Fishawack Health is proud to announce that Avalere joins its team

Fishawack Health (FH) is proud to announce that leading US-based healthcare policy, market access, and transformation firm, Avalere Health (Avalere), is joining its team.

We spoke to Elizabeth Carpenter, President of Avalere, and David Sykes, President of Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence (PAVE) at FH, and Founding Partner at PRMA Consulting, about the partnership and how they believe their combined capabilities and global reach can help clients make the right decisions at the right time.

We also talked about the biopharmaceutical field more generally and some upcoming policy issues that manufacturers may have to face. 

Welcome to FH, Elizabeth! Can you tell us a little about Avalere? 

Elizabeth: Thank you – we’re really pleased to join the team!  

Avalere was founded a little over 20 years ago by Dan Mendelson when he left the Clinton Administration. Our roots are in public policy, but our organization has become increasingly commercially and analytically focused, especially after our acquisition by Inovalon. We help clients understand the external environment, quantify the impact to their businesses, and drive effective business strategy.  

For example, there is an ongoing debate in Washington DC about drug pricing reform. We have contracted with a large biopharmaceutical company to develop an interactive model that allows it to estimate the impact of various drug pricing reforms on its business.  

This model not only allows the company to inform its policy positions but also its market access strategies and ultimately to drive real-time decisions.  

What makes Avalere unique in this field? 

Elizabeth: We work with the top 25 biopharmaceutical companies globally. But we also work with biotechs, providers of health plans, investors, and patient groups, which gives us a really unique perspective that we bring to customer engagement.  

Not only do we understand our customers, but we also understand our customers’ customers.  

One area where we’re seeing a lot of opportunity to partner with clients is to ensure that the patient voice is present in all aspects of the healthcare system. We don’t just work for one stakeholder and so we are often viewed as a convener that can really bring the patient perspective into evidence generation, access strategy, and policy advocacy.  

Avalere’s specialty is US policy how do you have such a strong handle on what goes on in Washington? 

Elizabeth: We hire people with a deep understanding of the US policy environment. We have folks who have worked on Capitol Hill, who have worked for federal agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and who have served in lobbyist and advocacy roles for key stakeholders. Our policy expertise starts with our people – we are simply quite ingrained into the DC policy community.  

For example, when the public health emergency ends, we expect a good number of people to fall off Medicaid as many policies were tied to the emergency. The Biden Administration has signaled that if Congress doesn’t act, the Administration will use executive authority to change drug pricing policy. We are well placed to figure out what this might mean for our biopharmaceutical clients. 

I should say that although our expertise absolutely lies in federal policy, we also have 50-state policy capability too and have colleagues who have worked in various positions in and around state governments. We have a product where we track policy developments across all 50 states.  

David: Avalere’s best-in-class reputation speaks for itself and it’s clear that they know CMS like nobody else. This will be relevant for our US-based clients and will also help our clients based in Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. 

What makes this partnership the right one for now? 

David: By coming together we will provide a deep expertise in markets across the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. I don’t think any other company can offer the same breadth and depth of shared scale and scope. If you then look at the complete FH commercialization service offering that spans policy, evidence generation, and access strategy, as well as medical communications, scientific marketing, and a strategic healthcare consulting, we truly have an unrivalled offering for our clients. No other group out there has that.   

Elizabeth: Ever since the Trump Administration proposed to index US drug prices to international prices, our customers have been more focused on what’s happening globally. FH provides that level of expertise to another level. We’re really excited to collaborate and innovate with the team and to offer our clients a broad set of integrated services.  

How do Avalere and FH complement each other? 

Elizabeth: Well on day one, from Avalere’s perspective, we’re simply going to be better at evaluating what’s happening in Europe and Asia from a drug pricing and value perspective, and how that might impact US markets.  

David: I think there’ll be so many points of connection – across our existing clients and in the complementary capabilities we have. We can now offer deep insights and solutions with both a global and local perspective in all the key markets of US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LATAM.  

That’s a huge advantage.  

What do you think is the main priority for companies in the biopharmaceutical policy, access, value, and evidence space?  

Elizabeth: One thing we’re really pushing is how our customers can help drive health equity in the US. The first step is to understand health equity at a really granular level.  

I also think our biopharmaceutical customers are really focused on how to ensure they continue to get their products to patients in a way that allows the patient community to benefit from ongoing innovation. 

Take CAR-T therapy, for example, which can only be administered at a limited number of treatment centers. How do you actually ensure that the full breadth of your patient population is able to access that drug? That takes a lot of resources, planning, and an understanding of the population.  

What do you see this partnership looking like in 5 years’ time? 

David: From my side, I want this partnership to better help clients from early pipeline through to post-launch at a global and local level. We’ll be doing that from the get-go. 

Elizabeth: The space is ripe for growth and I’m excited to see what happens – not only as we bring a more global perspective to US customers and a US lens to international customers, but also as we deliver an integrated HEOR market access and policy offering to the market. That will be fun.  

Better health happens when we connect: please get in touch   

From the US to Asia-Pacific, and across Europe and LATAM, clients depend on our unique Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence capabilities to optimize access and demonstrate the full value of their innovative products to payers. Our best-in-class, multidisciplinary experts and digital visionaries are shaping the market; we look forward to partnering with you to solve your most complex business challenges. Please get in touch for a confidential conversation.

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