Strategies for success
How can we apply what we already know to successfully navigate the current African context and establish a fruitful presence
in the continent? Consider the following:
Strengthen data to inform the opportunity. There is much we still don't know about the African market. Africa is extremely heterogeneous, and one-size-fits-all solutions
are bound to fail. Country-specific market research will be a crucial tool for understanding the path to market, the path
to patient, and related barriers.
Stimulate demand. While providing treatment via donations or cost sharing schemes addresses one part of the problem, a sustainable market access
strategy, particularly for an innovative drug, should also include disease management, capacity and infrastructure building,
and stakeholder engagement components to drive public demand from the ground up. Building this demand will ultimately affect
policy decisions that can positively impact sales in the long-run.
Understand the importance of informal channels and the power shift from prescribers. Decisions in Africa—be it prescribing, purchasing, or policy decisions—are often guided by a range of parties, many outside
the formal spectrum of influencers. Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are no longer just leading physicians in the field. They include
the range of people that make up a patient's "treatment journey"—community leaders, community health workers, pharmacists,
nurses, religious groups, aid workers, and NGO representatives. Identifying these influencers is just a first step. The real
game changer is a smart engagement strategy that puts stakeholders in the center of the solution.