Top 3 Challenges in Creating & Maintaining Effective Managed Care Pull-Through Programs


In today’s competitive marketplace, pull-through programs are increasing in importance and can be highly effective at driving results. In order to increase provider awareness of products, leaders must now ensure that their managed care pull-through programs and processes are effective in order to increase market share and ensure overall product success.

The term “pull-through” is defined in a Best Practices’ study as an integrated process aimed at increasing market share and generating sales for a specific product within a given time frame, usually in response to an opportunity or challenge. Pull through programs are formal agreements between pharmaceutical companies and managed care accounts that specify product utilization targets, messaging themes and support programs.

To fully benefit from formulary wins, healthcare companies must ensure that their sales forces and account management teams have the necessary skills and tools to pull-through demand for their products after formulary placement. Despite this, there are many challenges that research participants often encounter. Provided below are the top 3 external pull-through challenges we identified in a recent study:

  1. Field Coordination / Training: The top challenge identified was preparing field staff to drive pull-through, coordinating field pull-through activities and sustaining a campaign once it is under way.
  2. Physician Access/ Interest: Gaining access to physicians and then capturing their interest around formulary and co-pay issues are among the greatest challenges respondents confront.
  3. Success Measurement: Participants have difficulty identifying appropriate metrics to quantify the success of pull-through efforts. As a result, pull-through initiatives suffer from insufficient analysis and lack of sufficient information necessary to make mid-course corrections.

Additional pull-through challenges mentioned by participants included: limited resources, a low support level from payers/plans and legal issues.

In today’s payer-driven market, managed care formulary is absolutely critical to a new pharmaceutical product. Despite this, a formulary win isn’t enough anymore. Leaders must now also ensure that their managed care pull-through programs and processes are effective in order to increase market share after the contract is signed.

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