Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Stage is Set for Better C&P Programs

Shrinking sales forces, slowing Rx sales, fewer new drugs and looming patent expirations are driving innovation in patient retention programs. The WSJ Health blog reported that Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis and Wyeth have all begun trimming sales forces in light of doctors' complaints, fewer new drugs coming to market, and genericization of blockbusters. IMS reports similar findings, harking a new era in pharmaceutical marketing: "Dynamics that will shape the market during the next five years include the continued loss of exclusivity in major therapy areas, new specialist-driven products, greater levels of therapeutic substitution, along with greater awareness and focus on safety issues."

As finding new patients for old drugs gets more and more difficult, the industry needs to focus on medication adherence, according to
Dr. Andree Bates' recent article in Pharmaceutical Executive , where she states "even the best-intentioned patient adherence program is doomed to fail unless pharmaceutical organizations:
1. Evaluate underlying causes for noncompliance with their brand
2. Address barriers to implementation
3. Understand the ROI"

In this climate of change, at least a few major pharma companies, including Astra Zeneca, are enlisting Pharmacist support in the C&P challenge. AZ announced a new program in the UK this month, which will pay Pharmacists who help improve C&P in patients on Crestor, Symbicort, Nexium and their breast cancer drug Arimidex.
Pharmacists may receive up to £45 per patient managed through the programme in Year 1. With doctors like these, it's no wonder British patients trust their Pharmacists.