Digitization in primary research: a smart addition to traditional market access research methods

Written by Sophie Clayton-Welch

With 20 years’ experience working in primary research with payers and advisors, Sophie Clayton-Welch explains how digital transformation is helping clients gain rapid insights and competitive, market access advantage.

What’s your role and background in primary research for market access?

I’m the PRMA Consulting Head of the International Experts Group. We build relationships with key payers and stakeholders and specialize in implementing primary research for market access from early portfolio investment decisions to late-state market access planning and testing; this includes advisory boards, standing advisory boards, payer panels, and clinical focus panels. I also enjoy partnering with clients on smaller, more agile, direct advisor interactions.

What are your clients typically looking for when they want to research the payer environment?

Its increasingly common for us to be asked to help quickly identify and finesse client’s market access strategies. Clients like partnering with an experienced consultancy team and are attracted by our ability to rapidly unlock a wealth of consultancy and payer expertise. With our international network of over 2,000 contracted payers and advisors, our clients have unique access to current and emerging trends.

Also, with the explosion of digital innovation in healthcare, clients want a smarter way to conduct primary research that enhances their competitive advantage. That’s why we developed the PRMA Access Accelerator®, a digital solution that provides on-demand expert insight through two payer engagement portals: virtual advisory boards and forums, and online surveys.

How did you go about developing the PRMA Access Accelerator®?

From both the client and advisor perspective we saw an appetite for a smart digital solution. Clients and advisors wanted a cost-effective way to quickly engage wherever and whenever. The PRMA Access Accelerator® gives users a quick, secure way of conducting online surveys, advisory boards, and forums that fits in with their budgets and busy timelines.

Who is the PRMA Access Accelerator® designed for?

It’s an agile tool that can be used by a broad range of clients, either as a standalone tool or alongside traditional forms of primary research, depending on a client’s requirements.

Some pharmaceutical manufacturers have sought real-time interaction with payers to assess investment risks and opportunities in evolving payer and HTA landscapes. I’ve also partnered with biotechnology manufactures who only have a couple of market access questions that they need a quick, cost effective answer to. This has helped them rapidly test and refine their value messages.

Why is the PRMA Access Accelerator® a smart alternative to traditional methods of primary research in market access?

In short, value for money and time savings. The service is cost-effective compared with traditional primary research methodology and can be fitted around busy schedules – that is the beauty of an online, on-demand service.

What sets us apart is that we supply clients anonymous advisor biographies – it gives them confidence that product strategies and value messages will resonate with the evolving payer decision-making landscape.

What have your clients liked most about the digital application?

It’s the ability to have their market access questions answered quickly and cost-effectively – research that used to take 6 months can now be done in less than 6 weeks, for a fraction of the cost. And they don’t need to travel!

It’s also the added benefit that the application is supported by our robust, insight-based consulting and expertise in driving digital transformation. Our clients trust us; we oversee selection and recruitment, relationship management, compliance, and remuneration, and provide the dedicated support of an advisor liaison manager who has frequent contact with advisors. We ensure rigorous compliance and quality control; we conform to GDPR controls and use ISO27001 and CSA Star-certified systems.

What have you been most proud of in your work?

It makes my day when clients tell us we have helped them advance their thinking or work smarter. I’m proud of my colleagues too. They understand the importance nurturing our relationships with clients and advisors and they are pioneering innovative ways to make those relationships increasingly accessible and fruitful.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I’m always happy to have an informal, confidential chat with market access professionals to find out more about how the PRMA Access Accelerator® can help solve their primary research challenges.

Please do telephone me on +44 (0)1252 786284 or email info@prmaconsulting.com.

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