Holiday Hearts: ‘Tis the Season to Give

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This holiday season, Alliance Life Sciences is playing Santa!

Organized through the YWCA in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania, the Holiday Hearts program is about making a small difference in the lives of children who need it most.

Alliance took the wish lists of eight underprivileged children, ages 6-11, and purchased everything each child requested — three needs and three wants. Through the program, Alliance also provided grocery gift cards to the children’s families as a way to make the season brighter.

Here’s to a new tradition that we hope will inspire others to reach out to those who could use a helping hand or some good cheer.

Happy Holidays!

The World in Your Hands: Global Pricing Data Gives Pharmcos a Much-Needed Edge

Pharma companies are under a lot of pressure these days. In the war to gain a competitive advantage, they have to be careful not to fall into price gouging, while grappling with an array of other obstacles: biosimilars, price erosion, international reference pricing and an ever-evolving marketplace.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the application of international reference pricing and its influence on pricing mechanisms across the globe, especially in the wake of its adoption by countries across Europe and also Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and other countries.

How can pharmcos actively and efficiently analyze trends, and determine how the market will react when competing products are approved or launched? Seems impossible, but the tools to do just that are within your grasp. It’s all about leveraging pricing data and using it to identify competitive threats and trends, especially for smaller companies looking for an edge over Big Pharma.

By using a high-quality, robust global pricing solution, pharmcos can optimize their pricing strategy based upon an in-depth understanding of how the global markets work, map international reference rules and define an optimal launch order when marketing a new medication. 

Smarter decision-making tools also enable pharmcos to gain better insights around treatment costs for prevalent diseases. Consider a cost-of-treatment analysis as a way to identify the most effective treatment approach for the same disease. You need the power to analyze key factors, such as unit price, age, weight, patient compliance and treatment duration.

Alliance Life Science offers a high-quality, robust global data solution:

  • Accuracy through expert review
  • Flexibility in data configurability and integration that can be customized to exact needs
  • Freshness, with updates up to five to eight weeks faster than other solution providers
  • Coverage, ranking high in country coverage when benchmarked against the competition
  • Quick and easy access to competitor drug-price information across 80+ markets

Having the most up-to-date and accurate information provides a good benchmark for companies, helping them to minimize revenue leakage, develop effective pricing strategies for new drugs, and manage ongoing pricing and reimbursement changes to maximize revenue.

Read more thought-leadership from Alliance Life Sciences on this topic:

FiercePharma: Want to win on pricing? Take a closer look at the numbers

Contract Pharma: How Pharma Manufacturers Can Gain a Competitive Edge with Advanced Pricing Data and Analytics

WTN News: Global Pricing Data and Analytics: The Defining Factor for Success 

Wanted: Leaders, Hotshots and Rock Stars

How to get noticed by a talent acquisition team

Attracting talent is a critical factor for every company, and often makes the difference between achieving market success or suffering market failure. As a talent acquisition leader, I spend my day sourcing, attracting and recruiting employees. This means hours of identifying and vetting not simply candidates who are looking for a job, but also drawing in the industry’s best and brightest. Prospective employees aren’t necessarily looking to make a change, but sometimes the better company, with the faster career track, has to go to them.

If you are an up-and-comer in your field, don’t hide your light under a bushel. To get that dream job, you need to do more than keep your resume updated. Here are a few tips that can help raise your profile and catch the eye of a hungry talent acquisition team member:

Develop a Robust Online Presence

LinkedIn – These days, LinkedIn is the go-to site for talent acquisition professionals. Therefore, optimize your LinkedIn profile by keeping it up-to-date with recent projects, new skills and experiences, and glowing testimonials that highlight your achievements and corroborate your qualifications.

You want to pay special attention to experiences and activities that relate to the career you are pursuing. Also, in your summary profile, use strong, descriptive language that is brief but captivating.

Twitter – Twitter has become an important feature in today’s job quest. With Twitter, you can enhance your visibility by tweeting industry insights, posing interesting questions and retweeting key industry thought leaders and influencers. By engaging with the professional community, you can develop a reputation, demonstrate your knowledge of trends, and communicate your insights on important issues that affect the industry.

Write an industry or specialty area blog – This is a great way to develop a name in the industry. You should also follow other bloggers and post insightful, relevant comments that get a conversation going – and help you gain visibility. Think of it as digital networking.

 Old-School Networking

When you step away from the computer and attend industry-related events, you stand a great chance of meeting people who can turbo-charge your career. It’s also an opportunity to signal your involvement and passion for your field, while learning and meeting new people.

Another way to get noticed is to get involved in your community. Most companies like to hire people who take the time to give back. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you also never know who you will meet — and impress — while collecting clothing for the homeless or helping to build a home for an underprivileged family.

With the economy in an upswing, more companies are experiencing significant growth. Achieving their goals will depend on attracting the best of the best. Whether you’re a hotshot or a diamond in the rough, even if you are not actively looking for a new job, you should be thinking strategically about your future.

So You Want To Be A Consultant?

As a consultant for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, I provide strategies on how to effectively manage revenue and improve business processes by optimizing contract strategies, minimizing revenue leakage, and constructing comprehensive reports for more accurate forecasting.

In simpler terms, I help companies streamline costs and become more competitive in an increasingly complex and demanding marketplace. While it’s not easy, it is exciting. The global pharma industry today faces unprecedented market pressures, shrinking pipelines, stiff competition and an unstable regulatory environment.

Like clutch hitters, consultants are called in to make the game-winning decisions. We help companies focus on best practices and outcomes – and develop the best possible business models. Being an effective player in this realm requires motivation, intelligence and insight, but the benefits of working at a consulting company are enormous.

Key Benefit #1: You Are Always Learning – and Teaching

Every new project brings a wealth of new experiences and learning opportunities for a consultant. Unlike the typical routine of day-to-day responsibilities that comprise most industry jobs, a consultant’s responsibilities change from moment-to-moment, guided by the company’s most urgent needs. In the process, you have an opportunity to develop new strategies, apply tried-and-true practices and share expertise. You also gain knowledge across vast areas of the industry at an accelerated pace. Throughout this process, you are constantly finding new ways to leverage your experience across multiple clients to determine the best possible fix or course of action.

Key Benefit #2: You Are the Product

Maybe the greatest part about consulting is that you are able to mold yourself into the product that your client needs the most. Often times working at a large corporation means supporting your employer in a certain field such as finance, operations, human resources, or research and development in order to assure the success of their product.  As a consultant, you are the product!  Your employer’s success depends entirely on how much your clients value you.  They turn to you for advice, and you become an essential factor in their success. It’s a great feeling!

In essence, consultants sell themselves as that invaluable missing piece that could shape a company’s next big break-through. Once they see the results of your critical input, they see you as an indispensable part of the decision-making team.

Why Do Companies Need Consultants?

The best consultants benefit their clients in many ways:

  • extension of their own team
  • go-to resource for problem-solving
  • trusted advisor
  • key strategic partner
  • add value to every initiative

The greatest consultants provide a high-level of contact, execute well, and add tremendous strategic value to projects — and to the overall business. Maybe the most important benefit that consultants can provide is peace of mind.

Smaller Pharmcos Can Play in the Big League — And Win!

Key takeaways – and insights — from ePharma’s panel discussion “HCP Multichannel Marketing: at the Intersection of Physician Engagement, Smooth Communication & Smart Selling”

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Moderator:

Terri Young, Ph.D., Head, WW Multi-Channel Management Partners, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Panelists:

Eric Rothstein, Executive Director, Customer Channels & Solutions, Merck

Robin Kamen, Senior Director, Digital Strategy, Pfizer

Erik Dalton, Vice President of Operations, Healthcasts

Anne Stroup, Vice President of Strategy, Alliance Life Sciences

You don’t have to cast a big shadow to turn data analytics into improved engagement strategies – and capture increased market share.

With a more nimble, flexible business model than their larger counterparts, small to mid-size companies have the potential to readily scale multichannel marketing and personalize HCP messages to drive business.

If you weren’t able to attend the recent ePharma panel presentation, here are some of the key-insights from top industry thought leaders. Essentially, smaller pharma may be inherently agile and positioned to advance these strategies more rapidly.

Turn Traditional and Expanded Data Sets into HCP Engagement Strategies

Marketing today is synonymous with data analytics. There is an unprecedented amount of customer data that can help build out personalized HCP communications creating a customized experience. However, with respect to the management of this data, without quick reflexes and agile technology, customer-centric strategies will fail to activate or reach full potential.

Deeper customer insights is the key to unlocking:

  • Behavioral and attitudinal trends
  • The value that a customer can bring to your brand
  • The customer’s  receptivity to your each component of your value proposition
  • Relevant content that keeps the customer engaged with your brand
  • The most optimal promotional mix

Evolved HCP Multichannel Marketing Focuses on the Customer’s Needs

As we have learned from other industries, brand loyalty results when a value-based relationship is developed between a customer and the brand.  Integrated multichannel marketing is evolving from a promotional campaign to a dialogue that builds into a relationship.

In order to establish and grow a relationship, the brand must both understand and act upon the customer’s needs. This means delivering the content they want, when and how they choose to receive it.  Content must be appropriate to their immediate need and accessible on-demand through multiple channels.  In addition to a deep understanding, this requires planning, expanded content, and the technology infrastructure to support customer focused engagement.  It is a different model than the product based push campaigns we have become accustom to.

Yes, the Rep IS Part of the Multichannel Marketing Strategy.

Channel Mix Modeling allows marketers to segment engagement strategies by the presence and depth of the field reps based on the HCP’s value.  Integrating all channels and selecting content based on previous interaction creates a cohesive customer experience.  With recent adoption of approved mail, reps can expand their relationship with physicians.  And brands can supplement rep generated interactions with incremental, relevant content.  When the rep and physician relationship is not firmly established, the integrated multichannel approach offers interaction options.    Creating this cohesive customer experience is about QUICKLY managing all the channels in real-time and a non-overlapping way.

Creating personalized customer experiences of the likes Amazon has with their customers requires agile data management, technology AND staff with quick reflexes. It’s important to evaluate your staff and systems with this in mind. If you don’t have the right parts and pieces in place, look for partners who can provide the industry experience, the big ideas, data management and the technology needed to build real physician and customer engagement.

To learn more contact: Anne.Stroup@alscg.com

You can also gain industry insight by reading Customer Engagement Strategies Drive Brand Growth 

Thoughts and Perspectives on Model N’s Rainmaker 2015

“Change” was a pervasive theme at this year’s Rainmaker conference, hosted by Model N, a partner of Alliance Life Sciences, at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco, California. Model N seemed eager to show that it is evolving, much like the industry it services. The breakout sessions, chaired by Model N employees and representatives of pharmaceutical manufacturers, ranged from software demonstrations and panel discussions to traditional podium speakers.

The new developments exhibited by the company all carried a similar theme of being proactive.  Rather than toe the line or change reactively, a concerted effort is being made to stay ahead of industry standards and forge new best practices. These advances include new customer relationship programs, “Revenue Management as a Service” offering, “Express” implementations, and a new customer relationship management (CRM) platform entitled, Revvy Sales.

Model N prominently displayed its transition into cloud revenue management. Both Adobe and Salesforce were present to share their experience with “Transformation to the Cloud,” providing insight into the tangible benefits. Their latest concept, CRM2, is the combination of CRM and cloud revenue management, although they warned that users should not “cloud themselves into a corner.” In other words, while “speed is the new currency,” such advances should not sacrifice efficiency for the sake of expediency. Clearly, innovation is critical to Model N’s business model, but remains tempered by the necessity to deliver quality service.

While robust in scope, the product offerings from Model N represented only about one-third of what was presented during the event. The balance of the presentations covered a large cross-section of the revenue management space in pharma: commercial transactions, contracting strategies, government pricing policies, gross-to-net analysis, master data management, forecasting, accruals, and global pricing – to name a few. Model N’s theme of “change” was represented across the other presentations, as well. With talks such as “Future of MedTech – Disruption and the Advent of Big Data” and “Cranking up the AMP Volume: A Diagnostic of the New Ruling,” there was a decidedly forward-thinking atmosphere, in terms of anticipating industry trends and hypothesizing solutions to the shifting environments.

It was fascinating to see industry thought leaders discuss the likelihood and practicality of healthcare moving from a Fee-For-Service (FFS) to a Fee-For-Outcomes model in “Life Sciences 2020.” “Maximizing Revenues and Optimizing Customer Experience with Customer Master Data” examined frequently overlooked ways of streamlining business efficiency by improving data cleanliness. Hearing about more precise indirect sales management in “Updates on 340B Eligibility,” and creative managed care rebate solutions in “Innovative Contracting Strategies,” provided keen insight into optimal commercial operations.

Perhaps the most engaging aspect of these discussions was the spirit of knowledge-sharing that made them possible. Through the collaboration of various industry stakeholders, the insights gleaned from the conference were both eclectic and comprehensive. If current expectations become reality, the revenue management space in pharma will undoubtedly face a number of interesting developments in the future.

Five Customer Engagement Strategies to Drive Brand Growth

Step up your game or expect to be left behind: that’s the message to pharmaceutical brand managers. There’s a new mindset among physicians and patients who now expect to interact and relate to these brands in the same way they connect with consumer brands in their everyday lives. The pressure is on, requiring new strategies that are clearly more viscerally related to the customer.

Make the information available and accessible – on their terms.  When communicating information that goes beyond core brand content, it needs to be delivered on the customer’s terms – the channel, format, and timing of his or her choosing. Digital and traditional channels are now conveying brand messages, but this doesn’t mean physicians have easy access to the information they need when and how they want it.

It’s important to transmit the brand promise through every customer interaction,and create meaningful customer engagements that drive brand adoption and loyalty.

Customer engagement is worth the investment. Gallup advises that a customer who is fully engaged represents an average 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer. This not only justifies the upfront investment, but also validates the need for ongoing dedication of resources.

Improve upon the overall customer experience.  Each element of the process in developing customer engagement can drive brand growth and optimize resources. It’s a continuous cycle of evaluating results and deepening customer knowledge so that each interaction with the brand has meaning for the individual.

Multiple data sources, analytic methodologies and research avenues exist in combination to build the customer insights that drive successful customer engagements.

For example, longitudinal patient data, combined with clinical notes and other traditional data sources, can reveal treatment patterns that could be used to predict financial value and establish brand adoption goals at a physician level. Advanced analytic methodologies can uncover causal relationships and reveal customer behaviors and sensitivities that help define the “Moments of Truth,” tipping points in the decision-making process that allow the customer to continue on their journey.

Moving from Awareness to Advocacy.  Every touch point must deliver the brand promise and move the physician down this path. Whether the touch point is about exploring a clinical study, clicking through to an eDetail, writing a script, or sharing with a peer, each must have a strategy that drives engagement.

For example, a brand can reinforce the physician’s treatment choice by delivering a message that includes post-launch outcomes data, brand adoption statistics or physician satisfaction feedback. This reinforcement, coupled with his or her patient’s success on therapy, influences a critical Moment of Truth.

Today, customers research, compare products and read peer recommendations, and they reward brands that meet — and exceed — expectations with adoption and loyalty. When done right,it’s a win-win for both customer and company alike.

For more information, download Alliance’s white paper “Customer Engagement Strategies Drive Brand Growth” here.

Alliance Life Sciences Formalizes Software Organization, Launches Separate Division

SOMERSET, N.J. / LONDON – October 27, 2014 – Alliance Life Sciences Consulting Group (ALSCG), a leading global life sciences consultancy and technology provider, announces the launch of a separate division focused on life sciences price optimization software and the appointment of Mark Costa as senior vice president of Products to lead and drive the strategic and operational direction of this new software product division.

Costa brings over 20 years of software sales and management experience primarily in life sciences to this division, created as a separate group from the Company’s service offerings in order to provide more effective product development and better alignment with market needs.

Alan Crowther, CEO, ALSCG, says, “Costa has relationships with many of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies, and comes on board at an exciting time for our organization as we experience the growth of this newly created division. We built this separate software division to support an appropriate structure for growth and to allow the right partner ecosystem to evolve around the product. Costa is absolutely the right person to accomplish these objectives, while delivering great customer satisfaction.”

Coming most recently from Revitas, a global life sciences revenue management software company, Mr. Costa is an expert in complex enterprise solution lifecycles and customer adoption of new technologies within the global revenue management segment of the life sciences industry. As founder of multiple information technology businesses, Costa has the experience to direct entrepreneurial and high performance organizations and teams, propelling them to meet and exceed goals and generate the customer satisfaction necessary to sustain high year-over-year revenue growth.

Costa says, “It is exciting, and an honor, to be part of the ALSCG organization. The new structure will help to deliver more value to our customers and partners. I’m looking forward to driving our software business, focused on our customers’ business and their success.”

 

Optimizing Contract Management and Operations

For the Managed Markets division at a pharmaceutical manufacturer working in silos, along with an exclusive focus on individual responsibilities can lead to downstream issues if not properly aligned with the needs of other groups. When the Contract Management, Rebate Processing, and Government Pricing teams work harmoniously together, optimal efficiency can be achieved across the division. However, failing to do this can impact processing speed and integrity, squander company time and resources, and incur unnecessary financial penalties.

Strategies and Language

The life cycle for managed care contracts begins with the negotiation of the paper contract. This is critical for the groups implementing contract strategies to have an understanding of the downstream impact this can have on the organization. Prior to entering into contractual agreements, knowledge of the gross-to-net and government pricing calculations needs to be effectively communicated between all involved groups. Since contract management groups are seldom involved in day-to-day operations, creative and innovative pricing strategies, which appear to be saving the manufacturer money, may actually be extremely problematic. Potential savings can be lost due to language that is left open to interpretation.

Revenue Management System Setup and Maintenance

The majority of Life Sciences companies purchase a revenue management system for administering contracts with Managed Care Organizations (MCO) and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM). While the benefits of these systems are evident – accurate calculations, prompt payments, and a centralized secure data warehouse – it is only with the proper configuration, realistic contract strategies, and efficient processes that a manufacturer can see the true benefits. To configure these environments most effectively, it takes years of industry and system specific experience and continuous communication between all parties involved. Without such coordination, the system may seem, at best, burdensome, and at worst, create a significant bottleneck in the rebate payment process.

While there are a variety of ways to set up a contract in a system, it is critical to understand the manufacturer’s long-term needs in order to develop the most efficient setup.By effectively translating the terms of a paper contract, a consequent improvement can occur to the bottom-line as a result of minimizing late fees and eliminating unnecessary headcount. While processing time varies by the complexity of the contract, failure to perform adequate evaluation is often the catalyst for future dysfunction.With contracts configured in the optimal format, an experienced rebate analyst should be able to process submissions against even the most complex agreements in less than 90 minutes. Spending more time than that is likely the result of a poorly configured contract.

Downstream Effects

Oversights that may seem minor in the initial stages can trigger a ripple effect that has significant consequences. Vague contract language can have the greatest impact on an organization and end up costing millions of dollars in additional rebates. It is recommended that the Government Pricing and Contract Management teams collaborate to develop the proper language within contracts. Once this is completed, the Rebate Processing team can configure systems properly and work to ensure all necessary calculations such as the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) are accurate. Understanding the impact and interplay between contract negotiations, day-to-day operations, and Government Pricing is a crucial component to achieving long-term success.

Operating at an optimal capacity is a feat all companies nominally strive to attain, but few are able to achieve. Alliance Life Sciences can help you establish practices that are proactive and communicative to benefit you company across the spectrum of contract life cycle.

Click here for more information on our services.

The Right Customer Relationships

Following the lead of many others, the pharmaceutical industry is shifting to a customer-centric business model in order to drive growth and deliver cost efficiencies. This new environment will require a brand to think differently about their relationships with customers, as the customer-centric approach recognizes that consumers want to get information for their individual needs on their own terms.

Before a brand decides to build relevant relationships with customers, the below challenges must be addressed:

  • How can we accelerate growth for my mid-lifecycle brand?
  • Are there more customers who could help grow my brand?
  • How can we maximize ROI for my mature brand?
  • What are the implications of budget reallocation?
  • How can we optimize our current campaign?

The Evolution

The customer-centric evolution is built on data, analytics, customer connectivity, continuous change, and technology. Integrating new intelligence and methodologies to solve today’s challenges allows a brand to adopt customer-centric practices to drive growth and optimize investment. This evolution dictates an organization change requiring a new level of intelligence and technology.

The best data strategies still begin with traditional customer demographics, which allow you to draw correlations and understand historical behavior. By expanding data exploration and analyzing this data together in a way that has not traditionally been done before, brand managers can gain an even deeper understanding of both customer behavior and sensitivities.

The introduction of new data produces complexities and technology challenges with many legacy systems. There are a variety of options available to build data foundations for brands that do not have the depth needed to achieve this customer understanding. Standardizing data into a consistent framework, enables an analytic ecosystem and provides a 360-degree view of your customer, this is the key.

Utilizing Advanced Customer-Centric Analytic Methodologies

Translating the complex information into knowledge requires advanced analytic methodologies.  Various modeling techniques and predictive algorithms can help brand managers to derive associations, facilitate comparisons, and uncover causal relationships generating insights that lead to deeper customer understanding and higher performance. In combination with viewing data in a customer-centric analytic lens, new customer insights are discovered. These insights will reveal customer behavior and sensitivities, predict value potential and likely responses to promotions while answering the following questions:

  • What brand behavior needs to be changed?
  • Who are the right customers?
  • What are the most effective and efficient ways for our brand to engage with them?

Standard analytics primarily look at correlative relationships, such as when A occurs, B also occurs, but a customer-centric analytic lens observes a causal relationship and identifies how one variable affects a second variable. Exploring causal relationships across expanded data allows brands to fully identify value potential, predict how customers are likely to respond to promotion, and understand behavior triggers. Pharmaceutical data scientists understand the business behind this data allowing them to determine relevancy, correct for bias, and draw sound conclusions.

Connecting with Your Customer

The insights revealed through a customer-centric analytic lens can drive new customer strategies designed to continuously elevate brand engagement and optimize ROI while defining how to build the right relationship with the right customer. True customer engagement is similar to a dialogue that strategically layers personal and multi-channel interactions offering content based on customer needs and delivering content when and how customers choose to receive it.

Promotional thinking shifts from campaigns to conversations in a customer-centric world. True success shifts from quantity of brand-customer interactions to the quality of fewer connections.  A fully developed customer engagement setting will move beyond segmented campaigns.

ROI Success

Once communications are implemented, a constant feedback loop delivers new information that allows for performance optimization. Key Performance Indicators (KPI), established as part of every engagement strategy, are aligned to your brand’s strategic priorities. KPI’s define what you want to achieve and evaluate the engagement quality, incremental customer performance, and ROI. The continuous input of data into the analytic ecosystem allows the right adjustments to be made to target audience, channel mix, message, and allocation of value added assets. Modifications to the conversation are customer-led rather than channel-led.

Beginning Your Journey

The customer-centric journey begins with vision alignment across the organization, with agency partners and channel vendors. This includes expanded data, new analytic approaches, conversations versus campaigns, different measurement plans and new technology.

The key to success lies in identifying the right partner for the journey. For more information, please visit the link below.

http://www.alscg.com/expertise/commercial-operations