Tapping Nascent Data Signals To Incentivize Earlier Referrals


Delayed referral or lack of referral in patients who are likely to derive benefit from a clinical trial or a highly specialized new treatment is a common cause of adverse consequences for patients and their families. As Life Sciences companies are aware — it is also a common challenge for their drug development strategy. Yet the conventional framework of the Commercial team, with an incentive structure that rewards based solely on prescription-based data, misses a crucial signpost on the patient journey: the referral. 

Now, however, Commercial teams have access to scalable software powered by advanced patient datasets and powerful analytics. With these assets in hand, these teams are now able to identify and encourage earlier intervention by tracking trends in referral volumes that ultimately lead to better patient outcomes. 

Finding the Right Patients Faster
Perhaps nowhere is this advancement more evident than in a recent collaboration we’ve done to help one of our Life Sciences clients identify eligible patient populations for its new CAR-T cell therapy. This breakthrough therapy uses a patient’s own T cells to target cancer cells, which has been shown to drive remission rates as high as 83% in patients with certain blood cancers and solid tumors. However, the window of opportunity for the treatment to be most effective is exceedingly narrow. Compounding the issue, CAR-T cell therapy is typically administered in an inpatient setting — usually at a large academic medical center. 

This creates significant challenges in the real world, as many patients who are seen in a community setting will often not have the opportunity to visit a specialist in an academic setting for many months, if ever. As a result, Life Sciences companies that rely solely on key opinion leader (KOL) outreach strategies or limited claims-based datasets to track prescription trends will only see a small subset of the total eligible patient population. This situation is exacerbated if, by the time those eligible patients do finally show up on the radar of an academic center, it could be too late to realize the full benefit of the treatment.

What our partner needed was a way to find those patients earlier in their journeys and develop provider engagement strategies that incentivized earlier referrals to academic centers. Using software powered by our Healthcare Map™, which is the most comprehensive, accurate source of de-identified patient journeys available, tracking the complete healthcare experience of over 330 million patients, our partner was able to analyze diagnosis and treatment patterns to identify eligible patient populations that had not yet been referred to an academic setting. Based on these insights, our partner created new tactics, such as the establishment of a secondary field team that focused exclusively on encouraging earlier referrals. 

By combining comprehensive real-world evidence (RWE) and software to identify patients earlier with a referral-based incentive strategy for field teams, our strategic partner was able to dramatically increase the pool of eligible patients for its breakthrough CAR-T therapy. 

Innovation in Data-Driven Commercial Strategy
Innovations in commercial strategy do not often get the spotlight in the world of Life Sciences research and clinical development. In fairness, with a revolutionary new therapeutic area like CAR-T, it’s understandable that the science itself would get the lion’s share of attention. However, when it comes to getting that therapy into the hands of patients who need it most within the window of maximum viability, this new approach to commercial strategy deserves some attention as well. 

Until recently, building a commercial strategy focused on incentivizing earlier referrals would not have been possible. The data was not commercially available to identify the referral as a trigger point, and Life Sciences teams had no way to quantify the value of that earlier referral in driving a better outcome. Now, thanks to advances in RWE and powerful software and analytics, it is possible to both identify the critical moments on the patient journey that represent the most significant opportunity for intervention and align incentive strategies with hitting those marks.

For more information about how Komodo’s tools and insights can help CAR-T patients, read our latest analysis, “High-Fidelity Visibility Into Patient Journeys Can Help CAR-T Cell Therapy  Reach More Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Patients.”

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