Molecular targeting provides a framework to identify physicians to target not only based on their prescription behavior but also on the nature and intensity of their working relationships with their peers. It elegantly unifies targeting by regular sales reps with targeting by MSLís. This is achieved by recognizing the indirect nature of the benefit of calling on a physician. It offers a practical solution to the hard-to-access physicians age-old conundrum. Indeed, molecular targeting helps identify close colleagues that are potentially easier to access while commanding the respect of their peers. It allows ROI computation of MSLís (although there may be some legal sensitivity involved) by looking at the molecule as opposed to the atom. It also provides potential savings by cutting down on uncompleted calls wastage.
Molecules and Bonds
A sociogram is made up of molecules of physicians (or atoms) connected through patient referrals (or bonds). What constitutes a bond is a matter of convention. Indeed, a bond is deemed to exist between two physicians when the number of patients that circulate between the two exceeds a certain threshold (or cut-off).
The above depicts 2 molecules: A-B-C and D-E with a threshold of 4. By contrast, a threshold of 2 leads to just one molecule of 5 physicians: A-B-C-D-E.
The chart below is a 2-dimensional representation of physician networks where the horizontal axis represents bonds between physicians and the vertical axis the number of patient referrals involved with each bond.
The number of networks varies non-monotonically with the cut-off. In the example above, a low cut-off leads to only 1 network, a medium cut-off to 5 networks, and a high cut-off to 1 network again.
Molecular Profile of a Sociogram
with a threshold of 4 patients
Most molecules are small (size 2, 3, or 4). Referrals per physician tend to increase with the size of the molecule.
Each molecule is assigned a signature based on the frequency distribution of the valence of the nodes that make up the molecule.
The molecule above has a signature of 1014 since it has 4 nodes of valence 1, 1 node of valence 2, 0 node of valence 3, and 1 node of valence 4. Note the sum of the digits in the signature (1 + 0 + 1 + 4 = 6) corresponds to the size of the molecule (by construction).
Example: 7 Physician Molecule
(#7 in MI)
7 Physician Molecule Footprint
(#7 in MI)
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