In our previous blog, we outlined several reasons why your sales team may be failing to reach providers. Here, we examine another market access challenge: patient access to your products.

Many factors can limit patient access to novel treatments, including:

  1. Provider misinformation or lack of knowledge that leads to undiagnosed patients
  2. Formularies
  3. Health inequities (such as underserved populations with limited access to providers)
  4. Prior authorization and other utilization management strategies
  5. Cost-sharing (such as high co-insurance payments)
  6. Supply and distribution challenges
  7. Pricing/cost concerns
  8. Side effects
  9. Lack of patient education and support

Understanding how these various factors can impede patient access can help your sales team become much more effective and enhance your brand’s market access. That’s one reason why CMR Institute offers more than 50 market access training courses. Each course is designed by industry and learning experts to help your team improve their business acumen, account management, and communication skills.

If you want to give your sales team the knowledge they need to address common obstacles at every stage of the patient journey — from diagnosis to treatment initiation to maintenance — we can help.

Here’s a closer look at just a few obstacles to patient access.

Identifying the Right Patients for Your Brand

In a world where personalized medicine is becoming the norm, your sales team should be able to help providers understand which specific patient populations are most likely to benefit from your product. This is particularly important if you have a specialty product and/or brand that treats a rare or chronic disease, for which the patient journey can be fairly complex. Targeted training on evidence-based selling can help your sales team have more in-depth, meaningful conversations with prescribers on this topic.

Dealing with Delayed Patient Starts

Prior authorization (PA) is one of many payer tools that can cause delays in patients starting new medications and result in poor clinical outcomes. PAs and other forms of utilization management can also cause significant frustration for patients, who may ultimately abandon their treatment plan. Ensuring your field reimbursement professionals and other sales team members understand how payers’ processes affect patient access will help them offer meaningful solutions for addressing frustrating delays.

Addressing Poor Adherence

Even patients with good drug coverage only take their drugs as prescribed 50% to 60% of the time. While your marketing team’s efforts can help reduce patient-related barriers like lack of motivation, social stigma or cultural issues, your sales team is critical to educate providers on how to optimize treatment by following proper dosing regimens and managing side effects. The education your team brings to improve adherence can also promote providers’ other goals, including a better patient experience, lower costs and improved population health

Targeting Providers Focused on Improving Access

In recent years, organized providers have been rethinking how they can coordinate their services to improve access to care (including drugs and devices). Driven by incentives from new payment models, many physician practices have become patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). These organizations aim to improve patient access through technology and extended business hours while striving to improve quality and safety outcomes that your team can help support — if they have the training to understand what providers need (see figure).

Similarly, practices and hospitals engaged in integrated delivery systems (IDNs) are organizing their inpatient and outpatient services to better coordinate care for patients. Providers and support staff at each one of these patient touchpoints can play a role in hampering or promoting access to your product, so it is critical that your team understands the care continuum (figure).

Market Access Training Vetted by Experts in Patient Care

Each one of our market access training courses is reviewed by a leader from a provider organization, such as Intermountain Health, Monument Health and the New Jewish Home. These subject matter experts understand the many challenges that patients face when trying to access the treatments they need.

Our faculty also advise us on what updates are needed to our courses throughout the calendar year. In 2023, nearly 50 market access courses have been revised to ensure they reflect the challenging environment your sales team faces every day.

Your Partner in Training to Improve Patient Access to Your Brands

Life sciences companies are heavily investing in omnichannel strategies to improve the patient journey and promote better access to their drugs and devices. Your team’s knowledge and skills are critical to realizing the best return from these investments.

We can help you improve your market access training with learning pathways that enhance the effectiveness of each customer-facing role on your sales team.

Not sure where to start? This interactive tool can help you reflect on your team’s knowledge of key market access concepts and identify areas for improvement.

Questions about our nationally recognized market access resources? Reach out to us at to learn more.


In our final blog, we’ll cover how market access training on reimbursement changes and payer utilization management can improve your team’s performance.

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