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Don’t get the CCG password wrong – you’ll be locked out




On the 28th November, the inaugural “Patients Create conference took place in London. With the intention of accelerating innovation and patient outcomes via “crowdsourcing” this excellent event offered some sage advice for market access managers & KAMs.

A representative of the NHS Dorset CCG candidly shared the pressures and priorities she has to manage, and the session revealed some of the “keys to entry” that would-be providers must master.

There has been too much debate and false starts in the healthcare sector about Key Account Management. The CCG commissioner’s comments implicitly indicated that KAMs with the wrong focus will quickly lose credibility and risk being “locked out”, just like when we inadvertently put in the wrong PIN in a cash machine. Here is my reading of what the commissioner wants and doesn’t want:


Tell me about people & populations NOT products

Faux-pas No.1 is to stroll into the commissioner’s office talking details about the drug: It’s akin to turning up at a factory fire with a water pistol. Responsible for 100’s or 1000’s of people, they want your expert advice to help challenges at the community level, not the product level.


Help challenge my approach

All commissioners are bound by mandate and personal ethics in most cases to do the best they can for their local patients. If you can build a convincing case for why they are not, you will have their ear. This again has more to do with populations and thinking big, rather than individual patient response.


Lend me your core competencies

Interestingly, the commissioner recognised the substantial clinical and business acumen of the healthcare players. She said she often wanted time and expertise, not just medication. Do you know your own core competencies? What value can you offer? Clinic management? Internal communications?


Collaborate and integrate

The best social solutions invariably come from different stakeholders working together across commercial boundaries. This is not the time for parochialism! KAMs that can see bigger picture will win the day. And, in the NHS, integration is such a strong imperative that KAMs ignore it at their peril. Their challenge will be to define what integration means to the specific CCG they are working with.


Be good with the business case

KAMs that are not able to lucidly work with the numbers are likely to become “illiterate” in the new milieu that is the NHS. Being able to hunt out opportunities to create value, quantify it and involve the right stakeholders will be super-crucial.


Pharma response

Reading between the lines, the CCG commissioner’s comments place an immediate call to arms on KAMs: There is not time to slowly evolve. Pharma training departments have to get busy growing five core clusters of skills:

  1. The ability to integrate many perspectives and synthesise them
  2. The ability to do high quality analyses of data, financial and demographic
  3. The ability to dream up new schema for value
  4. The ability to co-ordinate, lead and convince multiple stakeholders
  5. The ability to design and drive change programmes

The rewards for those that pull it off will be substantial: Their competitors will be locked out with little chance of re-entry.











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