Pharmaceutical Pricing Remains in Focus for 2017

Life science market access activities surround pricing, launch sequencing and payer relationship management

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - December 28, 2016) - A new survey of life science market access teams found that 87% of biotech groups are in charge of product pricing. The study found that a number of global pricing trends, such as emerging market payer systems and recent regulatory reforms affecting NICE and the EMA, have shaped global market access teams' pricing activities.

Cutting Edge Information's study, Global Market Access Strategies: Building Payer Relationships Through Comprehensive Value Stories, found that drug companies need to work with individual countries' governments to overcome trade hurdles and avoid compulsory licensing. Integrated pricing and market access teams must balance their desire to initiate activities early with the knowledge that pricing markets are highly susceptible to change.

Nearly 80% of surveyed market access groups (80%) have at least some involvement in launch sequencing and payer relationships, which entails managed markets account management. But by and large, market access teams' top priority is typically strategic pricing.

Market access teams are an essential part of a life science organization's commercial arm. Developing appropriate structures and staffing levels is important to ensure that these teams work effectively to improve patient access. Other areas that market access teams participate in include health economics and outcomes research, comparative effectiveness research and patient-reported outcomes.

"Often, pricing studies contribute largely to global-level commercial decision making," said Jacob Presson, senior consultant at Cutting Edge Information. "To keep drug prices from angering customers or getting on the evening news, market access teams need to continue to communicate better with and remain receptive to payer and customer needs."

Drug pricing controversies have made the news in several high profile cases in 2016. Turing Pharmaceuitcals' 5,000%+ increase in the price of a Daraprim, 62-year old drug, and Mylan's 500% increase in EpiPen's price sparked much debate over the last year. In these situations, the study found, pricing teams can help preserve their relationships with payers and customers by collecting and communicating additional comparative data that reinforces their pricing decisions.

Global Market Access Strategies: Building Payer Relationships Through Comprehensive Value Stories, available at, explores emerging trends impacting market access teams and the best practices they implement to obtain better pricing and reimbursement around the world. The study contains detailed market access performance metrics, including ideal timeframes for involving market access teams in supporting new product launches. Use the report's benchmarks and market access team priorities to:

  • Set market access budgets
  • Analyze market access subfunctions -- such as HEOR -- and activities that receive higher priority and resource allocations
  • Develop stronger payer relationships by deploying account managers and incorporating third-party perspectives
  • Develop unique launch sequence strategies to capitalize on product value.
  • Learn how market shifts and uncertainty will have a greater impact on pharmaceutical pricing activities

For more information about Cutting Edge Information's market access research, visit

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Elio Evangelista
Senior Director, Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information

Responsibilities of Market Access Teams