Home Insights Avoiding Rx Tunnel Vision: The value of holistically understanding the treatment experience for emerging biotech

Avoiding Rx Tunnel Vision: The value of holistically understanding the treatment experience for emerging biotech

Too often, early commercial teams develop tunnel vision and become hyper-focused on “the Rx,” potentially missing where patients or caregivers are coming from and where they go post-Rx. To complicate this issue, as multiple teams (marketing, medical, access, sales and others) come together — if they do at all — each of them tends to worry about their piece of responsibility loosely related to solutions the entire organization is seeking. Over the past decade, Nuvera, part of the Decision Optimization specialist area of Inizio Engage, has worked towards solving some of these issues through its Treatment Experience Blueprint methodology.

The Treatment Experience Blueprint methodology is a highly collaborative effort focused on the synthesis and prioritization of materials, internal knowledge stakeholders and external customer representatives. The core of this methodology involves bringing cross-functional team members together to develop a holistic understanding of the end-to-end treatment experience of patients, caregivers and HCPs, and allow the whole organization to align on the key pain points and moments that need to be addressed. In addition to this alignment, the core output is the Blueprint itself, as it becomes a “single source of truth” for the organization and the foundational planning element for every team’s strategy and tactics.

According to Greg Christianson, Principal of Nuvera, aligning cross-functional teams to a common understanding of patients’, caregivers’ and HCPs’ most important issues is something that can be overlooked by many biotech/pharma organizations. The power of stimulating a common understanding across an organization allows for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.

The blueprinting process

In the scramble to prepare for a future launch, various teams are hyper-focused on what they need to know about patients, caregivers and HCPs, which can lead to a disjointed merging of known knowns. Oftentimes, material and expertise are generated but left within a silo, robbing other teams of potentially valuable learnings. The Treatment Experience Blueprint methodology helps solve this issue through knowledge consolidation. Through this process, the Blueprint becomes much more than a traditional “patient journey” as it weaves together situational, emotional, clinical treatment steps, and/or operational aspects that impact every stakeholder involved with leveraging a future therapy.

Nuvera’s process includes three key elements:

  • Knowledge synthesis & integration: Using all existing data and internal stakeholder knowledge inclusive of market research, brand strategy, market insight and competitive information, to create an integrated baseline of the entire treatment experience.
  • Isolation of key issues: By capturing all the issues facing external customers and leveraging cross-functional facilitation, Nuvera’s methodology brings clarification to organizations through understanding and prioritizing the key pain points and moments that matter holistically.
  • Ownership & participation identification: Once the key issues are isolated from the plethora of issues typically facing patients, caregivers, and HCPs, the organization is then able to assign which internal teams will be involved with solving each key issue.

The applications of the Blueprint

As a single source of truth, the Treatment Experience Blueprint adds value in multiple ways:

  • Pinpoints known unknowns to help guide ongoing insights efforts
  • Allows alignment on which teams will be addressing which pain points and moments that matter in some way
  • Becomes a foundation for treatment support design — how will you be helping patients, caregivers and HCPs throughout the treatment experience?
  • Establishes a rapid onboarding tool for new team members and vendors while establishing a structure for sales/field team training materials
  • Becomes the framework for patient and HCP engagement and education
  • Creates a living document underpinning any recurring strategic and tactical planning processes

Defining the treatment experience to be created

While many biotech/pharma companies excel at establishing goals and KPIs across teams, how often are they creating a “True North” around the experience they’re looking to engender for any patient, caregiver, or HCP involved with leveraging their therapy?

The Blueprint helps focus cross-functional teams to create that “True North” and align their respective activities accordingly as they plan on how to address the pain points and moments that matter to their area of responsibility. Having every team intimately familiar with this overarching objective enables leadership to ask, “How are you helping us achieve an exceptional treatment experience?”

Optimizing limited resources

By providing visibility into where emerging biotechs should prioritize their resources, the Blueprint helps steer decisions around what they really need to implement, at what scale and how they can be best placed to do it. This is imperative for start-ups that may have limited resources compared with established pharma counterparts.

Also, as most biotechs are not looking at one product or disease state for their therapy, they have a focus on an enterprise approach, while new markets will require nuanced approaches — the Blueprints form the foundations for future commercialization efforts so biotechs aren’t starting from scratch. This is vital in leaner organizations and also has immense value for biotechs that are exploring accelerated approval pathways and need to implement strategy more rapidly.

Designing optimal support

Biotechs sometimes fail to think holistically when exploring what they need to implement when it comes to patient service capabilities — often defaulting to basic support like benefits investigation, co-pay programs and other financial assistance programs. However, so much more may be needed, whether it be diagnostic facilitation, education, monitoring assistance, or anything else. By leveraging a holistic Blueprint, biotech companies ensure they consistently refer to the most important issues to create a seamless experience, helping patients gain access to, start and stay on their therapy.

The next “big thing”

The biggest opportunity for emerging biotech will be in using digital tools to centralize, control and understand the treatment experience, and in automating digital platform processes to add value. Stitching different vendors into the fabric of treatment journeys, undertaking digital patient and HCP engagement via apps, enabling reimbursement electronically and automating patient service programs — such as routine blood draws — via apps will allow companies to do more with less. Pharma and biotech are moving toward a more consultative approach to selling, with multiple engaged stakeholders on each side of the table. Finding new ways to better map, navigate and streamline these interactions will be essential to life science companies looking to compete in evermore challenging markets.

Inizio: Integrating outstanding service delivery with business objectives

The Treatment Experience Blueprint, built on Nuvera’s deep experience in architecting seamless customer experiences, provides a holistic approach to mapping patient journeys while helping biotechs prioritize where to invest time and money to create value around their therapy.

To find out more, contact us today to speak with an expert.