Magazine Article | April 1, 2020

Tips For Promoting Drug Product Uptake In Hospitals

Source: Life Science Leader

By Megan Duckering and Ashwin Singhania

Ashwin Singhania
Hospitals represent a critical access point for many therapeutics. Whether a therapeutic is indicated for use exclusively in a hospital or in both inpatient and outpatient settings, hospitals are key points of drug initiation or switching. To gain access to this channel, pharma companies must understand the needs and differences of hospital systems.


Today, hospital or systemwide pharmaceutical and therapeutic (P&T) committees determine which products to make available on the hospital

Megan Duckering
formulary. Additionally, more health systems are now taking on a complex and nuanced approach to management of hospital prescription practices by broadening P&T membership, considering value-based payment programs, and implementing technological systems, such as EHRs and computerized provider order entry (CPOE). As such, multiple stakeholders in increasingly centralized hospital systems now govern therapeutic decisions. This paradigm shift is a result of the growing pressure for hospital systems to provide quality care with ever-shrinking margins.


Therapies, especially innovative-yet-expensive ones, now require review and approval from physicians and pharmacists, as well as financial, actuarial, and quality management roles. This complicates the process for a manufacturer to successfully introduce an innovative product to patients. Today, a multifaceted approach is required to promote hospital product uptake. Here are several tips.

Target the right audience in the right sequence: First, manufacturers need to generate demand among KOLs to trigger P&T committee review. Then, during P&T review, manufacturers must address the various, sometimes disparate, needs of all stakeholders, potentially including clinical, economic, process, population health, and personalized medicine. From there, once a product is on formulary, manufacturers must continually reinforce the value proposition among clinicians to maintain demand, especially as individual physicians are increasingly influenced by the financial consequences of their actions.

Shift to omnichannel: Manufacturers interested in successfully launching a new therapeutic must shift to an omnichannel approach that reaches these decision-makers on their own terms. As such, manufacturers need to expand their communication strategies to provide perspective on additional factors, such as the overall population health benefit, budget impact, workflow integration, and process improvement. In addition, this requires a greater understanding of the pharmaceutical supply chain within the hospital — including the formulary review process, protocol integration, etc. — to proactively implement an expedited outreach process to prescribers.

Deploy account-centricity: All hospital accounts are unique, as no two P&T committees are exactly alike. As such, manufacturers should deploy account-centric approaches to developing their teams’ capabilities and tools to service individual accounts. This begins with establishing a collaborative environment across a multidisciplinary team and empowering the flexibility to address the varying needs of hospital accounts and stakeholders.

Take quadruple aim: A successful hospital launch often puts the principles of the “quadruple aim” at the strategic core (i.e., improving patient care and quality), reducing overall healthcare costs, improving overall population health, and achieving well-being among care teams. Keeping in mind the shift toward value-based care initiatives, manufacturers also should proactively develop strategies to tie their products’ values to quality, in order to drive broad adoption. These days, manufacturers need to go beyond the traditional supplier roles to become collaborators, working closely with hospital systems to integrate innovative therapeutics into existing workflows, and developing value-add solutions and services to ensure continuity of patient care.

MEGAN DUCKERING is a senior consultant in the Life Sciences strategy practice for Guidehouse.

ASHWIN SINGHANIA is a partner in the Life Sciences strategy practice for Guidehouse.