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Paradigms change when questions emerge the old paradigm can no longer answer. Market access has become a buzz word as access to markets is as significant a hurdle to product usage as registration itself. I
Paradigms change when questions emerge the old paradigm can no longer answer. Market access has become a buzz word as access to markets is as significant a hurdle to product usage as registration itself. Initially a topic for pharmaceutical companies concerned about volume, it now affects all aspects of healthcare. We believe that the current understanding of market access will undergo a fundamental shift of perspective away from a company-centered towards a patient-centered view of the problem. This article identifies several forces that challenge the current understanding of market access and lobbies for a patient-centered, comprehensive approach that aims to address the needs of all stakeholders, but primarily create value for patients: Patient Access.
What killed market access?
There are four reasons why the current approach to market access is doomed to fail:
It is all about the patients
We suggest focusing on ‘patient access’ as a remedy for a marketing model that was for a long time geared towards addressing the needs of a single stakeholder – the professional writing the prescription. Patient access is a mindset that focuses on providing patients with access to the medicines they need at acceptable prices. Providing patients with access is the one common goal all stakeholders can agree on. While each healthcare system differs in how its patients, providers, professionals, payers, and policymakers go about improving public health, a patient access mindset helps to develop a compelling value proposition aimed at addressing the needs of the various stakeholder groups, tailored to the needs of the local market yet based on a well-understood positioning. Most importantly, patient access provides a unified focus for healthcare systems and companies.
What are the changes a healthcare company has to make as it moves from a market access to a patient access mindset?
Patient access is a chance to reset the clock
Instead of a win/lose mindset at the core of market access, patient access tries to create win/win/win solutions that lead to value for patients, companies, and the healthcare system at large.
The first step is a change of mindset. What is the objective? ‘Get products to those patients who can benefit from it’. Educating the internal and external stakeholders is a key. Beyond that, here are some suggestions to consider:
“The future has already happened, it’s just unequally distributed”, the famous quote from the acclaimed science fiction author William Gibson, helps to explain the various pathways healthcare companies are exploring as they struggle to come to terms with the end of the blockbuster era. Almost every healthcare company has created a market access function. Many have started to look at the competencies required to communicate the value of their products in a language payers and policy-makers understand. But to be truly successful, healthcare companies are well advised to consider patient access as the overall objective and adopt a multi-stakeholder approach that aims to meet the needs of all the critical decision-makers. It is not about “we used to look at physicians, now we look at payers.” Patient access uses a system view with the patient at the center.
As Ludwig Hantson, the president of Baxter Bioscience, puts it, “At Baxter, we have a strong history of focusing on patient needs. But as we pursue our goal to be a truly great company, we recognized we must look at all the P’s: payers, providers, professionals, policy-makers, as well as patients.”
John Glasspool is the Global Head of Emerging therapies and Market Development at Baxter Healthcare Corporation. He is based in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.