Savvy pharmaceutical companies have increased prescription volume by holding on to drug reps who provide health economics expertise and reimbursement information to physicians. The old pharmaceutical sales model involving tens of thousands of drug reps to promote products is gone. The next-generation sales force – including pharmaceutical specialty sales reps – is going beyond the traditional level of service, specifically by providing managed care and reimbursement support to physicians.
The drug reps who have survived the layoffs are the best suited for the next age of physician relationship management. It’s become more difficult to stand out from the crowd so reps are routinely offering greater levels of service to the healthcare providers they detail.
The study, “Specialty and Hospital Sales Force Management,” found that physicians do not have time to keep track of numerous formulary changes across the different insurance plans they accept. But that information is critical to patient care since low-income patients can lose access to treatment as prices increase. Drug companies have been training their sales reps to communicate reimbursement changes to physicians so that doctors and patients will not have to jump through hoops to get proper treatment.
In addition to providing scientific data and new information about their products, reps can inform physicians of managed care and market access changes affecting their company’s brands. They can also teach office staff protocol for ensuring patients receive reimbursement. By providing this extra level of service, sales reps at companies profiled in the study are already seeing increased prescription volumes and improved physician relationships.
“Specialty and Hospital Sales Force Management” contains best practices for managing next-generation hospital and specialty sales forces. Findings provide decision-makers with guideposts to boost performance with sales call metrics, training benchmarks and breakdowns of sales reps’ field activities, build or adjust hospital sales force headcounts, and attract talent with competitive compensation for all experience and performance levels. The study also includes cost-per-rep metrics and sales force compensation data.