My first client call when I started my second spin in consultancy went like this
We have a value dossier. It does a great job at linking our data to an exhaustive list of value messages [pause]. But we don’t have a story to tell.
I thought this was a bit weird and probably unusual. Six months down the road, it turns out it was a pre-recorded message that would keep repeating itself over and over.
A Care Affordability Index could constitute a way more informative measure of patient-access performance than the binary “number of lives covered”. And it is not that complicated to implement. A post for dashboard lovers.
We all see our mailboxes bombarded by emails trying to sell us syndicated reports claiming that they will solve the key issues the life science industry is facing for us. Rather than seeing these emails as the annoying spams they probably are, I actually read them, and over time, I have even developed a genuine interest in them. Indeed, trying to charge me USD5,000 for something I know was true in 1996 is not email marketing, it is art. Here is a gem from a recent one –
“Physicians want efficacy, payers want cost-efficiency, and patients want access.” How 1996 is that?
A new year, a new administration in the US, a hard Brexit, general elections approaching in France and Germany. We are entering an era of deep uncertainty in major pharmaceutical markets. It is hard to make any prediction for pharma and biotech companies in these circumstances. But I’ll take a chance: there will be more pressure on drug prices on both sides of the ocean. OK, I admit it, I took no risk at all. In times of uninhibited populism, with the extra bit of legitimacy granted by a handful of shameless, unethical players, drug companies remain the perfect scapegoat for politicians of all kinds in their rhetoric on public money sparing. I am still puzzled by the reaction of the stock market right after the US presidential election (see the left half of the picture). The old equation of (R) = pharma revenue up and (D) = pharma revenue down has been invalid for many years. Today, the lines are blurred, and the recent ‘drug companies are getting away with murder’ comment by President Trump is just another confirmation of this fact. Anyway, stock prices are back to where they were pre-election (see the right half of the picture), and that leaves us with the same question – ‘what’s next?’
One of the many perks of my recent shift to consultancy is that I get to work on more diverse therapy areas – such as vaccines – as compared to when I was a pharma employee. With the vaccine market being concentrated among a handful of players, you can spend an entire career in pharma without being directly involved with vaccines. In fact, you could even be developing drugs at one of the top vaccine players such as GSK or Sanofi, without having much interaction with your vaccine colleagues who operate in a standalone business unit at a different site. Which means you are missing out because one – it is a fascinating business that has been reinventing itself for more than 2 centuries and two – it is a gold mine of insights for the broader curative pharma business. In this brief post, I have selected three major aspects of the vaccines value chain that could bring a positive change to pharmaceutical drugs market access and commercialization – if applied with discernment.
Vaccines are Contributing to Public Health
After all these years of investment in research and development, here is the moment your company has been waiting for: launching the product and finally claiming a well-deserved reward whilst creating value for patients. There is one last obstacle standing between your great science and your customers: agreeing on a price with payers.
As pharma industry leaders continue to feel a pressuring demand from all parts to justify the price of their innovative products, there is one trap everyone seems to be happily falling into – the cost of Research and Development. I have to say it is very tempting.