High-level strategies for accelerated and efficient product launches
By: Steve DeVrieze | March 29, 2016
Commercialization planning should start early and take an integrated, holistic approach.
This is the first in a series of articles in which we’ll explore how biopharma companies — no matter their size — can accelerate the launch of their new products. The following blog post is an abbreviated version of a more in-depth article that was published in the February 2016 issue of PharmaVoice.
As new drug launches proliferate in the increasingly complex specialty therapeutic space, biopharma is finding that success is often pre-determined by actions that take place very early in the development and commercialization cycle. In many cases commercial input is often overlooked. A vital driver of success is the quality and depth of interactions with key influencers including clinicians, patients and equally as important, payers. Done right, this preparation can help a new medicine outperform at market launch as well as facilitate prompt uptake by healthcare professionals and payers.
Since cracking the human genome code 15 years ago, life-science companies have been working on innovative ways to apply genomics to drug development for personalized medicines. While highly specialized drugs produce better outcomes for patients, they present a tougher challenge for marketers, which must be considered early on.
Personalized drugs also require a fundamentally different pricing model. Companies’ commercial teams must convince both payers and healthcare providers that their product not only produces better outcomes but also reduces the cost of treatment. The education and messaging required to communicate the value of precision medicines is significantly more complicated. Further, the market landscape today is incredibly diverse, replacing the traditional physician relationship with a vast, interconnected network of stakeholders who can each influence product success differently.
A recent benchmarking survey by Quintiles aimed to understand how companies are integrating the payer voice into clinical development, and then validated these insights with payers. Three key themes emerged:
In conclusion, companies must recognize that the world has changed and adjust their commercialization plans accordingly by starting early and taking an integrated, holistic approach. A product launch plan must be comprehensive, extending beyond commercialization to consider manufacturing capabilities, clinical expectations, economic impact, and more. This launch planning process should start as early as possible, sometimes three years ahead of the anticipated launch enabling executives to take necessary time to “measure twice” (or thrice) and cut just once. Launch excellence — the culmination of an iterative process that unifies clinical and commercial teams along with key stakeholder objectives — is needed to deliver an optimized launch in an increasingly complex healthcare marketplace.