Working the way up to success requires innovation as the criterion in today’s digital age. Technological transformations must be the driving force of every business in order to scale its progress. Ensuring that this aspect is not neglected in various healthcare sectors is Dean Erhardt.
Driving the transformation of strategic marketing and management experience across both the pharmaceutical and consumer product arenas for over 25 years, Dean is currently the President and CEO of D2 Solutions. His areas of expertise include analysis and development of pharmaceutical distribution, reimbursement and patient support programs. Further under his leadership D2 has developed various SaaS solutions focused on helping various stakeholder a) drive additional revenue, b) decrease operational cost and c) reduce exposure to regulatory risk.
Dean has worked with over 100 pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device manufacturers assisting in the strategic and tactical execution of their market initiatives. In addition, Mr. Erhardt has worked with numerous small and midsized pharmaceutical and biotech organizations in the areas of strategy development, channel management, product reimbursement and patient services.
In an interview, Insights Success had a comprehensive discourse with Dean to understand his model of solution-oriented services.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Briefly describe your professional journey up until now.
Prior to my role at D2, I served in roles of increasing responsibility with Express Scripts, Cardinal Health, and US Healthcare. My most recent corporate role was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Express Scripts Specialty Pharmacy Benefits Management group. In this role, I worked with multiple Managed Care and Payer organizations, developing formularies, reimbursement models, and product support programs for specialty and biotech therapeutic categories.
Previously, I led Sales and Marketing for Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services, working with over 30 pharmaceutical manufacturers in the areas of Limited Distribution programs, Patient Assistance programs, Sampling, Reimbursement Support, and other product-specific support programs.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The question is, what challenges have we not faced? The D2 teams work hard to listen to our clients and develop solutions that solve real-world problems. In today’s environment, organizations face limited resources in the areas of time (too much to do with limited personnel resources), talent (a significant challenge in finding and retaining talent), and money (limited financial resources). These challenges faced by our clients were also confronted by D2; at the same time, we were working to develop solutions for our client partners.
What significant impact have you brought to the MedTech industry?
I have been leading D2 Solutions through a transformation from a traditional consulting firm to a technology-driven organization delivering SaaS solutions to industry stakeholders that drive operational efficiencies by reducing the need for human labor, enabling better regulatory compliance, and accelerating revenue capture. In todays environment we are not faced with the question of if we WANT to do more with less, but rather we are in a situation where we MUST do more with less.
Tell us about D2 Solutions and its foundation pillar.
D2 empowers healthcare leaders with a unique combination of SaaS solutions and deep consulting expertise, focusing on eliminating key friction points in the marketplace to help healthcare stakeholders achieve better efficiencies and attain improved patient results.
D2 was founded in 2008 and focused on providing services in the areas of distribution and reimbursement. In 2015, D2 began the process of including technology-based solutions.
Today, D2 has successfully combined consulting and technology to provide a combination of strategic consulting, tactical implementation, and SaaS technology solutions. One hundred percent (100%) of D2’s focus is in the healthcare sector, with clients including Pharma and Biotech manufacturers, Specialty Pharmacies, Payers, Hospital Systems, and PBMs. D2’s traditional consulting focus is in the areas of Supply Chain Management, Market Access (Pricing & Reimbursement), Pharmacy Operations and Patient Services.
D2 has developed a unique set of services including but not limited to Sourcing Manufacturing capacity; Setting up the complete supply channel, including all aspects of Patient Support; Market Access, including full Payer coverage for Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, and VA/DoD; SaaS solutions to capture patients at the MD office and accelerate patient enrolment into manufacturer programs as well as to administer electronic Benefit Verification for the onboarding process along with to facilitate digital compliance and disease management of patients through their full course of therapy.
How does D2 Solutions promote workforce flexibility, and what is your role in it?
D2 has always been an at-home work environment. We work to encourage employees to be engaged and to recognize that all of their contributions are highly valued.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Technology must enhance your business, not force you to revamp business – which creates a significant risk to an organization. D2’s technology focuses on workflow efficiency and easy-to-incorporate solutions that help organizations to capture more revenue, enhance operational margin, and diminish exposure to potential business risk.
These pillars enable organizations to get more done with less human labor, allowing stakeholders to address the issues of labor shortage and ever-increasing labor costs that are plaguing all stakeholders.
What will be the following significant change in the MedTech industry, and how are you preparing for it?
There are several major shifts going on in the MedTech environment.
A.) Patient care will continue to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. FDA-approved digital therapeutics, in addition to everyday wearables, will enable Patients to be more informed about all aspects of how their lifestyle impacts their health and how their individual decisions can impact their overall health.
- B) Technologies that drive measurable enhancements to an organization (an area of focus for D2) – enabling changes, such as a) organizations to work faster, b) Patients to provide more real-time feedback on their care, c) the ability to accelerate Patient onboarding to drugs and therapies, and d) organizations to scale with less human intervention, etc. These are all examples where MedTech – will enhance the delivery of healthcare for Providers, Patients, and Payers.
What are your goals in the upcoming future?
D2 is singularly focused on addressing workflow efficiency that can take cost out of the healthcare delivery model while creating an extremely positive patient experience. Continued issues in and around drug costs, labor cost/ labor shortages, administrative burden, and worker burnout, among others, must be addressed – and can only be addressed via technology.
These issues put at risk the ability of organizations, such as pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics, to provide high-quality care to an increasingly elderly US population.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
I would like to advise them to Focus on the outcome you are trying to achieve and fight like crazy to achieve it. Don’t allow setbacks to take away from a vision that has high stakeholder value.