known adage within the industry: “It’s all about understanding the patient – or more specifically, ‘meeting the patient’ to proactively identify those disparities in outcomes that either unlock value or in the worst case, can lead to suboptimal results, including mortality in the most extreme cases. In this case, it truly was a matter of life or death … the ability to quickly and accurately unlock those insights to impact patient care,” Brosso noted.

Knowing how to reach the patients that were most susceptible to the impact of disease, how those patients were accessing and utilizing care was crucial. An acceleration of the shift to telehealth services and how that impacted referrals and treatment patterns across treatment teams was studied in near real-time. Understanding the Social Determinants of Health for specific patient cohorts and how that impacted which people were utilizing these services provided was critical to the success of brand teams and the life sciences industry in general in navigating the crisis.

Pinpoint patients who will benefit from specific drugs: Data insights can be leveraged to understand the ability of various patients to metabolize certain drugs before marketing and selling these therapies to said patients. “With pharmacogenetic testing, a person can be tested to see if they have the markers to metabolize the drug. This will decrease the number of people getting a medication who get the side effects but not the benefits as they cannot metabolize the drug. And, in turn, this will lower costs and improve quality of care,” Dr. Robbins said. 

As personalized medical treatment has evolved, a deeper understanding of the patient is warranted. Pharmacogenetic testing will enable a provider to understand whether or not a patient can metabolize the medicine or only be subjected to the adverse effects of the drug. Prior to initiating treatment, if the biomarker studies are completed, only patients with the genes to metabolize the medication will get the appropriate prescription. This will improve healthcare delivery as patients who can benefit from the medications will get it, improving both quality and efficiency of care, according to Dr. Robbins. In other instances, healthcare providers prescribe a very viable drug therapy to patients, but the patients abandon or reject its recommended use due to a variety of behavioral, social or economic obstacles, Dr. Robbins noted. In today’s dynamic environments, if commercial teams don’t have the right data at the right time available to the right stakeholder that can impact treatment decisions, it is an almost insurmountable burden to craft an effective go-to-market strategy. 

Evaluate which patients will comply with drug therapy recommendations – and subsequently drive noncompliant patients to do so as well: An analysis of social determinants of health data can help assess the likelihood that various patients will adhere to recommended drug therapy. “From a pharmacy standpoint, the issue in the patient journey is what happens after the prescription is written. Is the medication dispensed, abandoned, or rejected? Which groups of people in different socioeconomic or demographic groups fall into each of these three categories?” Dr. Robbins said. “Understanding the root causes can lead to potential solutions, copay waivers, rebates, educational materials, etc.”

Respond to external forces: Outside of the normal launch and annual brand planning activities, life sciences commercial teams must be able to successfully manage and prepare for “influences outside of their direct control” such as the Inflation Reduction Act. This key legislation contains numerous provisions that will have the potential to profoundly change the way in which we bring drugs to market in the United States, and its impact is “really putting a lot of pressure on brand teams to understand market drivers of value. Where we’d initially see market access and contracting teams establish formulary positions prior to launch, and then have sales teams engage with providers to promote the drug therapy in those areas where they’d created a perceived advantage, life sciences companies now need to refine their models to ensure they account for this change in marketplace dynamics driven by public policy,” Brosso said.

Bring needed precision into the mix: “The level of precision that is required for today’s medicines continues to rise exponentially, especially within specialty medicines and rare diseases where the highest price points tend to live amongst the smallest patient populations,” Brosso said. For example, triple negative breast cancer, which has fewer treatment options than other types of breast cancer because the cancer cells do not have the estrogen or progesterone receptors or enough of the HER2 protein to make hormone therapy or HER2 drugs work.

Continue with the blog series:


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