Managing your market access effort can be one of the most challenging tasks in the business. As one executive put it: “[Market access] requires a high degree of competence in developing strategy, getting results, and collaborating with people in other functions and influencing them”. It demands market access team collaboration throughout the business – regulatory, medical, commercial, and policy – and across worldwide markets.
For a smooth ride on the road to market access, you need to collaborate as one team, across functional areas and geographical markets.
Here are four ways to improve your market access effort by optimising your collaborative effort:
1. Develop a unified global market access framework
First of all, it is essential that your teams are singing from the same hymn sheet. Your market access framework should, therefore, be developed for use by all your brands and therapy areas.
However, market access is not an activity where you can simply grab a framework off the shelf. As such, you need to tailor your market access framework to your processes, requirements and make-up of your team. The framework should be like a well-fitting suit – enough material to cover your unique size and shape, but without any extraneous fabric getting in the way.
By developing a shared framework across the business, you establish one way of executing market access in your business, and eliminate the need (or temptation) for each team to re-invent processes and tools to support the market access effort for their brand.
The key here is not to guess. Your staff knows what processes work best, which are the most efficient and what simply gets in the way - so make sure you ask for their input! By involving the wider team in this collaborative process, you will achieve a well-tailored framework and buy-in across the business.
2. Create a well-defined yet agile market access plan
You will also need to create a systematic global market access planning process that involves all functional areas. It should make clear who is responsible and accountable for various tasks across different functional silos within your organisation.
You need to establish clear timelines, but leave the door open for real-time adjustments in response to real-world developments. Market access is a fluid process. Your plan therefore needs to be agile enough to respond as changes happen and feedback is received from internal stakeholders or externally in the payer and reimbursement environment, or as a result of competitor actions.
This agility cannot happen in silos. It requires processes that span departments in order to break down internal barriers and adapt quickly, collaboratively and as a whole.
3. Collectively develop a deep understanding payers and markets
Differences in regional payers and market access requirements mean that different teams need to take different approaches. Teams are not always great at sharing payer and market insights within their brand, and they are notoriously bad at communicating them to other brand teams.
Perhaps you have some sort of informal method set up to capture these insights: email or file sharing, for example. But how often are these deep payer insights made visible and shared? After all, it may not always be the same people dealing with the same payers, so why not share the wealth of knowledge you’ve already built up?
If you fail to understand the requirements of a particular reimbursement system (i.e. the requirements of a specific payer), the consequence will likely be that your reimbursement will be granted with unnecessary restrictions, delayed as they seek further data, or, in a worst case scenario, declined outright.
If one brand team learns this lesson the hard way, the last thing you want is for another brand team to be faced with exactly the same lesson again because you failed to share that insight across brand teams.
Unlocking these insights and building upon them allows you to get just the right information in front of the right person at the right time – and that is the very definition of market access.
4. Bring people together in one place
A digital tool that facilitates planning and status tracking of market access activities across all functional areas – and across markets – plays a critical role in breaking down the silos and fostering collaboration.
By making this tool as bespoke as your market access framework and plan, your teams are supported and encouraged to share knowledge and drive improvements in the management of your corporate intelligence – arguably the most valuable asset to any pharma company.
It is all very well and good being told that you should collaborate better with different teams and brands in order to improve your market access, but the question is: how do you do it?
With teams dispersed all over the world, coordinating this kind of approach can seem like a Herculean task – and you just don’t have your hydra-fighting glasses on today!
However, by moving away from non-specialised tools, such as Excel spreadsheets and SharePoint, and finding a perfect bespoke tool for your business, you can create an environment where all work is produced collaboratively.
For a head start on optimising your marketing access planning and execution, download our market access checklist now.