New Haven, CT — The FDA approved Biohaven Pharmaceuticals’ migraine therapy, Nurtec, last month, just before the COVID-19 pandemic sent people the world over into lockdown. In the early stages of launch, Biohaven had to adapt (quickly) much of its launch plan to meet the demands of social distancing and best practices for our current era. The six-year-old company’s operations were already virtual in no small part, but it has now pivoted to a completely virtual-first approach to prepare the market for Nurtec.
“In many geographies,” said Biohaven CEO Vlac Coric to FiercePharma, “our field sales team is taking the responsible approach, working via virtual meetings to interact with physicians, shipping samples or utilizing other approaches to remotely interact with physician offices.” Biohaven is also using direct-to-consumer advertising, social media, and telemedicine to market Nurtec to both providers and patients.
At this time, remote detailing is crucial for physician education, the company has found. And landing reimbursement has typically been a digital effort, so payer communications are staying that way. Biohaven had an in-person panel of key opinion leaders scheduled for last week; in the end, they virtualized the entire event, making it a webinar for a remote, dispersed audience.
The company recognizes not just the critical nature of best practices during the pandemic—but also the unique importance of supporting migraine patients right now. “It is precisely at times like these when migraine patients may experience heightened attacks,” Coric said. “It is supremely important to keep those suffering from migraine functioning normally, and out of doctor offices/emergency rooms so that those HCPs can attend to more urgent matters.”
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