Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Building and delivering market access capabilities in emerging markets

Local skills gaps must be addressed if the potential of the BRIC countries is to be realised

BRIC - Brazil Russia India China flags

The emerging markets represent significant growth opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry at a time when health systems in developed countries are experiencing sluggish growth due to patent expirations, austerity measures and increased cost containment measures.

These countries have large populations with often poor healthcare coverage. Reaching more of the population to provide a level of healthcare, in an affordable way, is the key challenge for governments and insurers in these countries.

Companies with a strong strategy for emerging markets and an appetite to build the necessary capabilities, together with the desire to maintain a sustained presence will gain a strong foothold for long-term success.

Market indicators
The emerging markets, driven by favourable economic, demographic and healthcare dynamics, are predicted to account for 40 per cent of the worldwide pharmaceutical market by 2020.

Within these markets the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are the dominant players. These markets offer a growing patient population with large unmet medical needs where demand for innovation and value is increasing. The major therapeutic areas of growth are expected to be in oncology and diabetes. It's estimated that over 30 per cent of the world's diabetes patients will come from India and China by 2030 and prevalence in Brazil is expected to increase by 60 per cent. Improved lifestyle, social and economic conditions will drive disease awareness, diagnosis and treatment rates in these markets.

Companies who align existing portfolios with high growth opportunities and shape effective market access capabilities will be poised for commercial success.

Market approaches
The Global Intelligence Alliance survey of 2012 suggests that most companies would like to have done something differently in how they planned and executed their emerging markets strategy. Others say they would have liked to have made greater efforts to enter these markets earlier. The truth is successful penetration requires comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities, with tailored local strategies and realistic timeframes. Because these markets are complex, continually evolving and highly dynamic, gaining approvals can take longer than in developed markets. A common question is: “Were we unrealistic with our goals and expecting too much too soon?”

With saturation in key developed markets and static economies, pharmaceutical companies are simplifying and streamlining business processes and operating models to prepare and improve long-term competitiveness. We are seeing diversification in key emerging markets where economics and government commitments to expand access to healthcare services will provide new sources of revenue to help boost growth.

A coined phrase of late is 'Think Global, Act Local'. Fast food giant McDonalds successfully introduced the Chicken Maharaja-Mac in its Indian restaurants, rather than the beef-based Big Mac found in western markets. Recognising cultural nuances while driving business development is crucial to successful entry in these markets. So, what does 'Think Global, Act Local' mean for the pharmaceutical industry and are we implementing the right strategies tailored to local needs?

Our experience working with teams in China, Brazil and India has highlighted the way that they feel there is sometimes a lack of investment in their skills and knowledge development from the parent company. There is a skills gap which needs addressing as a matter of urgency if the potential of emerging markets is to be realised.

The key themes we hear on the subject of entry into emerging markets include: lack of healthcare infrastructure and reimbursement, need for local strategies and issues of affordability. For these reasons it is important for market access organisations to work with governments, especially in the BRIC countries, to promote innovation and build collaboration models with local partners while balancing the needs of the business in the short-term.

Which levers/strategies do you consider most impactful for commercial success per market/region
(Click image to see a larger version)

BRIC market access graph

Market needs
The diverse populations of the BRIC countries will require careful planning and consideration of what 'value' really means for them in a given disease area. Companies will need to understand data needs that will be required by payers and other stakeholders in the targeted opportunities in order to provide optimal coverage and patient access to their new medicines.

With the growth in both population and economic prosperity leading to increased demand for pharmaceutical products comes the challenge of regulators and payers demanding better evidence of comparative effectiveness to contain healthcare spend. The demand for innovation and value will increase with new requirements being placed on the industry to demonstrate how new medicines take cost out of healthcare budgets. Innovation requires the industry to think beyond the pill and consider the services and interventions required in delivering an effective solution. This requires new and superior capabilities in market access and health economics.

Market access is the most significant and important deteriminate of commercial success. Understanding what value means to target populations and healthcare systems in key emerging markets is an important step, followed by communication and delivery of the product value through the appropriate channels. This seems simple but it is imperative that the process links the requirements at global level guiding the clinical development to the needs at the local level.

Key steps include:

1) Value identification from a payer perspective in these specific countries, rather than a generic approach
2) Value creation which is meaningful in these countries
3) Value communication to the appropriate market access stakeholders and influences.

This ensures the global value proposition is adapted to specific market access customers at national and local level.

Positioning for growth in BRIC countries is an important strategy for pharma companies. Getting the product portfolio right for these markets, understanding the stakeholder needs and better translation of needs into meaningful customer strategy will play a critical role in driving the growth required.

GalbraithWight utilises its class-leading understanding of these issues and processes and its practice of market access in all consultancy projects, knowing that market access is the single most import determinate of commercial success, globally. GalbraithWight has successfully delivered numerous market access projects to teams in emerging markets, driving the development and delivery of market access value propositions.

By engaging company stakeholders to embed these in a practical and pragmatic way GalbraithWight has helped market access teams in emerging markets develop solutions to commercial and development challenges, and so enable patients to benefit from innovative new medicines.

This article was originally published in the PME supplement Pharma and BRIC

Article by
Colin Wight and Taufi Ryder

Colin Wight (pictured) is Chief Executive and Taufi Ryder is a Principal Consultant, Emerging Markets at GalbraithWight. Colin can be contacted on +44 (0) 1323 482 208 or at and Taufi can be contacted on +1-609-933-7754 or at

31st July 2013

From: Sales



COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs


Add my company
Merrill Brink International

Merrill Brink International is a leading provider of life sciences, legal, financial, manufacturing and corporate language solutions for global companies....

Latest intelligence

The doctor will text you now: Why healthcare providers cannot underestimate the importance of communicating change
Healthcare communication needs to switch from ‘transmit’ to ‘receive’, listening to what patients need and embracing the plethora of communication tools wholeheartedly....
How to innovate and influence people in times of misinformation
The pandemic has shown that public trust in promising new medical technologies is far from a given. Senior Writer Tom Vandyck at StoneArch, a member of Fishawack delves into the...
Could femtech be the answer to the gender health gap?
Here, we discuss the phenomenon of femtech, an industry that puts women’s experiences of lifestyle and health front and centre. We highlight some of the major players in the industry,...