KOL & Launch Planning
The Historical data and analysis suggests that KOL management should start at the earliest, the earlier the better; however, most companies wait until they are nearing, or post, approval of their asset.
Open Medical team (OMC) views KOL Management as building relationships, advocacy, and partnerships for the continued growth, sustainability and development of your science & research (products). This starts with validation from key researchers that you are headed in the right direction with your hypothesis (The main reason we look into Publications and particularly focussing on the company preferred MeSHTerms i.e. Medical Subject Headings). Once these early relationships are established with a small group of researchers, it then broadens to establish relationships and partnerships at clinical study sites. As you move from pre-clinical all the way through approval, KOL relationships, knowledge of your product, along with awareness of your company, should be growing exponentially.
Individuals that are responsible for developing relationships with KOLs grow over time. For example, in a small/mid size organizations, the relationship will most likely start with a Sales Representative. As the company progresses towards the approval process, touch points within the company should be, and will be, growing. They may include individuals within various functions, such as Clinical Research & Development, Medical Affairs, and Commercial.
The interactions should be increasing in both frequency and reach as well. At the pre-launch phase, it is critical to have a field based Medical Science Liaison (MSL) team. The MSL’s role is to manage the scientific exchange of information between KOLs and the company. Having an MSL team helps accomplish several different strategic initiatives. First, it allows for continued education and awareness of the company’s product/science. Second, the therapeutic landscape information gathered is critical to a strategic launch plan. Finally, it should allow for discussions related to additional clinical development of the product, or the technology.
At launch and post-launch, the interactions are fast and active, and happening through multiple channels. Commercial and Medical Affairs are heavily involved in strengthening relationships with KOLs. By now, there should be strategic and operational plans in place within each of function to ensure full optimization and compliant transparency.However, we at OMC have always found this to be a real world challenge, especially in mid to large size Life Science companies. Finally, and with incredible importance, these relationships should always be centered on the potential clinical value that the product offers to the KOL’s patients.
The KOL management process can be the absolute difference between success and failure of a product launch. It is important to remember that it’s a dynamic process that requires constant management and adjustments to the planning.
So, If you haven’t started your KOL management plan now is the right time to prepare for your launch.
Medical Consulting is a Healthcare & LifeScience Strategic Consulting firm with Key focus on Customer Strategies,
Channel Strategies, Market Access & Launch Strategies using Analytics driven by Advanced Algorithms and Machine Learning techniques.
interdisciplinary team includes numerous healthcare specialists with advanced degrees and expertise in health economics, econometrics, biostatistics, mathematics, medicine and pharmacy