Better internal communications

Can better internal communication improve market access


4 ways to improve market access through communication.

Leaders are always asking one question: how can we make this better?

This can be anything you want it to be: the product, time taken to secure patient access or even internal alignment.

And the answer is fairly simple: through building strong, cross-functional teams.

It sounds straight-forward, but it’s probably the biggest challenge any modern business faces as it tries to conciliate employee efforts between achieving departmental objectives and working cross-functionally to meet a common goal. Thus, an obstacle to achieving success that’s resurfaced time and time again across business literature, is effective communication.

Z/Yen’s research found that only “3 out of 100 (project) failures were related to ‘science not working’, the rest were essentially managerial failures”. The article identified common mistakes found in technology commercialisation projects, though you’ll easily be able to recognise them no matter the industry or project you work on.

It’s interesting how throughout time, and across industries, challenges stay similar. Taking on a centuries old problem and finding a starting point to tackle it can be tough. That’s why we translated some of these mistakes into the pharmaceutical product development context and proposed ways to combat them through facilitating conversations between departments.

Mistake 1: Assuming all features will be benefits

Loosely translated, this relates to not understanding what your customer wants and needs.

New product development is incredibly exciting, so much so, that discussions easily facilitate new ideas and soon, we’ve lost track of the need we were trying to address in the first place. To ensure the product is helpful to the patients, and carries evidence that resonates with the payer,  it’s important to keep the needs of those patients, alongside payer decision drivers, top of mind throughout the development process. That’s why, it can be beneficial to include your market access team in the early development conversations. They’ll help you to answer questions such as:

  • what is the primary need of a particular group of patients?
  • what is the gap current therapy options are not filling?
  • how important is closing the gap to patients and payers?

Knowing what type of product is needed will help to narrow the scope of research and align the whole process with the needs of the market – an important factor, particularly considering the growth of value based care, that’s often not actively considered until late stages of development.

Mistake 2: Using top down market analysis

This one relates to trying to answer the above questions, through bad market research or misreading of the results.

It’s important that when looking at the details of the market for your product you work with specialists that know how to collect and interpret market data. It’s crucial that the product is well explained to your market access analysts who should hold extensive knowledge on your potential launch markets. Guidelines, priorities and therapy options differ between markets and are constantly evolving. Good communication with your market access team can be crucial in ensuring that your end product successfully answers the needs of a substantially sized market.

Mistake 3: Ducking the ‘chicken gun’ test

The title of this one also confused us a little but it essentially means trying to anticipate what might go wrong.

In our recent article about the importance of market access training in product development we discussed how between 38% and 39% of companies rated generating evidence and clinical data, and having it available at the HTA submission, as a significant to highly significant external payer challenge of new product launches. Anticipating this challenge and trying to combat it early on in the process can the key to securing patient access quicker. Here again, early involvement of market access teams and sharing of information between departments can be beneficial to helping e.g. clinical trial teams understand what is important to your payers.

Mistake 4: Failing to put someone in charge

Putting someone in charge is key to effective project management.

More often than not, tasks will fall in between departments without a specific owner. Having someone in charge can not only help to ensure no such tasks fall through the net, only to resurface as large obstacles toward the end of the project, but also to facilitate communication between departments.

A person who oversees all aspects of the project will be best equipped to spot misalignment between teams and orchestrate the exchange of information when it’s most needed. They act as the central point of communication, the glue of the development process and the person who brings everyone back to the core need we are looking to address when conversations divert. Product development in our industry is an incredibly long and complicated process thus it’s important there’s somebody to align a variety of departments throughout the undertaking.

Need market access assistance?

Whether you’re looking to upskill your internal market access team or need direct product launch or pricing assistance, we’re here to help.

Our team of seasoned analysts holds extensive knowledge on a range of therapy areas and markets. As trained consultants, having also worked within pharmaceutical and biotech companies we’re well equipped to understand your position and offer genuine support in getting your product to market.

Email or call Paul, managing director and founder, today at or +44 7957 028493.

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