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Perspectives on Overcoming Generic Objections

Posted by Matt Breese on Jun 27, 2017

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Depending on the indication that a pharma manufacturer is in and how complex pharmacy vs. medical benefit coverage is, brand teams often have to worry about generics.  These products offer a much cheaper alternative that is often just as effective as a name brand but with better access. A new generic entrant can trigger an automatic "downgrade" in your market access. Brand teams need to plan to get available payer contracting ahead of launch and during the post-commercialization phases where a generic has not successfully penetrated your target physicians.

After these phases, arming your field teams with the ability to handle "generic" objections during physician engagements is key. They will need objection-handling skills across relevant payers and geographies to address generic-related objections and reimbursement restrictions.  According to Social Eye for Pharma, the most common objections raised by HCPs to pharmaceutical sales reps are: 

  1. Price/Cost
  2. Efficacy
  3. Side effect profile
  4. Ease of use/compliance
  5. Service/support

When field teams understand these common HCP concerns, they can better communicate their brand’s value. This preparation helps maintain a positive relationship between clinicians and pharma reps, protecting a brand’s market share in the long-run.

Validate Your Brand's Prescribing Access

To understand where a brand is restricted due to a generic presence, brand marketing teams should segment out generic market access. At this stage, it’s important to identify if this restriction is at parity with branded competitors. Specifically, here’s one strategy, developed by MMIT, for validating a brand’s prescribing access:

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Transparently Address Generic Restrictions

Brand marketers must also develop a common language to communicate common obstacles for prescribing drugs in their area. For example, here’s one method, developed by MMIT, for addressing unfavorable reimbursement restrictions with positive storytelling:

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Pharma marketers should empower their field teams to consult on market access credibly. Educate your sales team around the common objections that derive from generic products in your space and ensure they are equipped to deliver an accurate message. To learn more about this topic, download MMIT’s Playbook on Overcoming Generic Obstacles.


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Topics: Market Access, Branding & Marketing