Important definitions

The group of people contributing to decisions inside an account is called DMU.

Definition of “Account”:

“An account is an entity, institution or network in which the decision-making about registration, listing, reimbursement, purchasing, usage, or recommendation of a product or service involves a number of people.” (source: KAM in Pharma 3.0, December 2014, available at the your bookstore of choice)

The individuals inside an account you call “stakeholders” or DMU-Members (Decision Making Unit).
These people are not “customers”. This would be a wrong word, misleading thoughts and derailing your strategic approaches, because you will be “selling” again. They will try to
sell their product to individuals who do not buy! A number of those stakeholders will even be embarrassed when being addressed as “customer”.  Be assured: “buying into a concept” will never justify the word customer in the context with a healthcare-provider.

Definition of “Customer”: (see any dictionary or Wikipedia)
A customer is an individual who bought a product or service.

The word "customer" usually is erroneously used in pharma.
It is fully inappropriate to apply this word to physicians.


Why is an account KEY?


Key are those accounts, which are of top priority and relevance for a specific drug or portfolio of drugs in the country.

Who manages whom or what?

A Key Account Manager establishes, forms, and MANAGES the internal team necessary to meet the requirements and needs of those stakeholders inside the KEY ACCOUNT.


  • In an Account Management setting, the word and role of a "customer" is inexistent.
  • Together with the stakeholders or the members of the decision making unit, the Key Account Manager identifies opportunities for joint projects to improve patient outcome.
  • Successful execution of KAM will lead to sustainable, trusted, value-creating, and cooperative business reaching far "beyond the pill."
  • The core objective of KAM is to improve patient-outcome.