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Inogen details new strategy

Inogen details new strategy 'As part of the transformation, we're building a scalable organization'

GOLETA, Calif. – Inogen is prioritizing its prescriber channel as it seeks to drive productivity and profitability, and transform itself into “a med tech company that has a global footprint and can go beyond COPD,” says CEO Nabil Shabshab. 

Compared to the direct-to-consumer channel, which requires significant investments in advertising and a salesforce to generate and convert leads, the prescriber channel has a higher return on investment, he says. 

“(The prescriber channel) is a one-to-many model,” he said during a strategy update on Feb. 27. “I can actually deploy a salesperson, they develop a relationship with a prescriber and that prescriber would give me prescriptions – let’s call it three to four, illustratively, per month – in perpetuity as long as they’re practicing, provided I deliver on my promise both in the product and the service that they have.”

Inogen began “standing up and scaling” its prescriber channel in the first quarter of 2022 – the number of reps for this channel has increased from 34% to 54% – helping to pave the way for 23% growth in rental revenues in 2022 vs. 2021, Shabshab says. 

“We looked at the 21 months that the new management team has been here compared to the 21 months before that,” he said. “The number of units declined, but, in totality, units per rep are up. This is in the cash channel. From the rental channel, which also comes through DTC, units are up 36% and the units per rep are up 53.4% – all while we took the price up 21.3%.” 

Inogen remains committed to an “omni-channel” approach, but prioritizing its prescriber channel also places the company further “upstream” in the care journey and, coupled with an expanding product portfolio, puts it in a better position to serve a wider patient base, Shabshab says. 

“Dyspnea and COPD have an overlap,” he said. “Dyspnea and obesity have an overlap also. And then hypercapnia – these look like tiny market sizes, but they are very high-value patients, in terms of the impact on both economic and clinical meaning. Do we have the right to play in that space and can we really win? We have a firm belief that we have the right innovation strategy that could lead to growth.” 

This year, Inogen is the process of launching its Rove 4 and Rove 6 portable oxygen concentrators in the United States and Europe, respectively. Then in 2024-25, it plans to add ambulatory ventilation assistance to its POCs – an important capability for patients with dyspnea and hypercapnia. In 2025-26, it wants to tackle continuous flow and pulse. Cutting across the pipeline: digital health capabilities that allow visibility into usage and other data. 

“These are patient populations and disease states that really still require help and there’s a lot of runway in it,” he said. “So, we have a global footprint, of course, and we’re now improving our innovation pipeline and it’s going to go beyond COPD. And as part of the transformation, we’re building a scalable organization, not only from a portfolio perspective, but also from a commercial go-to market perspective.” 

  • Read more about Inogen’s new POC, the Rove.


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