How do doctors and insurers in the US get the info they need to make decisions about medicines for patients?
The US healthcare landscape is complicated with several layers between a patient and a medicine. Patients put trust in health care professionals (HCPs) to know what is best for their bodies and put trust in insurance companies to help them access the medicines they need. At GSK, we have a responsibility to make sure the HCPs (doctors, physician’s assistants, etc.) and payers (BlueCross Blue Shield, CIGNA, etc.) have the latest information on medicines and research. We know this isn’t an easy task so we have teams across the country dedicated to bridging the gap between the US healthcare system and available medicines.
Here’s why it’s important in the US
Access to medicines comes down to the coverage provided by insurers and government programs. These groups need to have the most up-to-date information about patient populations and available medicines in order to make the best decisions. At GSK, our Health Outcome Liaisons (HOLs) work closely with the various US payer organizations at regional and national levels to provide patient population data to inform patient access and coverage.
Doctors need this up-to-date information too in order to make the right decisions for the patients they see every day. That’s why our Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) serve as the frontline medical affairs connection between GSK and HCPs to ensure the fulfillment of US customer needs.
In an average week, an MSL will book his/her calendar around “external expert” meetings in order to answer any questions they may have. These external experts are typically internationally published, well-researched, medical experts that are seen as leaders in their associated medical field. During the meetings, the MSL has an opportunity to share the most up-to-date GSK information requested and the external expert has an opportunity to share insights on their therapy area or disease state. Additionally, the relationship between the MSL and the external expert ensures an open two-way dialog so the external expert can easily request information ahead of discussions with others in the medical field – an important part of educating the medical science network that helps patients access the right medicine at the right time.
Teams of HOLs and MSLs exist across the country as part of our Customer Engagement, Value Evidence, and Outcomes organization. Since the US healthcare landscape is a complex one, employees like Brian and David help bridge the gap between the healthcare system and a patient getting the medicine they need. Doctors and insurers can’t do it on their own – they rely on companies like GSK and medical experts to help them – it truly takes a village.