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Pandemic-reinforced principles of successful drug launch.
Imagine launching two prescription therapeutics during an unforeseen global pandemic that shut down the entire world. As we all know, that was the reality for a number of biopharma companies, including ours, just over a year ago.
It was a reality that might have prompted some to recommend pausing one launch and postponing a second one altogether. But, because everything VYNE Therapeutics does is rooted in putting the patient first and solving therapeutic challenges, the thought of delaying game-changing products wasn’t an option. Pressing ahead was the only route to take.
How did we do it? By grounding ourselves in empathetic leadership and, perhaps most importantly, by approaching the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic like we would any other market challenge.
Getting there wasn’t easy, but there were three key ingredients that laid the groundwork and helped us get there.
Whether it’s a global pandemic, a new market competitor, or an unexpected supply disruption, approaching an obstacle from the perspective that it is just another market challenge can set the stage for success and change the trajectory of any situation.
When most of the country was locked down, as we were just weeks into the launch of our first product, we first made sure our people were safe. Then, we as a company, dug into our respective disciplines to figure out how to address each challenge we knew we were facing.
For example, the now-grounded sales team was asked to reimagine their jobs given the constraints. How would they reach healthcare practitioners? What new tools or additional training did they need to be successful?
Investing in data and their infrastructure before you need them means you not only have more options, but you also have the ability to pivot if you need to. Having volumes of data, however, is only one part of the equation—knowing how to use them is the other.
Because we had already invested in at least three-plus years of longitudinal claims data and analytics strategy, we were able to immediately drill down into our dataset while overlaying it with real-time information to help us learn and predict market outcomes.
It came down to knowing how to heavily lean into the data when you need to and being open to letting data influence your approach.
Having the right mindset, combined with the right data, is key to addressing a market challenge, but they are both meaningless if you can’t execute in a timely manner.
Being a nimble company worked to our advantage because we were able to make quick decisions during each changing moment of the pandemic. Taking that approach and instilling it across the team empowered us to adapt our tactics as the situation was changing.
This became increasingly important as different geographic areas started to operate under different guidelines. It wasn’t, and couldn’t be, a one-size-fits-all approach. The market conditions during the pandemic weren’t uniform across states or counties, and healthcare practitioners and patients had different circumstances and policies as a result. It was critical we took this into account and treated each situation uniquely as we developed our solutions.
Matt Wiley, Chief Commercial Officer, VYNE Therapeutics, email: Matt.Wiley@VYNEtx.com