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Three ways pharma can make market access count

Traditionally, engagement with payers and healthcare providers has been about providing information on the safety and clinical efficacy of a drug or medical device.

This remains as important as ever, but payers have become more cost-conscious and market access teams are now also tasked with demonstrating economic value.

As the role of market access has changed, life science companies must make sure that market access strategy is given an appropriate level of importance in the business.

Here are three ways to make market access count for the business.

1. It’s never too soon to start thinking about market access

Market access planning can’t simply be bolted on at the end of the product development process - it must be built in to every stage of product development.

To have the right level of impact, key market access personnel should play a role at multiple decision points in the life cycle of a drug - from Phase I through to product launch and beyond.

An important part of this is making sure that drug trials have both economic as well as clinical endpoints, so that the data is available to market access teams later on.

2. Influence your payers, and their business

Too often, pharma and medical device companies attempt simply to understand willingness to pay, in order to optimize price accordingly.

A mature market access strategy is about influencing willingness to pay by understanding the details of a payer’s business. By understanding a payer’s business, market access teams can demonstrate ways in which their product will provide outstanding value for them.

This kind of economic argument is driven by HEOR. Market access teams must work alongside health economists to supply payers and providers with a persuasive case showing, for example, the impact their product will have on a payer’s budget.

3. Market access should have the same status as marketing

In a recent report on the changing payer landscape, Deloitte University Press conclude that

payer and market access strategy should be approached with the same rigor, process, and insight-driven analysis as traditional commercial strategy.

The influence of GPs is fading, and the impact of traditional prescriber marketing decreases year on year. At the same time, it’s becoming essential to engage with local payers and providers to secure market adoption.

In light of this, the status given to market access should be elevated and the level of investment these functions receive should be set appropriately.