December 03, 2015

TGaS Summit: “Brave New World” of Creating, Demonstrating Value

East Norriton, Penn., Dec. 3, 2015. The new healthcare economy and its implications for pharmaceutical commercial organizations was the focus at the TGaS® Advisors 2015 Fall Summit. The benchmarking and advisory services firm hosted 149 clients representing 37 large, mid-tier and specialty biopharmaceutical companies to the day-long invitation-only event in Philadelphia, built around the theme, “Brave New World of Creating and Demonstrating Value.”

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a leading health economist and advisor, founder of THINK-Health and the Health Populi blog, led off with: “Google and Apple and Walmart in Health Care: What the New Health Economy Means for Consumers and Pharma.”

Anna McClafferty, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, presented highlights from the TGaS Current State of Commercial Operations landscape. The study investigates the mindset, structure, strategy and process gaps the industry can address to build its value proposition development and delivery capabilities as well as what Commercial Operations teams can do specifically to accelerate progress.

TGaS Advisors practices, including Executive Commercial Operations, Digital Marketing, Managed Markets, Marketing Operations, Marketing Sciences, Sales Operations and Training & Development, held breakout sessions designed to provide access to colleagues and professionals, answers to strategic and operational questions and actionable advice. Contract Marketing and Digital Savvy Summits met the previous day.

For more information on TGaS and solutions areas, contact Carolyn Subers,

Highlights from TGaS breakout sessions

Executive Commercial Operations: Creating, Demonstrating Value; Ambidextrous Support; Rivaling Consumer Packaged Goods in Generating Insights

Timing is key for developing the value proposition, but early stage commercial input remains a challenge. Incentives are usually not aligned during the clinical phase, with serious implications for payer decisions. Operations must be “ambidextrous,” supporting both traditional efficacy and safety hurdles and value-based models at the same time. Discussions also addressed establishing multichannel marketing capabilities; building information management capabilities to support complex customer dynamics, healthcare environment and insights generation needs; evolving models for engaging customer groups; and innovation in learning and development approaches. 

Digital & Multichannel Marketing: Leading Multichannel Marketing in the New Economy; New Models of Pharma Marketing; Tracking Trends

Although innovations are taking on a different flavor, they are still an important part of good digital and multichannel marketing as the industry changes to keep up with customers and market changes. Discussion included such diverse topics as the shrinking role of IT, the difficulty of working with evolving standards at the scale required today, how attribution of media and site activity to validated physicians is possible and the benefits of “lunch and listens” to patient calls to the call center with the goal of improving patient empathy and patient experience. Guest speaker Heather Gervais of athenahealth, an electronic health records system, led a discussion on the impact of consolidation of health systems and Accountable Care Organizations on prescribing. 

Managed Markets: Current Issues and Trends in Account Management and Managed Markets Marketing

TGaS presented the most recent Industry Landscape on Managed Markets. Key topics included managing pull-through; incentive compensation for account managers; and talent acquisition, seen as the number one challenge. Companies are looking for a broader set of strengths, primarily relationship, strategic planning and negotiation skills. Other top priorities include the nature and timing of managed markets involvement in pre-launch planning and developing payer value propositions. 

Contract Management: Current Issues and Trends in Contract Management; the State of Innovative Contracting within the Industry; Role of Contract Management in Product Launches

More than 20 industry contract management leaders focused on their key issues. The most hotly debated were: 1) innovative contracting, its current value and perception among manufacturers and payers; and 2) how to develop pre- and post-deal contract analytics capabilities within an organization. Other topics: how to support product launches; outsourcing of contracting functions; coverage gaps analysis; career pathways. 

Marketing Operations: Promotional Content; Agency Management; the Evolving Speaker Program Landscape

Veeva led a session on managing and optimizing promotional content. Participants discussed leveraging existing content to support new promotional campaigns; reducing development and review time; and digital asset and inventory management. An agency management session focused on optimizing the process, while a speaker program discussion addressed legislative, technology and ROI issues.  

Marketing Sciences: Enabling Powerful Analytics and Insights; Managing Resources and Building Capabilities; Focusing on the Customer

Breakout sessions focused on the challenges and opportunities for marketing analytics, aligning resources in an increasingly lean environment and the shift towards a more customer-focused operating model. Making the most of limited resources was a consistent theme. Large and small companies alike share a common goal of identifying efficient strategies to translate large amounts of data into actionable insights. To be successful, new approaches must align seamlessly to business priorities with a customer-focused lens while more effectively managing processes, data inputs and resources. 

Sales Operations: Organizational Career Pathways; Evolving Field Force; Incentive Compensation; “Drowning in Data”

The field force is evolving as patient access, reimbursement and support become more important. Participants wrestled with ways to build high achieving teams, support ever greater complexity with the field force, ensure fair and motivating Incentive Compensation plans and deal with the challenges of multiple data platforms and reporting systems.  

Training & Development: Best in Class Learning Dimensions; Becoming More Agile and More Accountable

The group analyzed the application, obstacles and successes in their own organizations of the five dimensions of LearningElite Organizations: strategy, leadership commitment, execution, impact and business performance results. Also discussed were the values and drawbacks of virtual vs face to face training and enhancing both agility and accountability.


About TGaS Advisors

TGaS Advisors is the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry. With a roster of top 50, emerging and pre-commercial pharmaceutical companies, TGaS provides robust comparative intelligence and collaborative network membership services. Clients can access the TGaS network, database and industry experts to establish and improve commercial effectiveness and demonstrate their impact on business results. TGaS Advisors is based in East Norriton, Penn.