During launch planning, many manufacturers place a great deal of emphasis on mapping and understanding the patient journey – and for good reason. The better you understand the patient journey, the better your ability to create a positive patient experience, leading to improved adoption and adherence rates.
But while this is important, there’s an equally vital component of the launch strategy that often gets overlooked: mapping the prescriber journey.
Often, manufacturers assume it’s simple for HCPs to choose products and write prescriptions, however, the process is far more complex. Navigating the EHR system, ordering new therapies, utilizing treatment protocols – from the point of diagnosis all the way to the point of prescription, HCPs must overcome various hurdles on a daily basis. These processes and hurdles still remain a mystery to many manufacturers and that can have a direct impact on product success. If manufacturers are going to successfully reach these prescribers, they must understand the ins and outs of their day-to-day experience.
For example, the prescriber journey has recently shifted in a few key ways, creating both new improvements and new barriers to prescriptions that may impact how often your product gets selected and prescribed.
Barrier: There’s a significant increase in e-prescribing (eRx)
Recently, more states have instituted mandates requiring eRx for controlled substances, aiming to limit prescription fraud for these medications. These mandates require additional layers of security, and in turn, create additional steps for HCPs. When electronically sending a controlled substance, they may have to re-enter their password and/or utilize two factor authentication like a token on their phone or a biometric.
For manufacturers, this increases the importance of listing their products in the electronic health records systems and having an appropriate EHR strategy.
Improvement: Better specialty and HUB workflow integration
While eRx requirements are creating additional steps for HCPs, there are other changes targeted at improving the EHR experience. EHR platforms are making strides with integrating specialty and HUB enrollment processes into the EHR workflow, which could greatly simplify the ordering process for specialty meds.
Before these integrations, HCPs often experienced a “chair swivel effect” when handling specialty and hub program enrollment for patients. First, they’re in front of the EHR filling out information, then they swivel over to a web-based portal, or even a paper form, to fill out patient demographic and insurance info – often details they’ve already transcribed into the EHR. However, the new integrations put into place allows a lot of that information to be drawn out of EHR, streamlining the process.
Barrier: Sales rep access to HCPs is decreasing
For years, sales reps have seen their access to HCPs steadily decrease and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated the process, creating even more prescriber access challenges. Though some research suggests a subset of HCPs do still want contact with pharma reps for samples and coupons, it’s likely we’ll continue to see overall access for sales reps decrease rapidly.
With this in mind, manufacturers will have to incorporate alternate, non-personal promotion tactics into their strategies to reach prescribers. For example, this might mean incorporating messaging into the EHR workflow or into other digital clinical decision support tools. Pharma will have to continue to be creative in order to reach prescribers through virtual engagement.
The more you know about the barriers and opportunities that exist within the prescriber journey, the better your launch plan will be. If you want a partner that can not only help you understand the prescriber, but build an effective strategy to reach them, fill out the form below to talk to our expert team.