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Breaking bottlenecks: accelerate medical grant approvals

May 23, 2024
A male and a female doctor stand in the entryway of a hospital reviewing a stack of papers. 

When it comes to medical grantmaking, speed and efficiency are key to your program’s success. For example, the decision whether to grant a critically ill patient access to a non-commercially approved drug must be made in a matter of days, if not hours. As a result, the entire grantmaking process — from submission to drug shipment — needs to move quickly and smoothly.  

Unfortunately, medical grant processes are prone to delays and bottlenecks, especially when handled manually. Each approval workflow and its associated steps can change based on a variety of factors, like country or therapeutic area, making the entire process time-consuming and complex for grant administrators.  

Today, life sciences companies of all sizes — from emerging and midsize to some of the largest in the industry — are embracing medical grants software to help accelerate workflows while maintaining standard operating procedures (SOPs) and global regulatory requirements. In this blog, we’ll show you how Bonterra can help you increase efficiency and reduce manual work — all while seamlessly ensuring compliance.  

For even more ways to improve the medical grants process with secure, flexible, and scalable software, download our complete guide, “Take your medical grantmaking process from fractured to functional.”

Review your processes and eliminate bottlenecks

At Bonterra, we understand that your medical grant programs are unique to your organization, resulting in highly complex and tailored processes. Drawing from over 20 years of experience in the life sciences sector, we’ve learned that there are often opportunities to scale back application questions, approval steps, and users involved.  

When you partner with Bonterra, our team of industry experts will work alongside you to analyze your workflows and identify opportunities for optimization. As a result, you’ll transform your grants management process for maximum efficiency while still adhering to internal SOPs and regulatory requirements.  

See it in action: In the early days of the pandemic, Novartis faced a rapid influx of managed access and compassionate use requests for COVID-19 treatments. To support the large volume of applications, the team quickly realized they needed to accelerate their existing workflows to expedite drug delivery for patients in need. In partnership with Bonterra, Novartis identified and eliminated bottlenecks within the review and approval process, reducing managed access turnaround time from five days to five hours. 

Read the full case study: How Novartis slashed turnaround time for managed access 

Automate review and approval workflows 

Your approval workflows and the people involved in the process can change based on a range of criteria, including country, disease, therapeutic area, or dollar amount. As a result, manually routing applications to the right approvers while adhering to regulatory requirements can be a tedious and time-intensive task without grants management software.  

Bonterra’s medical grants solution allows you to define the baseline workflow and the associated review and approval criteria. With that information, the software can do all the manual work for you while also allowing the flexibility to override if necessary. The engine defines the steps and the people involved, enforces permissions, and executes the rules required for each step in the process.  

Additionally, if an application is submitted with missing information or reaches a bottleneck in the review process, the system sends automatic reminders and nudges along the way. Automating your entire approval workflow allows your team to gain back valuable time and resources that were previously spent on manual routing and back-and-forth communications with stakeholders.  

See it in action: Bonterra partnered with Sanofi to automate the review and approval process for their Rare Humanitarian Program. To help prevent workflow bottlenecks, Sanofi identified alternate reviewers and granted necessary permissions. “Having alternate approvers within the workflow has made such a difference for our team,” said Bill Shwarz, digital product owner and program manager. “For example, if someone is on vacation or leaves the company, an application gets automatically re-routed to another reviewer.” This functionality helped Sanofi maintain speed and efficiency throughout the entire grantmaking lifecycle.  

Read the full case study: How Sanofi accelerates treatment for patients in need 

Create a central hub for your data 

Depending on the nature of your medical grant program, you may require immediate, real-time access to data and updates. For example, research grants often involve milestone payments that are released during various stages of the study rather than providing all the funding upfront. As a result, funders need quick and easy access to program updates, otherwise the study’s progress could be delayed.  

Without a unified system for managing medical grants, program data is often stored in emails and spreadsheets or siloed systems, making it difficult for end users to find critical information. When you partner with Bonterra for grants management, you’ll gain access to our built-in reporting tool, Insights.  

With Insights, all grant types in all countries feed into a common and unified data warehouse, creating a single source of truth for reporting outcomes, budget reconciliation, and milestone updates. As a result, you’ll unlock rapid decision making and gain back time that would otherwise be spent navigating multiple systems, spreadsheets, and emails for information.  

Your trusted partner in medical grants management  

At Bonterra, we understand that time is of the essence for your medical grantmaking programs. In many cases, approvals must happen in just a few hours, not days. To achieve this level of speed, you need medical grants software that can automate approval routing while simplifying reviews and ensuring compliance for your team.  

Bonterra’s team of experts has over 20 years of experience working with life sciences companies of all sizes. They’ll help you simplify your processes, implement automations, and unify your data for faster approvals and real-time decision making.  

For even more ways that Bonterra’s medical grants software can improve your grantmaking processes, download our complete guide, “Take your medical grantmaking process from fractured to functional.” 

And if you’re ready to partner with Bonterra’s team of experts to build a tailored, long-lasting, and scalable medical grants platform, request a demo today

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