Potential bumps in the road
However, implementing the standardization process and developing the roadmap is not an easy undertaking, since it requires
buy-in from stakeholders throughout the company; often a significant challenge given the current organizational structure
of many pharmaceutical companies. As mentioned, market access research and decisions are typically siloed by disease areas,
by the brand team, or as a separate group all together. This structure can result in each team or unit having its own "best
practices" for market access and payer research. Therefore, obtaining agreement on one process for payer market research requires
buy-in from colleagues with potentially conflicting research methodologies. To facilitate this buy-in process, companies must
articulate the need for this new uniform process.
With the implementation of this roadmap, budgetary conflicts can arise with the current organizational structure. For example,
if research synergies between different assets are discovered, there is the potential for conflicts regarding who is the budget
holder for the research among the asset teams. Furthermore, research topic priorities could also become a point of contention
with such an overlap. Additionally, the internal structure of the company can lead to uncertainty in who is responsible for
guiding the roadmap's development, and more importantly, who is responsible for paying for the initial development of the
roadmap itself. In order to avoid this conflict, some companies have developed teams within the organization solely responsible
for organizing market access activities.
Setting the course
In order to ensure successful implementation of the payer market research roadmap, the developed tool must be specific to
the organizational needs and processes. The roadmap should also be integrated with existing tools for other processes, such
as physician/patient market research and/or annual budget planning. Most importantly, the roadmap should be simple and straightforward.
However, it is critical to keep in mind that the roadmap is only a tool; it is meant to arm employees with a standardized
thought process of payer market research, not to be a one-size-fits-all solution.
Throughout the development of the tool, it should be tested by internal stakeholders and potentially even be pressure checked
during a planning cycle. The ultimate goal should be to develop a roadmap that is user friendly and intuitive; otherwise,
employees will be hesitant to adopt it.
As a final step to ensuring successful implementation of a payer market research roadmap, a detailed roll-out program needs
to be developed. The goal of this training is for employees not only to learn how to use the tool, but also to understand
the key objectives for developing the roadmap and how it fits into the overall organizational goals. To complement the roadmap,
a wider training to build a common baseline knowledge among employees on the critical pricing and market access research methods
throughout the product lifecycle can also be of value.
Reaching the destination
Standardizing and centralizing payer research across product lifecycle helps develop an overall vision for pricing and market
access research across products and disease areas. This unified roadmap approach ensures a consistent high-level research
strategy while capturing product and market specific intricacies. Furthermore, implementing such a roadmap will enable employees
to develop a common understanding of various pricing and market access environments and increase their strategic thinking
across an asset's lifecycle.
Allison Capone is a Consultant at Simon Kucher & Partners. She can bea reached at Allison.Capone@simon-kucher.com
Marsha Pelletier is a Senior Consultant at Simon Kucher & Partners. She can be reached at Marsha.Pelletier@simon-kucher.com