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IDNs: Driving Change in Drug Access and Utilization

As of May 2024, a striking 77.6% of physicians in the United States are employed by hospitals, health systems and corporate entities – a significant surge from less than 50% a mere decade ago. This trend underscores a seismic shift in healthcare delivery, as practitioners increasingly opt to join Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs).

While the primary objectives of IDNs are centered on fostering collaboration, enhancing operational efficiencies and strengthening their purchasing power, their overarching aim is improving patient care and outcomes. IDNs now hold a significant influence over the accessibility and utilization of medications among their affiliated physicians and the patients in their care. Here are a few examples:

  • Formulary Management and Drug Selection: IDNs often maintain their own formularies that are guided by not only clinical efficacy and safety, but also considerations such as cost-effectiveness, population health priorities and contractual agreements with pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Value-Based Contracting: IDNs are increasingly adopting value-based contracting arrangements (e.g., outcomes-based pricing, risk-sharing agreements and pay-for-performance models) with manufacturers, linking reimbursement to patient outcomes and the demonstrated value of medications.
  • Clinical Pathways and Treatment Protocols: IDNs develop and implement standardized clinical pathways and treatment protocols that often incorporate recommendations for pharmaceutical therapy based on clinical guidelines, efficacy data and cost considerations.
  • Population Health Management: IDNs place a strong emphasis on population health management, aiming to improve health outcomes for entire patient populations while controlling costs.
  • Data Analytics and Real-World Evidence: IDNs leverage data analytics and real-world evidence to inform clinical decision-making, monitor treatment outcomes and optimize healthcare delivery processes.

It is no longer enough to share the value of a product and its unmet clinical need; manufacturers now need to illustrate how their product is advantageous to the IDN’s business priorities and its patients’ outcomes. Manufacturers must now prioritize the following:

  • Designing a bespoke Field Deployment model for key IDNs in their targeted market
  • Identifying each IDN’s unique buying process
  • Addressing IDN’s key needs that are agnostic to a single product or brand
  • Understanding how IDNs operate and knowing which stakeholders need to be engaged
  • Assisting the stakeholder navigating their IDN to improve care within the system

By aligning their strategies with the specific priorities and operational nuances of IDNs, manufacturers can more effectively ensure their products meet both clinical and business objectives, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and securing a competitive advantage in the healthcare market.

Interested in learning more about developing an IDN Engagement Strategy for your product portfolio? Schedule a meeting with our experts.

Author Team

EVERSANA employs a team of over 6000 professionals across 20+ locations around the world. From industry-leading patient service and adherence support to global pricing and revenue management, our team informs the strategies that matter…