IMS Health pursues aggregate-spend reporting with software and service suite

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - March 2010

Company partners with R-Squared to provide collect and qualify promotional spending data

Escalating demands by a growing number of states for regulated tracking of promotional spending is being matched by new service suites to meet these evolving requirements. In the latest example, IMS Health’s Business Transformation Services unit has partnered with R-Squared (Princeton, NJ) to implement the latter’s SpendTracker software as an enterprise-wide solution for aggregate-spend reporting. IMS Health integrates the tracking software with its Healthcare Relational Services database and consulting, which enables pharma or med device manufacturers to align the identities and organizational affiliations of healthcare providers (HCPs), so that aggregate spending is properly recorded. IMS Health says that the SpendTracker software has already been vetted by the Office of Inspector General of HHS as a suitable method for collecting and reporting promotional data.

“We’ve built out this service as the inquiries from our clients grew as a result of the increasing number of states with proposed or finalized legislation,” says Rebecca Fisher, director of offering management in IMS’ Commercial Effectiveness unit. She goes on to say that biopharma manufacturers tend to fall into one of three categories for aggregate-spend reporting: 1) small, one-product biopharma who lack infrastructure to manage this regulatory function; 2) medium- to large-sized companies that were able to address the legislation of one or two states, but now find themselves overwhelmed by the half-dozen states with legislated regulations, and the 10-15 more where it is under consideration; and 3) Big Pharma companies that have a need to collect spend data across many divisions, where the burdens of collecting and then collating the data is becoming painful.

“Although there is proposed ‘Sunshine Act’ legislation in Congress, the pattern is already being set with different states having differing deadlines and requirements,” says Fisher. “This is becoming a very burdensome reporting requirement for pharma companies of any size.”

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