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Team Archbow
  •  January 23

Essential Takeaways from the 2024 ECRM Conference

Essential Program Takeaways from the 2024 ECRM Conference
Essential Takeaways from the 2024 ECRM Conference
Archbow’s Paul J Furgal and Andrew Burman recently attended the ECRM BrandRx & Vaccine Session in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The ECRM event brought together multiple stakeholders from the pharmaceutical industry, with a primary focus on discussing new products and related launch plans, along with ongoing distribution and patient support education. It was an opportunity to connect face-to-face with industry partners to discuss the product life cycle and the critical success factors for supply chain solution success.
After several days of meetings and valuable discussions, we gathered these essential takeaways to share:

1. Conducting a 3PL Health Check Can Generate Savings for Manufacturers

Many manufacturers often put a 3PL relationship in place well before a product launch, failing to examine the relationship’s progress as the program evolves. This can result in outdated processes and overlooked challenges. Manufacturers should ask essential strategic and organizational questions as their program matures to evaluate their potential for future success:


      • Is our program appropriately staffed?
      • Does the initial model support current needs?
      • Are operational metrics and customer engagement levels exceeding expectations?
      • Does our 3PL have the capacity for future growth?
      • Does our 3PL have a stable management team?
If any of these questions resonate with you or your 3PL program, it’s likely time to conduct a health check on your third-party logistics partner and current services.

2. Alternate Distribution Models (ADMs) are Still Being Considered

For pharmaceutical manufacturers, their default distribution model for launching a new drug generally involves signing a distribution services agreement (DSA) with the large wholesalers – Cencora, Cardinal Health, and McKesson — otherwise known as the ‘Big 3’.

However, manufacturers increasingly ask if there are practical ADMs as they consider the wholesalers’ financial effects on their gross-to-net calculations. In a recently published article by Rob Besse, Vice President at Archbow Consulting, he states, “An argument can be made that the answer to this question is, Yes, particularly for specialty pharmaceuticals with fewer target customers.” However, can an ADM meet the manufacturer’s needs without adversely affecting patient needs? For more information on this topic, read the article in Pharmaceutical Commerce here.

For now, manufacturers must know their options and receive solid guidance regarding the risks and rewards inherent within our pharmaceutical distribution ecosystem. This includes financial, operational, and logistic modeling for ADM options and research into therapeutic class analogs and distribution models employed by competitive products. And those entities looking to facilitate an ADM would be wise to consider the customers’ needs and develop creative solutions.

3. Re-evaluate Your HUB Program Strategy More Often

A HUB is intended to provide improved patient support services throughout a patient’s journey. HUBs provide a unified entry point and centralized point of contact for patients utilizing a manufacturer’s therapy. HUBs have become essential and more prevalent recently, along with the rise of specialty products. Enhancing service offerings could benefit the patient as new competing products enter the market. Unfortunately, we’ve found that many manufacturers put a HUB in place, allowing their strategy to grow stagnant. Additionally, service-provider relationships can diminish over time. It’s critical to re-evaluate your HUB provider and related patient support services every 2-3 years.

If any of these topics resonate with you and you want to re-evaluate your pharma business strategy, Archbow can help. Contact Paul Furgal at or Andrew Burman at today.

Learn more about Team Archbow and the methodology that matters most to successful programs, and contact us today for assistance with your strategic and tactical patient support and distribution needs.

For additional insights on this topic, you may also enjoy the following:

Archbow Consulting helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the USA and Europe design, build, and optimize product distribution and patient access strategies. Archbow was founded by industry veterans to meet a need in the marketplace for consulting options that offer diverse real-world experience, are able to leverage deep connections across the industry, and can also provide actionable strategic guidance. We invite you to learn more about our team, services, and clients’ success, and connect with us via email, LinkedIn or subscribing to this blog which you can do below.

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