Break through the toughest HCP objections with pull-through marketing

Pull-through marketing objections

Once an HCP believes your product is safe and effective, they are only halfway to a prescribing decision. For an HCP to get all the way to the finish line and prescribe, they must also believe their patients can access your product.

This is pull-through marketing, educating HCPs on how accessible your product is for their patients so they will be more likely to prescribe it.

For pharma representatives to lead HCPs to the finish line faster and with more success, HCP-specific market access messaging can be their greatest asset.

Here, we show you how you can lean into four common cost-and-coverage conversation objections using better market access messaging.

OBJECTION 1: HCPs say your brand isn’t covered by their patients’ insurance plans, but, in reality, your access is FAVORABLE

Every representative gets this objection, opening the door to talk about your brand’s access. If your brand’s access has recently improved, the HCP might not be aware of the change. But typically, when your accessibility is positive and you hear this objection, it’s a matter of: Perception vs. Reality. The HCP could have been writing the drug for months or years. But if just one or two plans mention a prior authorization or other access barrier, it strengthens the perception that your drug is inaccessible. It’s human nature to see one roadblock and assume that more roadblocks, sinkholes and dumpster fires lie up ahead. (It’s best to just avoid those.)

This often happens at the beginning of each year when patients with high-deductible insurance plans must pay more out of pocket before reaching their deductible. But the ramifications can be felt many months later if that misperception isn’t corrected.

How to Handle This Objection

Ask clarifying questions:

  • “Can we talk about what healthcare plan it was?”
  • “Was it a specific formulary on that plan?”
  • “Could this be a deductible issue?”

To lean into a high-ROI conversation, use pull-through marketing to present a favorable access message that highlights the overall local access, as defined by your brand. Show the HCP how your brand’s access is favorable on specific plans their patients are enrolled in. (The more specific you can be, the more likely the information will stick with the HCP.)

Point out if and how one formulary isn’t representative of your brand’s overall access. Bring to light the possible high-deductible issue that can affect drug costs early in the calendar year.

Show them exactly what your coverage looks like.

If your brand has experienced improved access, deliver a message that presents plans with recent formulary improvements prioritized by prescriber market TRx. Present a list of top plans (unrestricted or restricted) by prescriber market TRx.

OBJECTION 2: Your access is NOT FAVORABLE, and HCPs say your brand is just too expensive for their patients

This objection most often comes up alongside the high-deductible issue, covered in Objection 1. While this isn’t the ideal position to be in, using hyper-relevant market access messaging, you can make progress with the HCP.

How to Handle This Objection

Use this argument as a trigger to serve up a savings voucher, savings card or patient assistance program. Don’t skirt around the issue, but you can reinforce the clinical message while offering up cost-and-coverage support programs for situations just like theirs.

Ask a clarifying question:

  • “Help me understand. Who specifically are you seeing in your practice?”

Knowing exactly which plans the doctor is seeing allows you to emphasize those plans and your coverage under them. Being able to drill down on Medicaid or a commercial insurer can make a big impact.

Show them a list of top plans (unrestricted or restricted) by prescriber market TRx.

A final proven approach is to present a competitive access message that compares your brand access to key competitors based on your brand-specific business rules.

OBJECTION 3: HCPs comment on restrictions for your brand and say that it’s just not covered

It’s not unusual for doctors to bring up perceived or real access barriers such as coverage policy details, step edits and prior authorizations. These objections can be due purely to a perception issue based on one or two experiences with prior auth paperwork for your brand. Or, of course, your brand could have legitimate access barriers that make it difficult to pull through.

How to Handle This Objection

If this is likely a perception issue, ask clarifying questions:

  • “How many prior authorization requests have you received over the past few months?”
  • “Can we talk about what healthcare plan it was?”
  • “Was it a specific formulary on that plan?”

Once you have their answers, you can show them where they can write and then share information around restriction details that are in place around those plans. Or help them see that one or two prior auths isn’t really that many after all.

OBJECTION 4: HCPs say they don’t see any patients who have health plan coverage for your brand Rx

If you have favorable access but an HCP assumes their patients are not covered, the Perception vs. Reality hurdle might be rearing its ugly, market-share-depleting head again.

The HCP might also raise this objection because your access is indeed unfavorable. Similar to Objection 2, this isn’t an ideal position to be in, but representatives can use hyper-relevant market access messaging to better manage the situation and build credibility with the doctor.

How to Handle This Objection

If the HCP’s assumption is misguided, ask a clarifying question:

  • “Help me understand. Who specifically are you seeing in your practice? Medicare patients or commercial covered?”
  • “What are the most common health plans in your practice?”

The HCP will use local brand names for their patients’ commercial carriers, so be sure you’re fluent in those names. Also, don’t assume because it is a large health plan in the geography where this HCP practices that they see patients with that plan. Once you know which plans the HCP is concerned about, deliver a message that highlights local commercial access as defined by the brand with prescriber-specific plans.

If they ask about Medicare, highlight local Medicare access as defined by the brand with prescriber-specific Medicare plans. For Medicaid, highlight local Medicaid access as defined by your brand with prescriber-specific Medicaid plans.

If the HCP’s objection is accurate, and patient enrollment in plans that cover your brand is low, show the HCP the plans that your brand is on and present patient assistance programs and savings cards in place that can offset access hurdles.

Pull-through marketing can be your greatest asset when HCPs aren’t convinced

Recent research suggests that 50% of an HCP’s prescribing decision is grounded in how accessible a product is for their patients. Is your sales force equipped to handle HCP objections about cost and coverage? Do they have the HCP-specific information necessary to guide an HCP from “uninterested” to “ready to prescribe”?

Backed by our Access Genius engagement team and AI-driven algorithm, Access Genius Messaging empowers sales representatives to handle HCP objections with confidence and boost Rx rates.