Embedding Market Access in Today's Pharma Business Model - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Embedding Market Access in Today's Pharma Business Model


Pharmaceutical Executive


Despite these challenges, there are practical steps pharmaceutical companies can take to meet the demand for high-level, broad-gauged knowledge of market access and ensure that a global or regional leadership team has the right talent and capabilities to drive successful market access strategies. Perhaps the most important is placing the market access function in the top executive team structure. Over the past five years, companies have made the market access role more senior, but these representatives still represent a small piece of the market access pie, limiting exposure to the broader perspective that the business needs.

To address the gap in market access knowledge on the executive team, organizations can do the following:

Bring a broad range of market access experts in regularly or on an ad hoc basis to address high-profile decisions in an open environment for debate and discussion that helps move the perception of these individuals from bearers of bad news to evidence-based advocates of commercial value.

Create opportunities for senior executives to get hands-on experience with payers. Some companies convene "market access advisors" in regions, or globally, among key payers, public policy makers, or key opinion leaders to broadly discuss the challenges in making decisions around pharmaceutical spending. And some regional GMs sponsor "market access summits" that bring together a range of functional disciplines within an organization (within and outside market access) to align around strategies. Often, a payer or payer-influencer is secured as a highlight to these sessions.

Require CEOs and other senior leaders to meet more often with their peers in the insurance, pharmacy, pharmacy benefits management, HTA, and policy arenas. The most impactful discussions are focused on broad policy and market access trends, rather than do's and don'ts around negotiation.


Background Types of Global Market Access Leaders
Encourage high potentials to rotate through market access roles. Recently, a few leading pharmaceutical companies have begun to require their high potentials to spend at least a short time in a market access role on their way to general management positions. Today, over a quarter (31 percent) of global market access leaders have an average of only three years of "market access" experience. While half of these executives (50%) grew up in the commercial organization (marketing, sales, or general management roles), the other half come from a variety of backgrounds, including R&D, government/corporate affairs, and consulting (see graphic).

Be clear on the critical success factors for selecting and recruiting market access leaders. Analysis suggests that organizations highly value technical expertise in market access, measured by both depth of experience in the function and educational background and training. Over 50 percent of the top leaders are either MDs or PhDs. This is good, but organizations should be asking themselves what experiences and competencies are most critical for the market access leaders of tomorrow. Functional expertise, as measured in years of "market access" expertise within pharma, or training in a scientific discipline, are at the top of the list in seeking future talent. From a leadership perspective, global market access executives will need such critical competencies as strategic thinking, a management for results orientation, and collaboration/influencing skills, much like global marketers and commercial development managers.




Encourage market access high potentials to move elsewhere in the organization. Giving fast trackers the opportunity early in their career to broaden experiences and skills can both infuse the organization with their knowledge as well as equip them to be better market access leaders of the future. By the time these high potential leaders have risen to a senior level market access role without functional or geographic breadth, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop them further.


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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