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Interview with Katrin Yr Magnusdottir, Roche Denmark

First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. You are the Pricing and Tender manager at Roche Denmark, is that right?

That’s right. I’m responsible for pricing and tender management and I’m involved in health economics and market access assignments as well.

So you are involved with engaging payers and providers at the local level?

Yes, absolutely. I work in a full-service providing market access department and as such, we play an important role in bringing new products to patients by, for instance, engaging with our stakeholders.

And you are developing tools for the sales team to use?

Developing tools is part of my core competencies. These tools can be used internally and externally for engaging with healthcare professionals and payers.

Were you involved in the original decision to start working with BaseCase?

My colleague Signe Høngaard Thybo, who is primarily responsible for health economics, initiated the work and I have supported her in the process. As she is now on a maternity leave I have taken over as the lead developer in-house.

What area of the business are you’re involved in?

Roche is the market leader within oncology but also big within other therapeutic areas, such as hematology and rheumatology.

I’m interested in what motivated you to start working with BaseCase. Was there a particular challenge that you had, or a problem that you needed to solve?

We were looking for a way to demonstrate the potential resource savings associated with the administration of a medicine in a subcutaneous formulation instead of an intravenous formulation - in a simple and comprehensive manner.

As we were not sure what the end product should look like, it was difficult to outsource the project completely to an app developer. BaseCase was the right fit for us, as we could develop and modify the app to our specifications.

So you had a health economic model and you were looking for a way to use this in a commercial setting, is that right?

Yes, as health economic spreadsheets can sometimes be difficult to digest – BaseCase presented the perfect opportunity to explain the data in a more interactive manner.

Would you say it’s becoming more important to use this kind of health economic data to engage with payers in the field - to use an economic argument as well?

I tend to agree to that statement. Moreover, it is becoming more challenging as expectations from payers towards the industry are rising as well. Health economic data can contribute to an understanding of how payers can manage the scarcity of resources in the best way.

Can you tell me about the app you have created?

The app demonstrates the resource utilization - related to the administration of a medicine in a subcutaneous and an intravenous formulation.

Local data has been incorporated into the app to give the most accurate result. What’s great about the app is that it’s possible to adjust some of the variables on the customer side to reflect center-specific data. Moreover, the app breaks the results down to each resource e.g. for the nurse that administrates the medicine, the pharmacist that prepares the medicine and the patient that is being treated with the medicine.

All in all, it describes the potential increase in capability that could be obtained if a medicine would be administered subcutaneously instead of intravenously.

How long has your sales team been using the app for?

They have been using the app since November 2013.

Do you have any feedback from the field?

The feedback has been very encouraging. It’s a new method of communicating this sort of data by the organization but so far so good.

Have you used this sort of interactive app before or is this the first time that you’ve had iPad tools in the field?

We’ve used iPads in the field for some time now. But this is the first time we have used them specifically for market access purposes.

Do you see a potential use for BaseCase as a more traditional marketing tool or are you planning to use it just for market access purposes?

At the moment we are limiting the use just for market access purposes. But I’m convinced that it has a lot of potential for further use. We have just finished developing our second app and we feel that the demand from our colleagues in-house is increasing.

One feature of BaseCase we talk about is that you can modify apps in-house, you can log in and make changes on an ongoing basis. Is that something you are interested in?

Yes, definitely. It’s great to have that flexibility in place and to be able to develop these competencies in-house. The BaseCase platform itself is user-friendly and the drag-and-drop editor makes it quite fun and interactive to work with. The staff at BaseCase are also there when needed.

Are the sales teams comfortable using health economic evidence? Do you find that using the app makes it easier for them?

Health economic data is often perceived as complicated or even confusing. Luckily we have got a great sales team in place that is doing an outstanding job communicating this sort of data. We spent some time training them in how to use the app and went out with them on their first field visit. But so far, we have not had any serious issues.

Are they using the apps just on iPads, or different devices?

Currently we are only using iPads.

Have you heard anything from clients? Have they had any reaction to the app?

A colleague of mine stopped by my office to say that one of the healthcare professionals had said that it looked very neat. That was encouraging and shows the potential of the app.

The way that you are using the app, you give a presentation, but you don’t give the client access to the app is that right?

That is right, but instead we offer them a report afterwards with the results from the app that is customized based on their center specific input.

Do you feel that the app has met your objectives? Have you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish?

It has truly been a rewarding experience. When we started the project we did not know what to expect but as time passed we set a goal to develop a user-friendly app for engaging with healthcare professionals and payers. The end result has been progressive and opened up opportunities for further use