Friday, January 29, 2016

Market Access, Sales Training, and the Mock P&T

Stanton R. Mehr, President, SM Health Communications LLC

Over the past few years, I’ve espoused the need for and virtues of the mock Pharmacy & Therapeutics (P&T) Committee. One of our clients pointed out that I’ve neglected an extremely important benefit of conducting a mock P&T Committee. It is one that yields dividends in an area that cannot be overemphasized.

How many of your account managers, and even National Accounts executives, have sat in on a real P&T Committee? I’ll bet hardly any, as pharmaceutical companies are pretty much persona non grata when it comes to an actual, live formulary decision making for health plans and insurers. Some internal and third-party sales education programs try to give trainees exposure to the concept, but it is nearly impossible to get first-hand views of a P&T Committee in action.

Beyond obtaining a coverage decision on your product or that of your competitor, a rock solid mock P&T Committee will also provide a video record (in the form of a live feed or postmeeting DVD) of the entire proceedings. Most often, the people viewing the Committee meeting are product directors, market access managers, and brand executives. That’s great, but when the Committee members discuss a product’s shortcomings and benefits, wouldn’t that be exactly what the sales team needs to hear? What would be the value of learning the key drawbacks of a competitors product from the experienced members of a P&T Committee? What would be the value of packaging those comments, with the account team's strategy for addressing the same issues that will be brought up in the field?

When we talk about our P&T Insight™ program to potential clients, realizing this opportunity often gets their attention. Although we don’t consider it the key deliverable of the mock P&T Committee, it is a very attractive component, which complements sales training efforts, including launch activities.

For more information on this important benefit of our program and on P&T Insight™ in general, please contact me at  

SM Health Communications provides writing, consulting, and innovative market research services for the payer markets. Its proprietary P&T Insight™ virtual P&T Committee program is the leading mock P&T Committee product in the field. We’ve participated in many market research projects involving biosimilar development and launch, from the point of view of the biosimilar and the innovator drug manufacturer. For more information, please visit or contact Stanton R. Mehr, President, at