8 MIN READ
Best-in-class pharma HCP engagement is the culmination of Thoughtleader mapping, strategic targeting and rich insights gained from research (understanding). By following a disciplined approach brands can drive meaningful results for their treatments through every stage of a treatment’s lifecycle.
What are HCPs?
Healthcare providers, also known as HCPs, are persons and organizations such as doctors, nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), Nurses, other care providers and hospitals that provide healthcare services and treatments to patients. By adopting effective pharma HCP engagement, companies can ensure their data and messages are received. This can include building advocacy for a treatment in its early stages of development through marketing and release.
Some HCPs are ThoughtLeaders That Can Have Increased Impact
Some HCPs evolve into ThoughtLeaders (TLs) also described as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or Medical Experts (MEs) because they are influential in specific disease areas. Most have gained their notoriety through experience, research, authorship and institutional leadership. For this reason they also often have influence of payer formularies, treatment algorithms and the prescribing behaviors of other HCPs. TLs can become advocates for a treatment and influence HCPs through their participation in advisory roles, clinical trials, authorship in respected journals, and participation on panels that directly influence peer groups.
When Should HCPs Be Engaged?
HCPs should be engaged at the appropriate time in a treatment’s life cycle. During development and clinical trials, national and regional TLs can be engaged set the stage for a successful launch. Pre-launch efforts should focus on identifying and engaging regional and local TLs beyond the global and national TLs that hve already been engaged. Pharma HCP engagement at launch should identify and focus on high writers (HCPs and practices that have high patient volume in a disease area) and target the broader HCP community. By creating a proactive strategy well in advance, pharma brands can engage HCPs to:
● Advise in early development stages
● Provide in-depth information about disease states
● Influence public opinion through industry articles, media and events
● Lead clinical trials and offer real-time feedback for adaptations
● Impact formularies and treatment algorithms
● Influence other HCPs
Well-structured pharma HCP engagement strategies will utilize a holistic approach to educate and engage TLs with the goal of cascading data and messaging down to the broader HCP community to fuel adoption and ensure a treatment reaches its full potential.
6 Ways to Increase Pharma HCP Engagement
It can be a challenge to find the right HCPs at the right time to maximize effectiveness. Fortunately, there are a number of proven approaches to heighten certainty of both identifying and engaging the right treaters.
1. Utilize KOL Mapping as a Strategy Blueprint
One of the best tools for effective pharma HCP engagement is to work with a partner that specializes in KOL mapping and engagement, such as MDOutlook. By utilizing reliable and precise KOL mapping, pharma companies can develop strategies that impact global, national, regional and local TLs and the HCPs they influence with specific focus by disease state. A well-designed strategy will also sequence the timing for the engagement of KOLs and HCPs more broadly during relevant stages in a treatment’s life cycle to gain acceptance with formularies and treatment algorithms and maximize adoption in the treatment of patients.
2. Involve A Broad Representation Of ThoughtLeaders In Your Market Research
ThoughtLeaders can play a powerful role in market research and provide rich insights about a disease state and existing treatments to pharma leaders. They can also play a powerful role in brand and message development through market research studies and advisory boards. To lay a foundation for winning Pharma HCP engagement, engage a broad swath of TLs in research efforts when it becomes evident a treatment will likely be approved. This includes not only global and national TLs but regional and local TLs as well, particularly local TLs in geographies with high disease prevalence. Including regional and local TLs early in the process will provide valuable insights, help them feel valued and help a treatment launch avoid having large pockets with low or no adoption. MDOutlook’s DOCpulse® rapid, iterative research is an ideal approach to gain rich insights across a meaningful population of ThoughtLeaders.
3. Roll Out Peer-To-Peer Programs As Widely As Possible
There is an old expression that sometimes “the messenger is more important than the message.” A leading edge approach to fuel Pharma HCP engagement is to conduct peer-to-peer programs that have meaningful discussion about specific disease areas with particular focus on treatments, individual patient cases and best practices. Best-in-class programs will match ThoughtLeaders with other ThoughtLeaders and clinicians they influence, ideally based on reliable KOL mapping. Peer-to-peer programs should be planned with an eye toward engaging national, regional and local KOLs and clinicians that are mapped in their influence networks. MDOutlook’s Activeer® peer-to-peer programs are an excellent choice because they utilize KOL mapping to inform recruitment, facilitate rich disease state discussion and generate syndicated reports that can be leveraged to extend the reach of the program to already mapped networks. For these reasons, programs can also impact formularies and treatment algorithms.
4. Understand How Each HCP Wants to be Engaged
In order to maximize pharma HCP engagement, it’s important to understand how each HCP wants to be engaged. Some will want to meet face-to-face with your sales representatives or medical affairs team. Some may enjoy peer-to-peer panels, discussion groups and speaker programs. Others may only want to be reached digitally, via email and social media, or be offered a mix of reach-out mechanisms and opportunities, where they can engage on their own terms.
By understanding the communication vehicles that best resonate with each HCP, pharma brands can craft customized approaches to ensure their data and messages are received.
5. Have a Powerful Presence at Events and Conferences
Many clinicians attend annual events in their disease state specializations, and this provides an opportunity for more in-depth discussions with them often in a more relaxed environment. Plan events well in advance, exhibit when possible, schedule lunches or dinners with ThoughtLeaders and clinicians and bring enough team members to maximize impact. By attending, exhibiting and presenting at these conferences, companies can engage HCPs that may be difficult to reach by other means and deepen relationships with KOLs and clinicians.
6. Utilize Media Vehicles that have the Attention of HCPs
By leveraging product theaters and speaker programs, such as those provided by MDOutlook’s ClinicalXchange, brands can reach clinicians with timely, interactive programs at the times HCPs are most likely to engage. Not only does this increase pharma HCP engagement, it also allows brands to seamlessly incorporate their own branding and messaging to attract the right KOLs and TLs. Layer on digital marketing efforts to extend reach and increase frequency as well.
Partner With MDOutlook to Maximize Your Pharma HCP Engagement
There are many sequenced components in an effective strategy for pharma HCP engagement. It’s important to start the engagement process early and then continue monitoring the effectiveness of your strategy using ongoing reach-out mechanisms and tracking technologies. MDOutlook can help your team execute leading-edge KOL mapping and engagement so your brand reaches full potential. Do leave pharma HCP engagement to chance. Watch our free webinar on Impactful Thoughtleader Mapping and contact us to begin.