Digital transformation: shaping the future of market access

Written by Bharath Rao

In this update on digital transformation in market access, Bharath Rao, Product Owner of Digital Applications at PRMA Consulting, asks what could tomorrow look like?

What’s the opportunity for pharma and how can digital applications help companies address their biggest market access challenges?

Bharath Rao: Digital transformation is shaping the future of market access. With market access strategy now pivotal to product success, successful leaders will be those that grab hold of the opportunity – digitizing processes and supercharging their capabilities with deep payer insights fueled by tools of collaboration. At the macro level, smart use of digital can help market access heads tackle three core challenges:

  • drive commercial success across the portfolio
  • budget and resource allocation
  • team effectiveness.

Good digital applications can underpin, unite, and support all these strategic imperatives, helping heads of group manage cohesive market access strategies that respond to both global and affiliate needs.

Commercial success is the big one! How can digitization in market access play its part?

Bharath Rao: Global teams are responsible for driving market access strategies across a wide range of products and indications, regions, and markets. The goal is to ensure drugs are quickly accessible to all appropriate patients, and achieving it is a key determinant of commercial success. The core components of an effective market access strategy touch every aspect of the product life cycle – from pre-clinical and early-stage development, to clinical studies, payer submissions, launch, and real-world use. There are opportunities for digital transformation at every stage of the journey.

Decisions taken in the earliest stages of asset development can have major commercial ramifications further down the road. The challenge is making informed decisions that mitigate risk and increase your chances of commercial success. Avoiding missteps requires early and ongoing evaluation of the market for your product through the payer lens, but it isn’t easy. Global teams need to:

  • understand the market access risk and opportunity profile of assets at multiple stages of development
  • understand the complex payer landscape to ensure evidence packages resonate with payer requirements across multiple markets
  • manage harmonious simultaneous payer submissions efficiently
  • respond to change as payer requirements evolve.

Commercial success depends on deep, agile insight – and digital can provide a powerful engine. For example, PRMA Consulting’s suite of digital applications supports strategic decision-making across all aspects of the market access continuum:

 The PRMA Tracker®monitors the HTA, regulatory, and pricing environment – helping companies understand the competitive environment, HTA trends, and evidence requirements, and informing strategy.
 The PRMA Access Accelerator® transforms traditional models of primary research. It connects market access professionals with expert payer networks through virtual advisory boards, online surveys, and online engagement – uncovering real-time, real-world answers to research questions quickly and efficiently.
 The PRMA Healthcheck® provides insight-rich value assessment frameworks for assets at all stages of development, helping companies navigate the diverse payer landscape. Value assessments allow market access teams to evaluate risks, opportunities, and payer requirements, to identify evidence gaps, inform evidence generation strategies, and ultimately drive readiness for payer submissions.
 The PRMA Navigator® improves the speed and quality – and reduces the burden – of payer/HTA submissions, building on our forensic understanding of payer requirements to create a robust framework for country-specific submissions. The application can auto-populate draft submissions that are up to 80% complete in as little as two weeks.

How is digital informing budget and resource allocation?

Bharath Rao: Identifying blind spots and understanding risk profiles is crucial when deciding where to invest resources. Effective decision-making depends on getting good information and expert insight – early and quickly. That’s the signature dish of any good digital solution. Our cloud-based applications provide a real-time window on the payer environment, offering anytime, anywhere access to the latest thinking to accelerate informed decision-making. For example, the PRMA Tracker® can tell you if your trial design is focusing on the right payer-relevant endpoints. The PRMA Access Accelerator® can uncover whether the asset you’re considering acquiring is a wise investment. The PRMA Healthcheck® can determine whether your evidence package is missing something that could cost you dearly at the local level. And finally, the PRMA Navigator® streamlines the HTA submission processes, so that those teams can focus on local strategy.

Digital transforms your ability to make evidence-based budgeting and resourcing decisions. It also helps that it unlocks significant efficiencies too – freeing time (and money) to invest resources in the right places.

Presumably, this efficiency cascades into team effectiveness?

Bharath Rao: It’s certainly one component. Others include the availability of quality real-time insight, and the connectivity that digital provides. In large, multinational organizations, communication can be challenging. Important information is rarely available in one place, meaning some stakeholders miss out on crucial intelligence and, as a result, waste time and money. Cloud-based applications solve this challenge, providing on-demand access to key information and facilitating collaboration that fuels joined-up thinking, productivity, and high performance. They also strengthen ‘institutional memory’, ensuring business continuity as the workforce changes.

So what does the future of market access look like?

Bharath Rao: Digital transformation in market access isn’t just inevitable – it’s essential. We’re at the cusp of an exciting metamorphosis, where digital applications are shaping the future of market access, and helping it cement its strategic value as a key driver of commercial success.

To find out how PRMA Consulting’s suite of digital applications can help you address your core challenges, check out the other articles in this series.

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