I understand. I really do. You are working very hard to develop a great new product that will change patient’s lives. And that all your time is dedicated to find a way to convert your idea into a real life product, making your product work, and overcome bugs. You think that you are doing a good job in getting it all ready.
And eventually you are ready for launching your product. That’s great right?! No. You have forgotten something…
Approximately 2 years prior to your product launch it is time already to start working on a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) strategy to create thought leader interest in your product. This starts with considering which KOLs to engage based on their interests, research activities and education, which makes this a KOL targeting exercise.
Start informing these KOLs on the science behind the new product, ongoing trials and timelines, and the results of emerging data as they are made public. At the same time education activities, such as mechanism of disease (MOD) and mechanism of action (MOA) presentations, slides summarizing key data from medical meetings and congresses, and summaries of changes to practice guidelines, should be considered to help with creating awareness.
Generating scientific data will support product acceptance
Another really important step in the route to bring your product to market is generating scientific data. In the current day and age not only governmental agencies demand scientific and clinical data that proof that your product is safe. More and more health care providers would need to see that your product is not only safe, but also is effective. They are the ones that prescribe your product. And they are the ones that in most cases need to convince hospital administrations to get your product on the shelf.
Therefore you need to start early with generating data. Of course you have been doing a lot of testing already. Bench tests, compatibility and performance testing. But have your ever considered drafting a manuscript or create a presentation on your data?
In vitro, in vivo, animal and clinical data can all help to overcome the evidence gap for your product. Do you need to do all of these? Probably not. But it will make a huge difference if you can show evidence on your product at the time of launch. Let alone that you may need data to support your regulatory submission.
Do you have to do this all by yourself? The good news is that if you execute your KOL strategy according to plan, there will be interest from health care providers to perform studies with your product. Together you will be able to generate the necessary data. They may also want to present at congresses on the results, which in return generates awareness for your product.
And there are specialists out there that can support you with the above mentioned activities. So that you can focus on what you do best. Engineering your product!