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  • EASY-ON opens up new opportunity to Xarelto amid COVID-19
  • by Eo, Yun-Ho | translator Byun Kyung A | Jun 19, 2020 06:24am
Interview on Xarelto PM Jung Changho at Bayer Korea
“Imbalanced information among healthcare providers resolved with non-contact detailing, more benefits to patients”
“One-on-one detailing with experienced nurse, aiming for registering 2,000 members this year”
 ▲ PM Jung Changho
COVID-19 has brought dramatic changes to our lives. Witnessing these changes, scholars stress the importance of responding and planning for the prospective changes in the post-coronavirus era.

And many pharmaceutical companies are also seeking for new changes in business model amid COVID-19 pandemic.

For the pharmaceutical industry, the novel infectious disease has been increasingly limiting the conventional sales activity, which highlighted the importance of non-contact multi-channel marketing. Now the online-based marketing tools are emerging as an answer, and companies are taking the cue to expand various non-contact sales channels like one-on-one detailing service, web symposium and e-catalogue.

In March, when COVID-19 was spreading fast in Korea, Bayer Korea launched non-contact detailing service ‘EASY-ON’ and swiftly tackled on the changes in the society’s trend.

EASY-ON is an online video consulting solution that provides latest clinical findings and anti-coagulant prescription related medical information for primary healthcare institutes like private clinics to better manage chronic atrial fibrillation. The program has specialized nurse with clinical experience as a consultant to engage with the healthcare providers. .

Daily Pharm interviewed Product Manager (PM) Jung Changho, who led the EASY-ON project launch, for the story of the present and future of non-contact sales.

 ▲ Bayer

-Please give us a short introduction to yourself for the readers

Started as a medical representative in the cardiovascular sector since 2009, I joined the Xarelto sales division in 2016. Currently, I am in charge of planning and operating the EASY-ON project in the marketing team, and it has been over a year being the PM for Xarelto team.

-Marketing and sales around the world are largely obstructed by the COVID-19 pandemic. What kind of changes have you experienced after the outbreak, and how is the Xarelto team responding to the situation?

The non-contact marketing and sales back in the day used to lack the drive. Of course, many pharmaceutical companies have been continuously working on remote multi-channel marketing before, but after the outbreak, the companies are more eager to diversify the communication channels and try them in real life.

As the conventional sales are deeply rooted in face-to-face engagement, I was always skeptical of other channels and their effect.

But, with the recent incident, I have learned the clients are more ready to accept the new system than how we expected, and that they are more open and positive to review a new communication channel.

-Apparently, EASY-ON program launch was planned before the COVID-19?

Actually, the plan for EASY-ON predates the COVID-19 outbreak—it was initially planned to improve the atrial fibrillation patient management. And the project took the momentum as the outbreak started in the time of the launch.

The objective of the EASY-ON is to inform private clinic healthcare providers to adequately manage atrial fibrillation patients, and to fixed imbalanced information caused when using an anticoagulant.

Unlike general hospitals, private clinics have contacted the company through various channels to query prescription related information, which shows the information asymmetry between the two. And this is how EASY-ON came about. The ultimate goal of the project is to educate the healthcare providers for patients to truly benefit from treatment options.

-How is the program generally operated?

The first and the most important benefit of EASY-ON is having seasoned specialist nurse to give consultation via video conference call. The second benefit is that the program focuses on atrial fibrillation, which tends to require more intricate care and treatment compared to other chronic disease. The healthcare providers can access relevant in-depth information, because EASY-ON specializes in atrial fibrillation and relevant treatment information,.

About three months since the launch in March, approximately 200 healthcare providers have joined the program so far. It constantly provides scheduled consulting service to the members. The EASY-ON platform offers overall ten basic learning materials based on basic information of the health condition, which is accessible on demand after the consulting session.

-General hospital and private clinic healthcare providers are torn between the prescription options of non-Vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOAC) like Xarelto and initial care. Between the two clientele, which does Bayer tries to put more focus on?

Most importantly, no patient should be left behind by any one of them. So both are very important channels we need to take care of.

At the moment, general hospitals are encouraging patients to be diagnosed at general hospital and to manage the condition at clinics. And clinics anticipate contributing in the initial anticoagulant treatment in atrial fibrillation patients. Bayer’s biggest mission is to have the patients with atrial fibrillation to receive adequate treatment, regardless of general hospital or clinic, and to manage the condition properly.

-Any memorable anecdote with the EASY-ON to share?

A private clinic in a hard to access remote region gave a quite memorable feedback.

Despite the needs for the anticoagulant treatment information, the healthcare provider there did not have a good and efficient access to the information. But in the end they expressed gratitude for our EASY-ON program when basic information and key information needed for seeing a patient were provided through a video call platform.

-What’s next for EASY-ON?

The project is aiming to secure 2,000 members within this year. Although the service has been reactively responding, the company is preparing a channel to academically engage with general hospital professors in real time for their unmet needs.

For the EASY-ON clients, web symposium consisting of specialized consulting webinars would be organized to talk about differences in each clinical trial and solution in each case. And other informative materials like FAQ or newsletter would be disseminated to the EASY-ON members to answer their queries on NOAC.
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