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Perspectives on the Role of HCP Office Staff

Posted by Matt Breese on Jun 13, 2017

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Pharmaceutical brand marketers win when prescribers are aware of their brand, understand its clinical value and can easily prescribe the product to patients. However, many prescribers are limiting facetime with pharma reps today. Some health practices have rules in place that prevent pharma reps from performing marketing activities in a clinical setting. In other cases, there's simply no spare time for clinicians to meet with reps due to high patient volumes. 

The ease of prescribing is usually directly related to a brand’s market access. In some situations, the physician’s office staff has the job of ensuring that treatment is delivered to the patient as quickly as possible. Office administrators often act as the gatekeeper between pharma reps and clinicians. For example, HCP office staff typically perform the busy work of fulfilling a prescription, calling-in to pharmacies, and pulling any necessary forms. In these situations, it’s valuable for pharma reps to deliver messages that can be passed along to staff. 

Identify Gatekeepers in your Focus Geographies:

In order to develop effective messaging, pharma must first understand the prescribers and patient population in specific territories.  According to Gwen McClean, Contributor at Pharma Exec, it’s essential for pharma reps to develop relationships with medical support staff: 

“It's impossible to see the doctor if you cannot get past the receptionist, so it is in your best interest to develop amicable relationships with these gatekeepers. Demonstrate professional courtesy and realize that their time is precious. In a typical day, a receptionist appeases patients tired of sitting in the waiting room, relays phone calls from pharmacies requesting refills and substitutions, tries to keep the physicians on schedule, fills out insurance forms and completes hundreds of administrative tasks.”

Here’s one strategy, developed by MMIT, for identifying gatekeepers and delivering the appropriate messages to them:

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Implement the Right Human Resources:

Once pharma companies understand their target audience, they can assign members of their team to seek sales opportunities with each gatekeeper. By connecting with office staff, pharma can better understand prescriber challenges and find ways to address them. This increase the chances of getting prescriptions written for their brand.

Here’s one method, developed by MMIT, for distributing pharma sales teams: 

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While messaging to HCP office staff is important, pharma companies must be careful to avoid delivering the same message to staff as prescribers in every situation. It’s still important for pharma reps to include physician-specific messaging in their sales strategy.

To learn more about this topic, download MMIT’s Playbook on Prescriber Staff Pass-Along Messaging.

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Topics: Market Access