America's largest healthcare recruiting firm.

 



For over fifteen years, I have utilized Buckman Enochs Coss to hire over one hundred individuals for Sales and Sales Management positions for a variety of healthcare technology firms. Whether it’s been for Fortune 500 companies or early stage, VC backed start-ups, BEC has always done a terrific job in sourcing top-talent.

Scott Schlesner
Vice-President of Sales
Elsevier

Justifying High Drug Costs
As drug prices head skyward and out-of-pocket costs for consumers approach prohibitive levels, patients, prescribers, health systems and insurers are all taking a closer look and factoring cost into treatment and formulary decisions. As cost pressures increase, manufacturers and sales teams feel the pinch, and expensive products require more data, more research and more convincing justification in order to maintain their place on a list of acceptable options. 

Are your sales teams ready to respond when they’re asked to explain or defend the cost structure of a certain product? Should they take this position when justification isn’t available? And most important - Are you keeping track of all cost reduction options and staying on the correct side of the healthcare delivery model from an ethical, medical, and economic standpoint? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your team for these questions. 

Focus on Long-Term Value

Financial side effects should be treated like any other side effect; which is to say, a drug that isn’t right for an individual patient may generate more harm than benefit, and this includes all consequences and potential risks, both financial and medical. But keep the cost of the alternative on the table and integral to the discussion. If the only other options include delaying or foregoing treatment, will these costs increase? 

Concentrate on Adherence

As patients accept higher cost percentages, adherence and treatment compliance play a stronger role in both costs and outcomes. Create and promote adherence programs that educate patients and providers regarding proper drug usage. This can lend more weight to the argument that an expensive drug is worth the cost. Encourage insurers to offer financial incentives to patients who maintain their course of treatment and renew their prescriptions on time. 

Enlist the Help of Specialists

Biostatisticians, bioinformaticists, and quantitative analysts can work together with account managers and sales reps to define and clarify drug value. These partnerships can also be used to refine reimbursement structures. Intense data analysis may be required to shift the cost burden away from the patient, and this effort may require the support of both clinical and data management experts. Resources can be drawn from patient registries, surveys, social media, wearable devices, and economic cost-benefit studies produced by employer-sponsored insurance providers.  

For more on how to train your sales teams to communicate drug value—and engage in partnerships that reduce and control drug costs—reach out to the pharmaceutical sales staffing team at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates.