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  • Michael Kerman

Purpose - It's Not Just for Millennials

Everywhere I turn, I read that Millennials only want to work for “purpose-driven” companies, with executive recruiting firm Korn-Ferry going so far as to call them the “Purpose Generation”.

Let me tell you, it isn’t just Millennials.

For most of my career, I’ve worked for top-notch companies who were proud of the solutions they developed and delivered to our customers. We knew that our customers depended on our technology to make them productive, efficient and service their own customers. They gave us high customer satisfaction scores and each of the companies did well. I don't know that I felt a deep sense of purpose, but I was proud, did well and thought that was enough.

Not long ago, I worked for a technology company that focused on helping banks and financial services companies ensure compliance with fraud and money-laundering regulations. The simple way I described this was “we help keep bad guys out of the global financial system”. You know what, that felt pretty damn good. Every morning, I woke up knowing that what my colleagues and I would do that day might prevent some terrorists, drug or human traffickers or other criminals from getting access to the thing that keeps them going… money.

Maybe it is age or wisdom or the tumultuous times we're facing, but I really wanted to find something even more meaningful. Sure, I wanted to find something where I could learn, have fun and be fairly compensated. However, there had to be more. There had to be something deeper... something more impactful.

Fast forward, and now I’m working for a different company with a very different purpose. Every day, new pharmaceuticals, therapies and treatments come to market with the goal of improving the lives of people with serious medical issues. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of those patients struggle to get access to those life-saving treatments. There is an industry metric called the “fill rate” and simply-put, it is the percent of scripts written by healthcare providers that actually get filled.

One would think that the average fill rate would be very high – I mean, if I’m really sick and the doctor writes a script, I’m going to run and get it filled. Right? Wrong! In fact, the fill rate is often around 60%, meaning 4 out of 10 scripts never get filled. That’s pretty awful, right? Now, the reasons why patients don’t get access to the medications they need is endless. There are data issues, systems issues, reporting issues, inventory issues, payment and reimbursement issues… the list goes on and on. I’m now working for a company who also has purpose… PATIENT ACCESS. It is about giving pharmaceutical and life sciences companies the data, insight, analytics and tools they need to better manage patient access and ensure the treatments (1) get to the right patient, (2) get paid for and (3) get administered properly. Again, it’s nice to wake up in the morning and know that what we do every day helps people with cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other horrible illnesses get on therapy faster and stay on it longer.

So, working for “purpose-driven” companies isn’t just for Millennials; it’s for people who want to make a difference.

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