PMSA 2015 Conference Awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the PMSA 2015 Best Podium Presentation and Best Poster Presentation awards!

Best Podium Presentation
Micro Targeting in Orphan Markets
Shreyas Murthi, ZS Associates

Best Poster Presentation
Impact of a Tele-Detailing Program on a Late Stage Brand Losing Field Sales Force Coverage
Jane Portman, Director, Analytics, Merkle and Alice Liang, Associate Director, Analytics, Merkle


The submitted abstract for each of the winning presentations is below:

Micro Targeting in Orphan Markets
With the increase in the number of orphan and specialty drugs being launched, biopharmaceutical companies are struggling to apply traditional analytical methods to identify treating physicians for personal promotion. As therapies become more targeted towards patient sub populations (specific lines of therapies, narrower indications, specific biomarker stratification, patients with incomplete response to standard of care etc…) where there are no existing product markers, it becomes more difficult to identify physicians who treat targeted patients. Furthermore, patients in these specialized markets are often managed by multiple physicians. How can management science help identify the controlling physician?

Current techniques of identifying target physicians typically reply on valuing physicians based on competitor drug usage, using weights to value scripts and estimating the ‘potential’ for each physician. In orphan and specialty disease areas, secondary data is sparse and the treatments are often non-specific (i.e. single drug used for multiple indications) and this creates a lot of noise when estimating potential. We have seen several companies assess their targeting post launch, and have seen uptake across all ‘deciles’ being very similar.

This session will describe (via cases) a patient focused micro targeting approach which yields a more reliable targeting strategy in these disease areas.


Impact of a Tele-Detailing Program on a Late Stage Brand Losing Field Sales Force Coverage
A late-stage cardiovascular brand from a top 10 pharmaceutical company was losing sales force coverage as reps were being redeployed to another drug with greater upside. With the removal of the sales force, the brand was experiencing a decline in prescriptions, and they were countering this with a strategy of increasing Rx price to offset the decline in prescription volume. On a positive note, the brand had high market awareness and recognition, which lent itself well to leveraging other marketing channels to make up for the gap in sales force calls.

When losing PDEs (primary details or detail equivalents), it is important to maintain top-of-mind awareness with the target, and a targeted semi-personal or “inside sales” approach serves well to accommodate this need. We engaged with a leading pharmaceutical tele-detailing organization to run an eight-week call cycle on 5,000 cardiologists. Each cycle would include a new message and/or a new offer such as samples, co-pay cards, or patient education materials. We set up a randomized test with holdout groups to accurately measure the results for program optimization opportunities and to quantify any recognized financial gains.

After just seven months into the program, the tele-detailing program received the highest unique engagement rate the brand had ever experienced from any one tactic other than the field sales force. Cumulatively, 32% of the targeted physicians requested samples or co-pay cards, proving that messages and offers were relevant.