A: PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY MANAGED-MARKETS ACCOUNT MANAGERS can no longer rely on “selling” a health insurer or payor on a basket of products across a broad company portfolio. In today’s environment, the relationships held by managed-markets account managers are still critically important, particularly for the largest payor, but they must be more focused on their messages. To be successful, account managers and the pharmaceutical companies they represent should focus on three things:
- Start early: Account managers can’t rely on bundling products together or expect to start discussions a few months before launch. They should be regularly updating payors on their portfolios and potential launches on a regular basis, even years before potential launch.
- Be the architect of the story: Account managers should not let payors simply draw their own conclusions related to a particular product, therapeutic class, or competition. Account managers should do more than share the clinical attributes of their own products. Rather they should architect the entire story around their product, including class dynamics, generics, and competition.
- Engage at the top of the house: While it is important for account managers to maintain good relationships with payors, the payor market has gotten so consolidated that it is equally as important to engage at the most senior levels of both organizations around product launches and critical products. Pharmaceutical company CEOs must be willing and able to engage with the largest payors throughout the life cycle of their product portfolios and particularly at launch of new products.
Jeff is a 25-year industry veteran and has served in senior executive roles across the healthcare continuum with the likes of Schering-Plough, Merck, the Walgreens Boots Alliance, and UnitedHealth Group.