COVID-19 IDN Insights

Situation

 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, health systems have had to change their operations and more is yet to come. With stakeholder priorities shifting almost daily to meet the evolving demands from this pandemic, the path forward for pharma engagement is still a moving target. Changes to these interactions may have a lasting impact beyond the crisis.


Mosaic Group, the FCB Health market access agency, reached out to IDNs to assess what their “new normal” is during the COVID-19 pandemic.

                                               

                                                     15 Health Systems

                                                Broad Stakeholder Mix

                                         VP PharmacyChief Pharmacy Officer
                                         VP OperationsDirector of Pharmacy

                                                     Varying Bed Sizes

                                                 100 beds- >5,000 beds

Operations Continue with Modifications Happening Across Geographies

 

While health systems have to prioritize dealing with the impact of COVID-19 across various areas of operation, they remain committed to supporting medication use policies that keep patients safe. This may include making available treatment options not previously utilized and loosening restrictions for use on certain medications. Decision makers are not able
to engage with pharma in person but thoughtful communication should continue in order to provide support during these challenging times. Here are some insights that you may want to consider when engaging IDN stakeholders:

  • The impact of drug shortages could not be emphasized more clearly by respondents. Medications needed for daily operations are in short supply causing an extra burden on resources for many already overstretched. With that in mind, stakeholders are interested in more up-to-date and honest supply chain communications
  • Three-quarters of surveyed stakeholders are continuing the same frequency of P&T Meetings
  • 87% have changed the frequency and type of engagements with Pharma. Many with policies banning live interactions
  • Webex, Zoom and Skype are reasonable options for virtual meetings but time is even more limited

" I fully expect even when the economy opens up more vendors will be limited simply because the people we meet with often are not the reps, but national directors, medical affairs, regional account directors, etc. They live and fly from all regions of the country. As a result, there will be a perceived risk of individuals potentially coming in from hot beds in the country…I expect that we will probably need to do virtual meetings for awhile if not in to 2021.” - P&T Pharmacist, >5,000 beds

" [We need] patience from pharma - a different world today and going forward.”
VP Pharmacy, 778 beds

" I think due to our continued operations with P&T reviews of new meds we still need at times some information on the new drugs we may not be able to get from trials, etc. And we certainly need continued discussions of potential contracting options, etc. which may determine how we decide to approach formulary status of certain new medications." — Clinical Pharmacist, 615 beds

 

Considerations as the New Normal Develops

  • Continual and proactive communication on drug shortages and other supply chain issues should be prioritized and are of top concern with these stakeholders
  • Decision makers are trying to maintain business-as-usual operations when it comes to P&T frequency and formulary decisions
  • Health systems may continue to restrict in-person meetings with pharma for the foreseeable future; alternate means of communications should be explored
    and implemented

 

Please contact your account leads or ross.quinn@fcb.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above.