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A tailored approach to key account management

IMS Health on why a one-size-fits-all model won't work for pharma
Made to measure

Key account management (KAM) is not a new concept and yet, for all of its potential, it is still not completely embraced by the pharma industry.

Perhaps part of the reason for this lies in the fundamentals of how people, and the pharma organisations that they work for, behave. It is undeniably hard to change behaviours on a personal level. Additionally, the relative conservatism of the industry and its fear of failure means that companies are unwilling to move first, preferring minor adjustments to their model over proper stepwise changes.

So far the biggest shift towards a KAM model has been the Regional Account Directors, or RADs, that Takeda recruited in the UK ... but that was nearly ten years ago. Much publicised at the time, the company allowed its RADs operational autonomy within their regions to bring the right people in, and handed them responsibility for areas such as sales strategy and tactics. The reforms were carried out at a time of changing NHS structures and an increasingly influential role for Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

A decade on and we once again find ourselves at a time of changing NHS structures, and yet there has still not been significant movement across the pharma industry to progress the Key Account Management approach, despite a greater pace of NHS change and ever more acute financial pressures. With the health service forecast to face a funding gap of some £30bn by 2020-21, saving money while embracing innovative new medicines is an issue for all healthcare professionals. Budgets are stretched and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) find themselves in charge of areas that have historically been poorly managed. These issues are far from unique to the UK.

Click here to read the full article on IMS Health's PMHub profile

Article by
Neil Levinson

senior principal and country lead, technology and services at IMS Health

27th May 2014

From: Sales

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