Changes in healthcare delivery are rapidly undermining the commercial models on which manufacturers have traditionally relied to market their drug, device, and diagnostic products. Customers are fewer and larger as hospitals consolidate into integrated delivery networks (IDN) in the face of rising cost pressures, stiffer financial penalties and the imperatives of healthcare reform.

As IDNs shift buying and utilization decisions to high-level, cross-functional corporate committees, the physicians on whom manufacturer sales forces have called are no longer as influential. Broader selection criteria now include economic and clinical value, increasingly in all-or-nothing competitions between similar products.

Commoditization is an ever present threat, especially for me-too, undifferentiated products. Manufacturers must therefore move quickly on new commercial models, with new skills, competencies and capabilities, to engage with these new customers effectively and successfully. This urgent need and how to meet it is the focus of this brief.

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