Commercial Deliverable R&D

Target Product Profile (TPP)

What is a Target Product Profile (TPP)?
A target product profile refers to what the expected properties of a drug will be once development (ie studies) are complete. It usually consists of many elements including information on expected dosing, route of administration, potential efficacy and safety profile, etc. As new data emerge once studies readout the TPP is generally updated to reflect the latest knowledge.

The TPP is an important strategic tool used within pharma companies to plan for and assess investigational agents including the market potential, potential marketing strategies, etc. It is also important to levelset between various functions and can serve as a potential base case to compare actual results against. Finally, TPPs can be shared with regulatory authorities in earlier discussions as study design and other decisions are being talked through and made.


Speaker Bureau Program

What is a Speaker Bureau Program?

A Speaker Bureau Program is a collection of lectures by healthcare providers (HCPs) to other HCPs on a company’s product. They can also include interaction with the audience in the form of questions and discussion. Pharmaceutical companies fund these programs in order to further education and awareness of their products and data amongst the prescribing population.

As with most external communication sponsored by pharma, there are many regulations that need to be followed in the development of speaker bureau programs as well as in the recruitment and payment of HCPs to deliver content.

Speaker bureau programs are typically funded and managed by HCP marketing functions internally.

Commercial Deliverable

Awareness Trial Usage Study

What is an Awareness Trial Usage (ATU) study?

An awareness trial usage (ATU) study is a form of market research in which the aim is to get an idea of how many prescribers of interest are aware of the product being tested, how many have newly tried it, and how use is. Each ATU study is done at a point in time, but will often be repeated over time to see trends in the points of interest.

Brand perception may also be part of the ATU, which may be why ATUs are sometimes referred to as AAUs (Awareness Attitude Usage).

ATUs can be completed in a variety of formats but most often are done as online surveys today as the data quality is still high but it is much more economical online. In specific cases or niches, other formats may still be used including telephone or in-person interviews.

Pharma companies often contract with firms offering specialized market research capabilities in order to carryout ATU studies.


Market Segmentation

What is market segmentation?

Market segmentation is a way to divide up a market into various subgroups with some similar characteristic. It is often deployed in order to better understand heterogeneity in the market as well as how to tailor strategy to specific segments and in order to best deploy limited company resources in growing the brand.

There are often various segmentation approaches deployed for a given drug product including provider segmentation, patient segmentation, and payer segmentation.

Provider segmentation may divide potential prescribers of a drug into various groups based on any number of characteristics including potentially specialty type, past prescribing behaviors, number of patients or type of healthcare entity they practice at, and geography. Provider segmentation is often used in determining who targets should be for sales teams to call on.

Patient segmentation may divide the indicated patient population into subgroups based on characteristics including potentially treatment or procedural history, disease subtype or details, comorbidities, age, sex, or type of insurance. Patient segmentation can be used to determine who the right patient is for a drug or those who will benefit the most or be of greatest value in treating. This can be an important part of the story to physicians and payers, particularly in therapeutic areas with many options or very large populations.

Payer segmentation may divide potential payers by type of entity (PBM, health plan, IDN, ACO, etc.), size, geography, etc.

At an operational level, these three types of segmentation may be overlaid in various ways in order to identify the greatest opportunity and to define a cohesive and strategic tactical plan.

Commercial Deliverable

Master Visual Aid

What is a Master Visual Aid?

A master visual aid (MVA) is a core deliverable for the brand marketing team and the key piece that sales representatives use in their interactions with providers. It usually contains the key messages for the brand along with key data on the drug. It is also typically visually appealing with vibrant images related to the theme of the messaging. The final messaging and content are carefully chosen, usually the winner of several concepts and many iterations that go through a considerable number of reviews and market research testing.

Increasingly, digital MVAs are produced for use on iPads, as a complimentary tool to the physical version and can be used depending on sales rep and provider preference (and what is more conducive within the setting of a given meeting).

As with other materials for use by sales representatives, MVAs contain on-label information only and usually have to be approved by a internal review committee prior to being available to the field.