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Health Care Reform May Force U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies to Overhaul Sales Strategies, Says New Report From ZS Associates and eyeforpharma
Date:6/16/2009

of managed care organizations and government-led health care initiatives limits their influence over physician prescription decisions in the United States. So even if a pharmaceutical company fails to obtain a favored spot -- and the concomitant smaller co-pay -- for its drug on a payer's formulary in the United States, physicians and patients still can opt for the drug.

This contrasts with Europe, where government-funded payers such as the Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the United Kingdom administer most health care budgets. During the last five years, many of these payers have increased their influence over physician behavior by penalizing those who prescribe drugs that fall outside of increasingly restrictive formularies. They often use a combination of financial rewards and penalties to control prescribing.

"Unlike in the United States, pharmaceutical executives in Europe must immediately change the way they market and sell to increasingly powerful public health care payers who strive to provide their constituents the best drugs at the lowest possible cost," said Rohan Fernando, managing principal for ZS Associates Europe and co-author of the report. "Pharmaceutical companies in the United States should watch carefully the changes taking place in Europe to prepare for a future when they face similar challenges."

Lessons from Europe

Several companies in Europe, primarily in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Germany, have begun to make meaningful changes to their selling strategies to meet the needs of public payers. While there is no blueprint for strategies that will work for every European country, the "Drivers of Change to Pharmaceutical Commercial Models" report identifies some common features of effective changes to the sales model -- changes that could be relevant for companies in the United States in the near future:

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SOURCE ZS Associates
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