Until relatively recently, the healthcare industry has enjoyed increasing revenues with limited barriers to market access for their products. The strength of clinical evidence, in the form of efficacy and safety, has historically been the primary determinant of market access success. Multiple macro-economic and cost-containment factors have changed this.
Across the globe we see governments scrambling to implement increasingly sophisticated cost-control measures to manage the growing health demands of their ageing populations. Numerous barriers to access are stacking up, including enforced price reductions, mandatory discounts, price capping, increased use of risk sharing schemes and the publication of guidelines limiting clinical indications to strict patient sub-populations. In the face of these multiple barriers, gaining optimal access is becoming increasingly challenging.
In today's environment, the industry needs to demonstrate product value beyond clinical evidence, to an ever-evolving audience. As well as engaging traditional clinical stakeholders, we now need to effectively communicate with a host of different payers (or 'investors in health'), driven by distinct priorities.
Investors in Health
The term 'payer' is an industry-developed term, commonly used to describe those stakeholders within the healthcare system who hold or influence healthcare budget, i.e. a stakeholder who 'pays' for healthcare. The majority of 'payers' would arguably view their role as something that goes beyond simply 'paying' for healthcare and instead encompasses a role that could be better termed, an 'investor in health', with the responsibility to achieve the most return (health gain across a population) on investment.
The way messages are communicated, or education initiatives are designed will depend upon the distinct priorities of a specific 'investor in health' audience, from those focused purely on cost containment, to those driven by quality of care, or achieving value for money. In order to develop relevant and effective initiatives, it is critical to understand what is valuable to these different 'investors in health', what their challenges are. Importantly, industry and 'investor in health' agendas need to align – both parties need to establish how to work together to deliver value and improve access to achieve the most health gain for a population. Establishing sustained and trusted collaborations with 'investors in health' will help to achieve common goals.
About inVentiv Health Communications/Europe
About inVentiv Health
From an 'investor in health' perspective, it is critical to understand a product's value in terms of health gain across four core areas; 1) the unmet need, including comparative effectiveness with existing therapies 2) the clinical outcomes, in terms of efficacy and safety, 3) the patients' experience, such as quality of life and patient reported outcomes and 4) the whole system, encompassing health economic evidence and societal impact. The area of focus across these different core areas will depend on the individual 'investor in health' needs. As healthcare marketeers, it is our responsibility to craft effective, evidence based messages across these four core areas, and then to understand how to adapt these messages to resonate with distinct 'investor in health' priorities. To do this we need to be creative in our methods of communication and education.
At inVentiv Health Communications, we are firm believers in the importance of education and communication with a diverse group of stakeholders to demonstrate value and improve access. We work with 'investors in health', and our client partners to build a value story, and to design and execute relevant and impactful initiatives that resonate and drive behaviour change.
We take a holistic view to market access in order to truly understand our stakeholders' perspectives. We know one size doesn't fit all and push ourselves to explore the complexity and diversity of our stakeholders' worlds to recognise what underpins decision making to determine access.
Drawing upon an unparallelled breadth of insight and expertise from across the globe, the combination of local and regional knowledge facilitates a unique understanding of stakeholders needs to frame multi-disciplinary solutions. The ability to map diverse stakeholders and understand their motivations is ever more critical within today's increasingly complex healthcare environment. By assessing market nuances, drawing on experiences across markets to understand the global evolving dynamics and learning from different healthcare models, we can inform effective and innovative strategies.
We are all driven to improve access to medicines and effective care and make a tangible difference to global health – by working together and understanding the needs of the diverse 'investors in health' stakeholders, these important objectives can be made a reality.
Sarah Giles (left), inVentiv Health Communications/Europe and Asia Pacific, Market Access and Engagement
Sally Irvine (right), inVentiv Health Communications/Europe, Market Access and Engagement