Health economics and market access - how to organize it?

Hello everyone,
I hope you all had a nice and relaxing summer! Today, I'd like to get your thoughts on a hot topic. I can't help the feeling when talking to peers and looking around the industry that the market access hype is ever increasing and I would like to get your opinions on an effective organization of that function.
Before comming to that I also would like to share with you some info around the blog. I have been moving house over the summer and also been travelling a lot lately so therefore it has been a bit more quite than usual. However, I would like to thank the many readers who have sent me comments, news, job post etc. over the last couple of month. I am especially delighted that we hit the 100 regular subscribers mark and also about the many positive and encouraging comments regarding the content of the blog; among those several from folks working in different areas or completely new to the subject. In addition, I have been discussing many career/education issues with students etc. - apologies to those to whom I haven`t responded yet..I will do soon. Needless to say that such a blog lives from interesting and new info in the health economics scene and I would like to encourage you to keep sending stuff that is informative to the broader audience, especially developments around new HTA regulations, cost-effectiveness assessment bodies etc. or management/organizational matters... furthermore, I suppose some more interactive discussions could also be fun.
Now, among the subscribed readership there are a lot of experts both in industry and consulting and I would like to get your thoughts on one point that comes up very frequently in the comments I received lately: Everyone now talkes up health economics and market access (to the extend of becomming a major buzzword), which is on the one hand great for professionals in the area given that in the first years (let`s say early to mid 90's) we still needed to constantly sell the value of the discipline - but on the downside, we now have the phenomen that all of a sudden everyone appears to be an 'expert' and many, let's just call it 'freeriders' spending a lot of lipservice to the subject without necessarily understanding much of it... That goes to the extrem of constant reorganizations within the industry and to a daily (granted probably a little exaggerated) foundation of new consultancies. Within the industry large matrixes and different models are being developed and deployed (there is now almost a daily announcement in the press), functions are or being regrouped etc. - some of my friends ironically say that marketing is re-branding itself to market access, recruiters grazing the market for potential candidates... My question is: how would you ideally define the roles of health economics, pricing and market access in todays healthcare environment? Where should an optimal function/role be located on the org. chart of a biotech / big pharma company? How should roles and responsibilities be divided and organized on a global, regional and country level? What competencies and skills should such a function encompass etc.. It'll be very interesting to get some feedback as I received a lot of comments about what would be the current status quo, but moreover get a feel for where this might be going?
Thanks very much upfront for all contributions!


A.M. said...

The differentiation would depend on a customer+customer needs:

sales tools, health care provider -> health economist in US

government, HTA, reimbursement submission with C/E report, needs for outcomes studies -> probably outcomes research in Canada

Patient associations +/- reimbursement agencies/payers - market / patient access

Government as a customer (if there is no reimbursement at all and/or the agency is not willing to support the treatment) -> gov. affairs / health policy manager.

Price regulatory bodies (like PMPRB in Canada) or complex overlapping policies between provinces (Quebec vs. others) -> pricing manager

This is my personal simplistic point of view.
Best regards,

Anonymous said...

I would liken the functions to clinical, marketing and regulatory. HE is like a clinical department (doing research), market access is like marketing (using research) and pricing is like reg affairs (addressing the processes). Though this may be a little unfaior to priocing as it is more strategic then regulatory but it works as an illustration.

HE - Focussed on developing evidence of value and commnictaing that value. This woudl includein my books interacting with clinical on development and marketing on messaging.

Market access - is managing the personal relaptionships and interactions that go into negotiating access. In counries with HE guidelines this would be interaction with the formularies, in the US this would be negotiations with MCOs.

My 2 cents


Emrah Aras said...

I've worked on exactly this topic, to re-organize healtheconomics department in a multinational affiliate. Imagine an umbrella starting from innnovative answer to unmet medical needs, return on investment activities (includes health economics scenarios, right patient, target population) to value argumantation, a marketing tool, a communication tool to persistant market penetration. I will supply more information on the topic but one can easyly see that market access is the backbone of pharma business. Should it be placed under medical? I guess not. It should get info from medical and registration and challenge business units...
Best regards.