Real World, Real Impact — Medical Affairs Needs RWE, Now More Than Ever
The COVID-19 pandemic put a magnifying glass on an issue that has been creating challenges for Life Sciences companies for decades: Building a strategy based solely on data from a controlled clinical trial is an inherently flawed process. Offering a limited view into a small subset of the patient population and entirely reliant on costly, highly specialized study cohorts, the approach gave Medical Affairs teams only a cursory view into real-world adoption, impact, and outcomes of therapeutics, and virtually no real-time visibility. During the pandemic, with many trials stalling for months and new ones incredibly difficult to launch, Medical Affairs teams quickly realized that they needed an alternative, but not all of them knew where to turn.
Traditionally, Life Sciences organizations use a combination of data, like third-party surveys and satisfaction scores, to understand and predict market trends and inform strategies. Teams might be relying on legacy aggregators for commercial market understanding and clinical trends while spending many hours researching online about congresses and events, and possibly paying a consulting company to help find key opinion leaders (KOLs) or other supporting inputs. This process is not only labor intensive, but also runs the risk of being incomplete, biased, or quickly outdated. More importantly, it’s missing a key element — the patient.
FROM INSIGHTS TO ACTION
That’s where real-world evidence (RWE) comes in. The integration of real-world data into the healthcare system and a rapidly changing healthcare landscape offers an unprecedented opportunity for Medical Affairs professionals. Coupling RWE and clinical data offers a complete view of a patient’s journey, including the therapies, providers, and services patients interact with along the way. With near-real-time specialty pharma, prescription, and therapeutic data, Life Sciences companies can quickly and easily identify the physicians prescribing first-, second-, and third-line treatments. And self-identified demographic information offers a deeper understanding of the patient population providers serve. Most importantly, Medical Affairs teams are better able to measure the true impact of a treatment or therapy based on real outcomes.
Armed with this unprecedented level of insight, field teams can target not only the KOLs disseminating information, but the doctors meeting with patients day in and day out, to build an accurate and realistic picture of the clinical realities of care. Teams can also compliantly help fill gaps in care by identifying which patients are left unserved or underserved and reaching out to providers at the right moment to help enhance diagnosis and treatment opportunities.
By layering together clinical information with real-world evidence and the results of Health Economics Research (HEOR) studies, Medical Affairs teams can build a complete view of the patient’s journey through the healthcare system — including the providers, treatments, and payers they interact with along the way. Armed with this patient-centric data, Medical Affairs teams can proactively target the right providers at the right time with the right information, and optimize those interactions to provide care to those who need it most.
REAL-WORLD EVIDENCE, REAL-WORLD IMPACT A SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH
Patient-centric insights give Medical Affairs teams a clear picture of who to target and how to develop a sound medical strategy. Most importantly, these insights are based on hard evidence drawn from the entire population, not just a subset of clinical trial participants.
About the Author: Brett is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, and customer success of Komodo’s Medical Affairs segment. Over the past decade, he has collaborated with dozens of Medical Affairs teams to unlock value in the scientific exchange between Life Sciences organizations and their stakeholders. Brett has a passion for helping teams blend business acumen, data, and technology. Brett received his MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, his MS in Business Information Technology from DePaul University, and his BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign.
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