Value-based care necessitates big changes for pharma marketers, says digital pharma agency

Much has been discussed, and some dismissed, when it comes to value-based care in the pharma industry. However, no one can deny that the shift to outcomes-based healthcare is a sea change that will affect big pharma significantly.

Still, exactly what does value-based care mean for pharma companies? What strategic and organizational changes will drug marketers need to make?

Intouch Solutions believes the change will require major shifts in pharma drug strategy, execution and measurement. And part of that will include a focus on value that goes beyond the product itself, three of its analysts recently wrote a point-of-view commentary.

“The goals of brand value have to be totally different. It’s not just about selling the brand anymore, but selling the brand’s value,” Gabriel Cangiano, Intouch director, HCP and payer strategies and one of the post’s authors, toldFiercePharmaMarketing. “ … We have to provide health communications that are about what people are getting from pharma that goes beyond the pill.”

Intouch is advising strategic shifts in thinking. Instead of trying to just increase drug sales or drive web traffic to a branded website, pharma now should be working on creating brand support programs around adherence and compliance and also figuring out how to prove those efforts are producing better outcomes. They should be thinking about communicating their value story to doctors and patients, instead of continuing the traditional route of simply listing benefits and risks, the company believes.

Take building a website. Traditionally, the build would focus on things like clinical data, indication information and safety and dosage facts. But in a value-based care environment, the branded site needs to build a story of value and highlight things like co-pay offsets, support programs and patient content, Cangiano said.

The good news is that some pharma companies already have experience with this more patient-centric digital marketing. Pharma tends to have closer relationships with rare diseases and chronic condition patients via online care communities and more direct communications. For example, Janssen's Prezcobix website encourages HIV patients to share their stories and lists "helpful resources" including help for medication payment prominently on its home page.

And while implementing these changes will take time and effort, brands will get a chance to "create a powerful new outcome story, to show how their service can drive results backed by data," the Intouch authors wrote in the post. "That’s a story payers and providers, under the new value-based care barometer, will care about.”

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