Market Access Budgets Rebound After 2012 Patent Cliff

By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

In 2012, many key drugs in the US fell off the patent cliff and lost their market exclusivity.  As US pharmaceutical companies watched these products meet their fates, they tried their best to mitigate the damage.  Some companies have decreased reliance on blockbuster drugs by diversifying their pipelines.  Others have looked to mergers or entered the generics market themselves.  In the end, however, most companies had to simply brace themselves and cut their losses.  For market access, these methods resulted in decreased budgets for 2012. Continue reading

Ideal Criteria for Finding Top-Notch Health Outcomes Liaisons

With the expanding emphasis on building payer relationships and demonstrating product value, health outcomes liaison and managed care liaison teams are more important than ever.  The first step to building a strong payer liaison team is to find the right HOL candidate. However, finding these candidates is difficult due to the unique combination of skills necessary to this role.  Companies must focus on the right blend of education, experience and training to ensure they have a strong payer liaison team. Continue reading

Want Top Formulary Postions? You’ll Need a Well-Armed Payer Liaison Team

Payer meetings are crucial to drug success.  Payer liaison teams, whether they consist of health outcomes liaisons (HOL), managed care liaisons (MCL), or any other medical/economic expert team, must convince payers of their drugs’ superiority to achieve top formulary positions and maximum patient access.  If they’re lucky, these teams will be allowed to visit with payer organizations once per quarter and often for only about an hour.  Facing such a pivotal reimbursement decision, the liaison teams must come well-armed. 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

Managed Care Liaisons Provide Growing Support to MCOs

By David Richardson,
Research Manager

At the recent World Congress event, “Thought Leader Engagement, The Role of Medical Affairs and Medical Science Liaisons in the Era of Healthcare Reform,” one of the topics of conversation revolved around how many pharmaceutical companies now deploy managed care liaisons to meet the specific needs of managed care organizations (MCOs).  These groups increasingly serve a role similar to MSL relationships with doctors and health outcomes liaisons (HOLs) with payers – providing medical and health economics support to MCOs that they generally cannot get from commercial teams. Continue reading

Companies Increasingly Position Health Economics Teams within Medical Affairs

By Yanis Saradjian,
Director of Consulting

Blockbuster patent expirations are impacting pharmaceutical companies throughout the industry.  Remarkable shifts in corporate earnings send budgetary shock waves through nearly every department of a pharmaceutical or device manufacturer.  Even at some of the largest companies, medical affairs teams — seemingly insulated from spending cuts during the economic crisis in the late 2000s — have been issued a challenging mandate: Do more with less.  Although serving the medical community is an important corporate responsibility, life science companies cannot spend outside their means to do so.  Now medical affairs groups must not only manage their core responsibilities — to generate, package and disseminate medical and clinical information — but they also have been asked to take the lead on other important activities such as health economics and pharmacovigilance. 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