An important part of bringing a new pharmaceutical product to market successfully is connecting with and gaining support from the right individuals and organizations. Therefore, building an engagement strategy that strengthens support for any new product is critical. Key areas must be included in a well-designed KOL engagement strategy for the plan to be as effective as possible.
What Are KOLs?
Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), also referred to as ThoughtLeaders (TLs), are medical professionals with weighty influence in their respective fields. KOLs tend to be well-recognized and respected. They are often regarded as influential experts in disease treatment options and therapy decision making, providing informed patient care options to clinicians, formulary committees and to treatment protocols implemented by institutions and their networks.
What is a KOL Engagement Strategy?
In the pharmaceutical industry, KOL engagement supports the critical success factors of a new product introduction. A KOL engagement strategy is designed to build and maintain a sustainable, constructive relationship with specific ThoughtLeaders. Engagement needs will vary from product discovery to commercialization and throughout the product’s lifecycle. Therefore, KOL engagement is a necessity to achieving long-term product success.
7 Components of a KOL Engagement Strategy
1. Create Phases of Engagement for Different Stages of the Product Lifecycle
Every stage of product development, clinical testing, and commercialization should involve a unique KOL engagement strategy. KOL input and support needs change throughout the lifecycle of a pharmaceutical product. For example, KOL engagement during clinical trial testing phases may require different expertise and perspective than a product in its commercial launch phase.
According to research performed by ARx Research, 70 percent of companies take a “lifecycle phase approach” to engage with KOLs at certain points. However, around 40 percent don’t develop relationships with KOLs until a product is in phase 3 testing or beyond. KOLs who are engaged in earlier phases of product development will have a better understanding of the science surrounding the product and hold more interest in positive treatment outcomes.
2. Identify Global, National and Regional KOLs
3. KOLs Selection for Clinical Trials and Data Evaluation
4. Target KOLs that Impact Treatment Algorithms
5. Equip Medical Affairs and Sales Teams to Successfully Engage with KOLs
6. Take Advantage of Peer to Peer Engagement
To build wider-scale traction during product launch, make use of peer-to-peer engagement. A peer-to-peer KOL engagement strategy can also be simplified with data-based tools like LUMINEER® — which can be used to understand relationships and influence across clinicians, experts, and other key professionals.
7. Measure Success and Areas of Need Post-Launch
Discover a More Efficient KOL Engagement Strategy with the Right Technology
From clinical trials to commercial success, a well-developed KOL engagement strategy can set the stage for successful outcomes. Pharmaceutical companies need innovative technology to make their KOL engagement strategy streamlined and efficient.
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