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Uncovering an Accurate Target Call List for a Drug Treating Sickle Cell Disease  

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A top ten pharmaceutical company had introduced a drug in 2019 to treat sickle cell disease (SCD) and were not sure they were reaching all the possible HCPs/Accounts with patient potential. Overall performance of the drug was dropping despite the field force having had multiple encounters and calls with their targeted HCPs and hospital accounts. The company was concerned that they had been relying on field force projections of patient potential based on the reps’ contact with their existing HCP targets. Although this approach provided for good engagement with these known prescribers regarding the drug, the client felt that they were not accounting for all potential patients who could be served by their medication. They tasked the Commercial Analytic team at KMK to analyze the hospital and HCP market serving the patient population with SCD to uncover any overlooked targets to optimize sales and promotion. The client chose to partner with KMK on this project as they trusted our solutions and methodologies to always give better results based on prior engagements. and distribution.

The Challenge

SCD serves a relatively small patient population and therefore the number of prescribers and field forces serving those prescribers is smaller. Generally speaking, it can be sufficient to guestimate the number of potential patients from the field force serving these smaller markets. However, our challenge was to demonstrate that the field rep estimates of patient potential across HCP and hospital accounts were not adequately addressing the true SCD patient potential. We needed to utilize data backed insights to accurately demonstrate patient potential.


As a relatively new drug, there was not much information on patient journeys with the medication to use as basis for analysis. There were some prescriber metrics we could examine to identify where there was a drop in total Rx coming from national numbers and we were able to analyze specific accounts acting in a certain way to get a picture of what was happening in the overall treatment area. Such insights provided some clarity on trends.

To develop the potential number of patients aged 16+ with SCD at the HCP and hospital account level, we leveraged a better data-driven approach for our estimates utilizing claims data. We then demonstrated how this would play out within a specific territory by creating a spatial-econometric model to assign geographic boundaries for a specific hospital based upon their zip boundaries where it draws 80% of their claims.


Specifically, we worked with APLD Claims & Komodo which describes county boundaries for each account by understanding the zip3 information of patients and we combined this analysis with U.S. Census & EPI data used to depict SCD 16 + eligible patient potential in a zip code. We first proved how patient potential can be upgraded by delving deep into the claims data of the HCPs in the specific geographic area of Orange County and then we extrapolated this methodology to all HCPs and hospital accounts in the US serving this patient population.

1500 total unique patients in 3 adjacent counties* to Orange County

This methodology helped us create a robust model which improved the patient penetration/potential for 68% of the top tier hospitals, 62% of the middle tier and 27% of the low tier hospitals. We scaled the model by creating a correlation between SCD eligible patient populations and vials sold, and we did look alike modeling by extrapolating the patient potential for high vial purchase customers who currently demonstrated zero or very low patient potential estimate. By contrasting the differences in the patient potentials with this new methodology versus how the client had been approaching the market, and being able to back up our assumptions with the claims and sales data from the expanded HCP and hospital targets, we convinced the client to adopt our suggested model and methodology.


Our resulting service area models provided the basis for helping the client improve institution targeting and provided a more accurate estimate of SCD patient penetration among the HCPs and hospital accounts. We were able to improve hospital targeting for 68% of top tier hospitals and their HCPs and identified an untreated eligible patient population for almost more than 8% of the accounts using this methodology. Prior to this they had 0 patient potential. This analysis resulted in relevant call and engagement plans which allowed the client to better understand where to concentrate their efforts in terms of sales calls and NPP (Non-Personal Promotion) promotions budget.

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