Marketing to health care networks and account focus.

In the Dutch pharmaceutical market several developments have influenced prescription policies of GP’s. The liberalization of the health care market in the Netherlands has led the health care insurance companies to challenge GP’s on their policies on treatment of chronic conditions.

To respond adequately to this challenge, GP’s would individually need to spend a lot of time on filling out requested forms about their policies and routines in chronic care. Instead, they set on to associate themselves into groups to cooperate with each other to response and to form a stronger alliance to negotiate with the health care insurers.

These health care groups¹ went also on to develop prescription policies, endorsed to do so by extra reimbursement schemes from the part of the insurance companies.
In an early stage, we have acknowledged the potential impact of these health care groups on actual prescription routines. With the pharmaceutical company that we worked with, we configured an account team that would focus specifically on these groups. Upon researching the existence, number and composition of the groups by the team, we segmented and targeted these GP networks by use of three criteria: potential, probability of success and needed investment. Account managers were trained in network management and development. Cooperation schemes with marketing and sales management were also developed and tested.
The pharmaceutical company could make a head start as opposed to the competition, in commercial relationship with these groups. As a result, the pharmaceutical company has benefited from “first encounter effects” with the decision making units of these networks and has experienced direct responses from these groups in requests for support and endorsement in specific chronic areas. They were asked for instance to assist in the development of treatment schemes for chronic care, or in the development of patient support. Upon this, initiatives have been taken to develop more sustainable partnership in the development of treatment of chronic care with health care professionals, health care insurers and the pharmaceutical company.

On the basis of these business partnerships, the pharmaceutical company is able to reduce the number of sales reps and yet to uphold its ROI.
See more here, in the presentations to the European pharma conferences in Brussels and Zürich 2008.

¹Ref.:”De organisatie van zorggroepen anno 2010, Huidige stand van zaken en de ontwikkelingen in de afgelopen jaren.“J.T. van Til (onderzoeker), RIVM, J.E. de Wildt, namens de LVG, J.N. Struijs (senior onderzoeker), RIVM; RIVM Rapport 260332001/ 2010.
See also: “Nulmeting Zorggroepen – Een beschrijvend onderzoek van de karakteristieken.” J.E. de Wildt, MHA, Dr. G.L. Leusink, huisarts, Redactie: G. van Beek, Mr. Drs. T. Hollman. LVG.Utrecht Oktober 2008.