How to align your market access activities with your product value strategy

December 12, 2019

The value strategy (also termed value story) for your product should act as the cornerstone for all market access activities.  The value strategy drives your market access planning, which drives your evidence generation activities, which drives your value communications, and which eventually leads to successful and optimal access and reimbursement of your product.

Used in this way, the value strategy provides the framework for all market access activities.  A clear value strategy also provides an understanding of the key business objectives/focus for the product and provides direction to all teams on how to achieve those objectives, across market access, commercial, marketing, clinical/medical, R&D, and beyond.  Alignment on the value strategy and business objectives cross-functionally is essential to achieve the successful launch of the product.

We all recognize that many market access activities contribute to a successful launch, ranging from the design of clinical trials to real-world evidence generation plans, pricing strategy and economic modelling, primary research to understand payer and clinician perspectives, and a range of value communication tools including global value dossiers and health technology assessment submissions.  Underlying all of these activities, there is a need for a well-defined value strategy that answers the question “what is the benefit of the product in the context of the current unmet need?

Time investment is required as early as possible in the product lifecycle to clearly define the target value strategy and give a clear path forward for each of these activities.  We often hear that “it is too early” to think about value, or “we want to wait for the data” before the value strategy is defined. This “bottom-up” approach is a mistake. A lack of cohesive strategy to support a product’s value at early stages in the product lifecycle can result in:

  •  large-scale misalignment on the key product value messages to focus on, with different teams/individuals potentially communicating conflicting value messaging
  • dissimilarity in the positioning of a product both across and within markets, leading to a lack of believability in the true product value
  • wasted effort and/or duplication of effort across teams as a broad-brush approach is applied to data collection (which is expensive and time consuming both in terms of data gathering and then in analysis and selection of relevant data)
  • evidence generation plans that are not optimized to support product positioning (when eventually defined) or meet stakeholder requirements for reimbursement

If you have not clearly defined where you want to target your product’s positioning, and therefore what value you want to support, how do you know what supporting evidence to generate?  Lack of clarity within the product teams can only lead to lack of clarity in payer decision making, and less than optimal access and reimbursement.

This bottom up approach is a reactive response to the situation and is almost always less successful than a top down shaping of the situation through development of a clear strategy that then guides all other market access activities (including evidence generation).

At Parexel we understand value strategy and have a clear perspective on how to achieve market access using the value strategy as the framework for all activities.

Look out for our launch of a new approach to market access planning and communication in the coming weeks, or contact us at ebony.samuels@parexel.com to discuss how Parexel can help you develop your value strategy and align your associated market access activities.

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