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3 Keys to Unlock Market Access – Part 3

September 20, 2016
Posted by: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, PPC

In the last two Center Point Blog Tuesdays, we addressed the first two keys necessary to unlock market access: building and refining an overall market access strategy and developing and creating compelling clinical and medical evidence.

Today, in the final post of this three part series, we turn our focus on how to best communicate complex scientific data in a compelling manner to inspire health care decision-makers (HCDMs) to take action.

As we know from part I of this series, it’s all about effectively communicating value that matters to your internal and external stakeholders. Your success with this will either make you or break you.

It’s very important to train your team on the data and not just what the numbers are.  Most critically: it is important to understand and convey what these numbers should mean to the person across the table?  Ask yourself, how does this data answer the questions, from the view of the HCDM: What’s in it for me?  And, why should I care?  Then prepare to summarily communicate the answers to these questions in 30-seconds or less to gain the HDCM’s further attention and willingness to learn more.

Here are 5 tips on how to successfully articulate the value of your data:

  1. Drop your agenda – It’s all about them anyway.  Ask a few clear and strategic, open-ended questions to identify the real issues.
  2. Address their concerns and answer their questions – Clarify what their responses are so you can answer their questions in a concise, efficient and elegant manner.  Also, it may be that you don’t have the data and will need to come back at a future time with the appropriate study data or report.  Remember that more inconsequential data and rambling is not a good thing!
  3. Check for understanding – Do not assume that they have an understanding of what you just shared with them.  There is a huge difference between understanding and having an understanding.  So maybe a follow-up question is in order.  This is where you will have the best conversations about health outcomes data, the meaning to their organization and how to proceed next for success!
  4. Request action – Their feedback to a request will tell you if they are invested or not.  An action may be for another meeting, for a decision for coverage, or for a referral to the next appropriate person.  No action? Please review part 2 of this three part series.
  5. Agree on next steps – Identify and agree on what the next steps are, who will take the actions and then be sure to follow-up.

From my experience as a former Medicaid director and the head of a medical unit of a biotech device company, here is a summary of the do’s and don’ts from both sides of the table:

 o   The do’s –

  • do your research about the person and the company challenges before the meeting
  • do ask some (two or three) open-ended questions that are relevant and that will highlight the ‘hidden agenda’ items
  • do bring current clinical and medical information for discussion as appropriate

o   The don’ts –

  • don’t disregard your audience with a pre-planned and rigid agenda – you’re just wasting time!
  • don’t bulldoze your way through a ‘data dump’ without regard to your audience’s needs
  • don’t take too much time and overstay your welcome – regardless of what you did or did not cover

In summary, we’re all trying to do a good job and help people.  A winning value communication strategy consists of knowing what questions are important to your audience and addressing them in an efficient, concise and meaningful manner.  This doesn’t guarantee 100% success in that moment, but it does guarantee genuine consideration and a possible chance to get back to the plate for another swing.  Break a leg!

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