Herceptin Sales to Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Sales Presentation to Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Herceptin is a recently developed drug used in the treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer that has metastasized. HER2 is human epidermal growth factor receptor and when found on the outside of cancer cells it promotes tumor growth. Approximately 20% of tumors express HER2-positive characteristics. If untreated this cancer has the potential to reproduce rapidly, reducing the chances for recovery and presenting a faster time to relapse than HER2- negative cancer (Roche Laboratories, 2012).
Herceptin works in a similar way to the body's natural immune systems. It recognizes foreign invaders and binds to them, protecting the body from them in the future. Herceptin is specifically designed to attack cancer cells rather than other invaders. Herceptin also reinforces the body's own immune system to break the tumor cell membrane and cause cancer cell death (Roche Laboratories, 2012).
Herceptin was approved for sale in the European Union and in the U.S. In 2010 (Roche Laboratories, 2012). However, its use has been limited due to a lack of knowledge about the drug and its usefulness in difficult to treat HER2-positive cancer. Roche Laboratories wishes to increase sales and general awareness about Herceptin. This sales presentation will target potential facilities that may be interested in using Herceptin for the treatment of difficult or quickly progressing HER2-positive breast cancer and gastric cancer.
Sales Presentation to Cancer Treatment Centers of America
The prospecting process for pharmaceutical products begins with finding facilities that have a high concentration of patients with the condition that the pharmaceutical treats. This requires that the salesperson have a thorough understanding of the drug and its usage prior to beginning the prospecting process. For instance, general practitioners would not be good sales prospects for a drug that is used to treat a specific condition usually requiring a specialist. Likewise, one would not try to sell the drug to a clinician that is outside of the treatment category. In the case of Herceptin, the drug is used to treat cancers that may not respond to traditional cancer treatments. Therefore, the first step is locating a facility that treats this type of cancer.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), is a Nationwide network of cancer treatment centers that provide state of the art care for cancers that are difficult to treat, in advanced stages, or for which patients that have a complicating condition which makes cancer treatment difficult (CTCA, 2012). CTCA is the precise target market for which Herceptin was developed.
Women with HER2-positive breast and gastric cancers represent about 20% of women with breast and gastric cancer. The market is small in terms of percentage, but the target market is easy to locate because many of the women have failed treatment via the traditional routes and have been referred to specialty cancer treatment centers. Therefore, specialty cancer treatment centers represent the primary target market for the therapy. These cancer treatment centers, such as CTCA, treat high volumes of patients with difficult to treat cancers and represent a concentration of women with HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer.
Specialty cancer treatment centers are likely to represent the highest volume of repeat orders for the drug as well. The same patient may need multiple rounds of the medication, women with relapses may need to repeat the medication, and the centers continually receive new patients that will need the treatment. It is possible that other places the tat treat cancer such as general hospitals may have a need for Herceptin as well. These facilities will be pursued as secondary markets because many women that fall under the category for which Herceptin was developed are referred to specially clinics. However, in some cases they may not seek help from a specialty clinic due to cost or other reasons that can prevent them from doing so. In this case, general hospitals and other general cancer treatment centers may also have a need for Herceptin, but the need is not as great as for cancer treatment centers. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is the biggest network in the nation and therefore represents the highest possible sales of the drug.
Preparation will be the key to the sales approach at CTCA. The specialty clinic represents some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the area of cancer treatment, particularly cases that will not respond to traditional routes. Several therapies are already being used for the treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric answers. Herceptin can be used as an adjunct therapy to boost the effectiveness of other treatments, or it can be used alone. This is a point that must be presented early in the presentation. The key selling points of the drug must be listed prior to approaching CTCA.
It can be anticipated that clinical professionals at CTCA will want certain information in or to make a purchase decision. First, it can already be assumed that the client will want to obtain the most effective treatment for their patients. This not only improves outcomes for the patients, it boosts a reputation of the facility for being able to cure difficult cancers. Herceptin has been used successfully to treat almost a million women worldwide since 1998, and is currently approved for use in the United States. It is expected that the drug will have similar cure rates when compared to the rest of the world.
It is not known who will make the final purchase decision at the CTCA. This will be the first task in developing the sales presentation. More than likely the purchase decision will be made by more than one person, such as a panel of senior physicians and specialists. This information will be needed before the presentation can proceed. Furthermore, it is more than likely that CTCA has specific methods for handling sales presentations and solicitations. The first step will be a phone call to ask what procedures need to be followed to present a new treatment therapy. It is not known if they accept sale solicitations on a continual basis, or if they have specific times set aside, such as quarterly, to accept new sales presentations. The approach and presentation will have to follow their procedures and policies.
Many of the questions that the physicians or panel will have can be anticipated. They will want to know evidence-based facts and a demonstrated history of successful cure rates. This is one advantage that Herceptin has over newly developed drugs. Herceptin hs a long documented history of success in the rest the world, but has only recently been introduced into the United States. Presenting these clinical trials and results will have the greatest positive effect on successful sales of the product. It can be anticipated that the sales approach should be direct and factual rather than filled with a lot of hype and empty claims. This type of behavior could turn off the end consumer immediately.
The methods utilized by the organization will play a significant role in the approach. If they have formal procedures, then these procedures will determine the approach that must be taken. If they do not have formal procedures in place, then the person with whom the presentation will occur must be determined. Physicians and other staff at any cancer treatment center are busy and do not have time to waste. An initial phone call to set up a time would be preferred, but often the secretary is strained to reroute calls from salespeople and it is difficult to get personal time prior to the initial meeting.
The person with whom the final presentation will take place will more than likely be inaccessible prior to the meeting. One advantage is that physicians and specialists in the cancer treatment field are more open to products that will increase treatment success in their patients. Often they actively seek new cancer treatments and the latest developments in the field. This will be used as initial leverage to gain access to the Physician or specialist with whom I must speak. The focus of the approach should remain on the final presentation as the ability to contact person directly and build report prior to the presentation may be limited.
The presentation call will attempt to assess interest in new drug therapies for difficult to treat cancers. Specialists in the field have a greater challenge than those who treat cancers that are easier than HER2-positive cancer. If the company has a procedure already in place for allowing pharmaceutical companies to present new treatment options, it is a good indication that they are open and receptive to presentations related to their interests. The helpfulness of the front desk staff in setting up a presentation will also be a good indication as to their interest in new treatment therapies. Herceptin solves a critical problem for the potential customer. Any new drug that has the potential for increasing survival rates and patient outcomes is welcome by the medical community. The…