Friday, February 23, 2024

Four Keys to Success for Retail and Specialty-Lite Hub Services

Today’s guest post comes from Nicole Grycan, VP of Commercialization at Phil, Inc.

Nicole discusses how hubs can improve access and adherence. She outlines four success factors for manufacturers that use a digital hub partner.

To learn more, register for Phil's upcoming webinar: Improving Access, Coverage, and GTN with a Digital Hub.

Read on for Nicole’s insights.

Four Keys to Success for Retail and Specialty-Lite Hub Services
By Nicole Grycan, VP of Commercialization, Phil, Inc.

Without a clear roadmap to success, life sciences manufacturers are challenged to improve patient access to their retail and specialty-lite brands. This is especially true when coverage obstacles exist.

The price point of these retail and specialty-lite brands—although much lower than specialty drugs—often triggers arduous utilization management requirements from insurers, such as prior authorization (PA) and step therapy. A common solution is to offer various patient support services to help provide affordable access. While the objective is to help healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients effectively navigate the approval and fulfillment process, a lack of adoption often limits the support services and hub’s ability to deliver the results manufacturers expect.

To maximize adoption—and consequently, brand goals—manufacturers should work with a digital hub partner that can help deliver on the following four actions:

1. Ensure hub engagement is easy, convenient, and familiar.

It’s crucial to meet healthcare providers and patients where they are today by leveraging a digital hub that streamlines the entire prescription journey. Branded retail and specialty-lite manufacturers can enhance hub adoption and engagement by tapping into technology that providers and patients are already comfortable and familiar with – for example, connecting with HCPs through their existing electronic medical records (EMR) systems to prescribe the desired brand and enabling patients to enroll right on their mobile devices.

This modern approach not only simplifies the adoption and enrollment process but also generates valuable data-driven insights that help pharmaceutical manufacturers effectively target their efforts, ultimately driving improved brand outcomes.

2. Align internal teams to promote hub adoption.

One of the biggest reasons manufacturers struggle to achieve a high level of hub adoption is internal team priorities are not aligned right out of the gate. While all teams should be working together along with the digital hub partner to promote the hub, the reality is that core teams often work in silos and pursue goals that may not support the brand’s overall objectives.

Everyone must be clear on their roles—and why they are crucial—in driving hub engagement. This alignment doesn’t happen organically. Leadership should get involved with gaining buy-in and ensuring core teams understand how the hub works to maximize patient, brand, and economic outcomes. A dual approach to incentivizing the field reps can be highly effective:
  • Employing a compensation plan that rewards field reps for driving covered prescriptions
  • Offering a differentiated copay that enables patients to get their prescription filled at the lowest out-of-pocket cost by enrolling in the hub
3. Empower the field team to educate HCPs and patients.

Education is critical to driving hub adoption. HCPs need to buy into why they should send scripts through the hub. HCPs and patients should understand that enrollment benefits them by clearing the path to faster, more affordable access.

As front-line messengers, the field team must be equipped to provide this education effectively. The brand team relies on field reps to set expectations with HCPs about their role in enrolling patients and explaining why new scripts have the best shot at getting coverage if they go through the hub’s channel instead of a traditional retail model.

Several factors are necessary for a field team-driven education initiative:
  • Program data to identify HCPs that need assistance
  • Marketing assets that promote hub adoption to HCPs
  • Patient-facing educational materials about the hub
  • A sales compensation plan that incentivizes new scripts through the hub
  • Performance monitoring of the hub at the territory and HCP level
4. Leverage data to drive hub performance.

Hub enrollment drives prescription pull-through, so manufacturers should monitor data across the prescription journey to assess hub performance and draw insights that enable brand and field teams to be more responsive to patient needs and utilization management requirements.

Data at the territory and prescriber level helps sales reps focus on where they can move the needle most and hone their messaging for the most significant impact. Key performance indicators should include:
  • Total new prescriptions (NRx)
  • Patient enrollment rate
  • PA submissions
  • PA approvals
Additionally, insights from this data can be gleaned to identify issues and engage in targeted discussions with field reps in low-performing territories or retraining on the benefits of the hub and how to drive strong adoption.


The PhilRx digital hub seamlessly blends technology with proactive engagement to streamline the entire access journey—from writing the script to filling the prescription to supporting adherence. By providing visibility across this journey, Phil equips commercial and access teams with the tools, actionable insights, and real-time data they need to optimize brand performance. Territory and prescriber level insights allow the Phil team to take a prescriptive approach with our manufacturer partners so that together, we can drive impact where it’s needed most.

To take a deeper dive into proven strategies to maximize adoption of your hub, register for Phil's upcoming webinar: Improving Access, Coverage, and GTN with a Digital Hub.

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