February 10, 2016

Developing Your Personal Brand of You
How to manage HCP Interactions: A Global, Regional or Local Solution Approach?
This is a question many Life Sciences companies have been asking themselves for the past couple of years, particularly since Europe and parts of the Asia Pacific have followed in the path of the US Sunshine Act, either through legislation or self-regulation.
As companies face a complex transparency landscape, there is now a greater need to seek more efficient ways to tackle ever evolving disclosure requirements, without placing cumbersome or resource heavy solutions on the organization. Often companies are managing different HCP/HCO activities through fragmented systems and processes, whether it be; field sales reps, investigator led studies, 1:1 consultant engagements, Ad Boards, large congresses or with third party agencies. This only leads to inefficient methods of enforcing compliance at the interaction level, data consolidation and increased risk for discrepancies to occur at the transaction level, especially when involving cross-border engagements.
Whilst disclosure is one headache, you could argue the real challenge is Governance. As disclosure requirements continue to evolve at different rates globally, ensuring compliance is proactively controlled and consistently executed across multiple countries, systems and processes, is no simple task and a huge burden on any organization.
In short, with so many variables and differences in the way companies and markets operate; there is no “one-size fits all” solution or easy answer to the question posed. Each organization will need to assess the complexity of their ecosystem and the variation between countries. That said, whilst there are differences in approach, the industry ultimately appears to be heading towards a global solution in one way or another. This not only makes sense from a governance perspective, but also from a financial one, as organizations look to consolidate systems and processes, lowering total cost of ownership; becoming leaner and more efficient as a result.
As mentioned above, there are different routes organizations can take to achieve the objectives above, but their success first boils down to ensuring data quality at the time of the interaction (read our white paper on data quality). Once you have a robust system in place that proactively applies compliance checks and validates eligibility before spend occurs, you’re a good way there to achieving your end goal.
Next you need a technology solution flexible enough to meet the challenges of an ever changing compliance landscape, without placing additional financial burden on your organization with costly development. AHM’s clients have reaped these rewards with CentrisDirectTM, which allows you to enforce governance through the configuration of business rules in the front end interface, either by qualified AHM support technicians or trained personnel within the client organization. This is a powerful tool that allows you to stay ahead of the game and make adjustments either globally or by individual countries. In addition, a solution flexible enough to work alongside existing systems or processes is a short and long term critical success factor.
Scalability is the next factor to consider — choosing a solution that can be expanded to multiple countries, supporting multiple languages and currencies, is vital in creating consistency and efficiency across an organization, whilst still having the flexibility to adapt for specific market needs.
Lastly, arguably the defining success factor for many of AHM’s clients has been the combination of technology with services. With every organization in a different state of readiness, makes it almost impossible for any single technology solution to be the sole answer. It’s therefore critical that services work seamlessly alongside technology, to help deliver a truly effective compliance solution that has longevity.
Our clients have leveraged AHM Services on many levels, from dedicated Account Teams to help drive change, to Compliance, Logistical or Financial Management. In fact, going back to the earlier point regarding differing states of readiness, some clients have contracted AHM Services to manage core processes manually, such as cross-border HCP/O Eligibility, FMV approvals and Contracting. It can be a complex area when considering the requirements of multiple markets, so having a dedicated service team to coordinate tasks and execute processes consistently, has seen clients reduce internal costs, and spend with multiple Event Management Agencies, by up to 50%.
To conclude, whichever solution you decide is right for your organization today (local, regional or global), it is important to choose a technology and service partner that can support you along the journey and help deliver proactive compliance in the face of ongoing change.

Contributed by:

Matthew Coombs, Director, Account Management, AHM

Matt is Director of Account Management, a position he has held for over 5 years based in the AHM UK office. Matt is currently supporting the European, Asia Pacific and Emerging Market regions. Responsible for delivery of high quality services to clients across Account Management, Service Delivery and IT, while driving high levels of client satisfaction and strategic direction in-line with client objectives. Matt has 15 years’ experience in the Life Sciences industry, with a broad background working in operational and client facing roles; successfully managing implementations and service commitments.