What is market access and what makes market access a great career choice? As the final hurdle in the drug development process, market access is a driving force behind the successful delivery of a drug or medical device to market. It can be seen as the strategic journey of getting:
the right treatment or device…
…to the right patient…
…at the right time…
…and at a price that works for both the manufacturer and payer.
To do this requires the ability to communicate the value of the drug or device and provide data-driven insights to health authorities and payers to achieve market authorisation and reimbursement. It is a complex affair combining the analysis of market trends and local reimbursement policies, value development and communication, pricing strategy, and negotiation.
To be successful as a market access specialist, you need to be able to eloquently disseminate the clinical evidence supporting a drug’s performance while having the commercial nous to understand how much markets would be willing to pay for it. Research skills and thorough industry knowledge are essential, as are strong interpersonal skills and the ability to inform, influence and persuade. If this sounds like you, consider these 3 reasons why market access might make a great career choice:
1 - Helping to bring life-changing therapies to market
There is a huge unmet need for new therapies across many disease areas including cancer, genetic conditions, and rare diseases. While innovative therapies typically demand premium prices, health authorities and payers work within tight budgetary constraints and limit their spending on expensive new therapy innovations unless they demonstrate significant clinical benefit. This is where the skill of a market access specialist comes into play. Market access is a consideration right from the start of clinical development – ensuring the correct studies are implemented to meet market authorisation requirements years down the line. Market access specialists play a key role throughout the product lifecycle and can help to navigate the product through the complexities of market authorisation and reimbursement. Being involved from clinical development right through to patient access, and then witnessing first-hand how a treatment can improve patient lives in a real-world setting, can be incredibly rewarding.
2 - Working across diverse projects in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment
If you enjoy the demands of a fast-paced environment, market access may well be for you. As a market access specialist, you will work in different therapy areas and across multiple geographical regions, so no two projects are the same! Each therapy brings its own challenges that a market access team will work through. You may take the lead on two or three projects and contribute to several other projects; the work can be fast-paced and, at times, demanding. You could be working on an evidence generation plan one day and a value proposition or pricing strategy the next. You will need to be agile and flexible in your approach to work and be a master at problem solving.
3 - Working with a range of stakeholders, each with different needs
It goes without saying that you need to be a people person in market access. In a market access role, you will work with diverse stakeholders including colleagues in the R&D, commercial and marketing departments, Government officials, clinicians, and patient groups. The role involves carefully balancing the needs of each stakeholder to find solutions with the end goal of improving healthcare by enhancing patient access to therapies when they need them most. Being able to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people is essential.