You’ve done your homework and selected the strategic partner you think can make your program the very best. But how do you ensure all of their capabilities translate into a successful copay program for your brand? This requires creating a productive, bidirectional relationship with your partner, and these tips can help you to do just that:
1. Define roles and demand accountability: Establishing clear responsibilities at the outset ensures that your program will run smoothly. Do you want your partner to help you think through the full program design or simply execute? Do you prefer that your partner proactively manages the steps necessary to get your program approved, or would you like someone to handle this internally? Who is generating the creative, and how will your program interact with other brand assets? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can establish firm deadlines and move toward them swiftly. And don’t forget about your role in the relationship! Delivering on your promises will build trust and enable your strategic partner to meet their responsibilities.
2. Identify KPIs and establish regular reporting: As discussed in a previous post, it is important to understand how your copay program is performing by choosing the right metrics to measure. When choosing a strategic partner, it’s equally important to understand how frequently you will need to monitor these metrics, establishing a cadence that meets the needs of all stakeholders in your organization. Work with your partner to create a workflow that delivers the right report to the right person.
3. Communicate clearly: Don’t beat around the bush; let your partner know what you need and provide both positive and constructive feedback. Emails are a great way to ensure everyone’s alignment on deliverables and goals, but sometimes a quick phone call can help avoid the everyday back-and-forth. Your relationship should be a long-term one, where your copay partner grows with your company and is in tune with your brand’s needs.
4. Plan for contingencies: You can’t predict the future, but your strategic partner should be able to help you plan for it. Work with your partner to explore scenarios and identify roles, timing, and even hypothetical reactions to possible market and corporate changes (e.g., changes in coverage, budget reductions or expansions, regulatory shifts).
5. Leverage expertise: A partner’s broad industry knowledge can help your team understand the bigger picture and improve patient abandonment and adherence. A partner will be uniquely positioned to engage patients if they have knowledge of the full prescription drug ecosystem – the payer, consumer, pharmacy, and physician. Not all partners provide the “extra value” needed to take your program to the next level, so make sure to take full advantage of this expertise if you have it available.
The best relationships are partnerships in the truest sense and should evolve over time. Establishing the foundations for a strong relationship might take a little effort in the beginning, but this will result in the greatest ROI for your program as well as set the stage for your program’s future success.
Manager, Life Sciences
Elizabeth Bugayong is a member of Truveris’ Life Sciences team. In her role as Manager, Elizabeth leads the company’s efforts in delivering patient access programs for pharmaceutical companies. Elizabeth has a BS from Babson College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.