Product Pricing in Emerging Markets


By Yanis Saradjian,
Director of Consulting

In today’s global market, life science companies worldwide face challenges such as increased austerity measures, unfamiliar emerging markets payers and governments, greater emphasis on health economics and regulatory reforms.

To address these challenges, many companies are turning to integrated teams that include health economics, comparative effectiveness research and market access alongside pricing functions.  The added focus to develop a presence in emerging markets creates new pricing challenges, especially when facing an unfamiliar market with unique regulatory and access issues. Continue reading


Government Affairs Teams: Promoting Patient Education and Access


By Sarah Ray,
Research Analyst

When it comes to healthcare in the US, the 10th annual National Healthcare Disparities Report — released earlier this year — shows that the quality of patient care is improving.  Yet when it comes to patient access, particularly with regard to preventing and managing chronic disease states, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.  Already, many global pharmaceutical companies, from Novartis to Merck, consider patient access a top priority.   Continue reading


Market Access Success: It’s All About Timing


By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

A good cook doesn’t just throw together all of the ingredients and hope everything turns out okay. Take a grilled cheese sandwich, for example. You melt butter before putting bread in a skillet, and you don’t flip the sandwich until the cheese begins to melt. Making a grilled cheese sandwich is all about timing. Believe it or not, it’s the same for pharmaceutical market access activities. Namely, a successful market access team may begin with new product planning (NPP) and health economics and outcomes research (HEOR). Add in some government affairs and pricing, and finish off with account management and marketing. Continue reading


Pharma Companies Make Market Access a Top Priority, With or Without Dedicated Departments


By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

As most companies’ main ambassadors to payers, market access groups lead the efforts to earn reimbursement for their organizations’ brands.  These groups specialize in working directly with payers — discussing clinical trial results and brands’ health economic benefits as well as working to set optimal pricing so medicines can earn top reimbursement status.  Companies can allocate these tasks across several functions, but most dedicate entire departments to market access alone. Continue reading


New Survey: Market Access Trends in 2013


By Michelle Vitko,
Senior Research Analyst

In today’s pharmaceutical market, which is riddled with austerity measures and healthcare reform, securing favorable reimbursement rates is more difficult than ever.  Cutting Edge Information is kicking off a new benchmarking study designed to assess current challenges and trends facing market access teams.  Our previous market access study completed in 2011, showed that teams were growing in importance even then,  as demonstrated by stable — and in some cases, increasing — resources.  Market access teams were responsible for a variety of vital functions, from pricing and reimbursement to outcomes research and account management. The new study aims to measure how things have changed in this evolving pharmaceutical landscape and how those changes impact drug companies’ structures and strategies. Continue reading


Product Development Stage Dictates Medical Affairs Spending Patterns

Although marketing and market access functions may not support a developing drug until Phase 2 or even later, companies need to coordinate between several different teams as products move through different development stages beginning in the pre-clinical stage. Understanding the science behind the product is increasingly important for market access functions as payers increasingly require comparative effectiveness research and health outcomes data. Continue reading


Pricing Troubles in India: Compulsory Licensing on the Subcontinent

Fresh news out of India this week is likely to add to pharmaceutical companies’ concerns about pricing and sales in emerging markets.  Despite indications in February that compulsory licensing may be coming to an end, on March 18, BDR Pharmaceuticals applied for a compulsory license on dasatinib, an oncology product sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb.  If granted, the compulsory license would severely undermine BMS’s sales in India by allowing BDR to sell a generic product for much lower prices. Continue reading


Global Pressures = Pricing Challenges

Over the past few years, political, social and economic upheavals worldwide have thrust change on the life sciences landscape — and forced pricing teams to work overtime.  Today, these teams must deal with a series of events and trends that each have some effect on business operations, like increased focus on comparative effectiveness and the implementation of the US health reform. Continue reading


I want THAT price: Understanding the Rationale Behind International Price Referencing

Growing up, siblings have an unspoken rule that  if one received something or was allowed to do something that another wasn’t, instantly, life became “unfair” for the other party.  The smaller the age differential between the siblings, the more unfair the perceived slight.  Ultimately, any attempt toward corrective actions was conceived in “the name of fairness.”  The same rules apply to pharma, especially with respect to global market access considerations.  The difference is that companies are looking beyond markets of similar size and structure.  Continue reading


HEOR Valuable from Lab to Launch

In this harsh reimbursement environment, payers are looking beyond a drug’s efficacy and to its cost-effectiveness when approving drugs for their formularies.  To adapt to new payer demands, pharma companies are incorporating health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) early in clinical development, gathering valuable data they use when submitting their products for reimbursement.  Right now, payers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to reimbursement discussions.  Pharma companies must consider both the medical and economic value of drugs as early as possible during development to present a convincing case—which is where HEOR teams come in. Continue reading