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December 20, 2010 » Patient-Centric Care

While catching up on my plane reading today I came across the September 2010 MM&M article “GSK restructures bonuses for reps” and I was really intrigued by the incredible paradigm shift they’ve undergone at that organization.

From the article:

“Robert Nauman, principal at BioPharma Advisers and a former GSK marketing director, said the decision reflects the shift of purchasing power away from individual physicians, and toward managed care directors and office managers. “There’s less and less value in a rep visit,” said Nauman. “Reps now exist to support physicians, and provide them with relevant information faster than they can get it elsewhere”—an admittedly formidable task, Nauman said.”

I would add that the best reps – and their organizations – recognize that the most effective approach is what’s termed “the total office call” – a call plan that addresses the customer needs of not just the physician, but the nurses, PAs and office managers. This holistic approach ensures that all the influencers are reached and supported.

GSK is also (I hope!?) recognizing that the relationship between a company/brand(s) and a medical practice is more than just “selling” a product. It’s about the associated service and support provided; it’s about reimbursement services, patient support and education, medical education and practice tools. Ultimately, it’s not about YOU the brand; it’s about the PATIENT – what can be done, including medical therapy, to support the patient and guide them to a successful outcome.

At Compass we believe that there is a transformation happening in our society where consumers are taking far greater ownership of their healthcare and becoming partners in their healthcare management and decision making with their healthcare team(s). This is forcing a shift in the practice of medicine, and that, along with the pressure to manage cost and practice outcomes-based medicine, is leading to a new model of care that is PATIENT centric. Healthcare, in the future, will revolve around the Patient Experience – consumers will demand it.

GSK is taking a small but important step in evolving with this paradigm shift. I see many of our clients in the rare and orphan disease space also starting to create a sales and marketing model that reflects this new reality.

This, to me, is incredibly exciting! It’s why I’m in this business – to empower patients and improve outcomes. I know the aircraft carrier takes a long time to turn, but it’s great to see signs that we’re shifting in the right direction.


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