Finsights Blog

Groundhog Day: Why You Don’t Want To Be Bill Murray

I took my son to Disneyland last year.  I tell everyone now that visiting Disney is like the movie Groundhog Day – you have to go for at least 2 days as you’ll always mess up the first day and you need the second day to get it right.

Day 1 we were a little late out of the hotel, so we were late to get the Fast Pass for the Cars ride (coupled with completely missing it and having to get directions) all of which delayed access to other Fast Passes for the rest of the day.  We didn’t know our favorite rides.  We didn’t know where to find the good food.

Day 2 was magical.  We lined up with the crowd to sprint to the Cars Fast Pass, and got a pass 3 hours earlier that day.  We scored 2 Fast Passes from an exhausted dad and got to ride Hyperspace Mountain twice in 15 minutes.  We saved half an hour on the line for the Dole Pineapple soft serve.  We ate the infamous Monte Cristo sandwich. We mastered the app and scored lots of short waits.

You really don’t want to be like Bill Murray when you’re launching a drug.  Any you can’t be, because whatever you get wrong on Day 1 is going to haunt you on Day 2 and every day thereafter.

The best solution we’ve found is to get the key channel players together and role-play the scenarios.  Schedule time with the key participants in the network: Patient Services, Trade, Supply Chain, the 3PL, the Patient Services Hub, Co-pay vendor, PAP and Bridge drug vendor, Data Aggregator, Specialty Pharmacies and Specialty Distributors.

Most manufacturers focus on the happy path that they expect most to follow and write up Standard Operating Procedures for these.  The best focus on everything that could go wrong and work out how they’ll deal with each variation.  And they meet multiple times before launch to workshop these scenarios and get crystal clear on who is going to do what when the patient isn’t enrolled or isn’t covered, or can’t be reached, or doesn’t want to cover the co-pay or the SPP doesn’t have a payer contract for that patient, or the foundation is empty, or …

Because we only get one chance to get it right, and first impressions have a huge impact on a successful launch, don’t wing it like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. You don’t get endless chances to get it right.

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