How Accelerated Drug Development Requires Disruption in Market Access and Pricing

Global Pricing Innovations (GPI) is a price and access insights company that uses analytics to provide data-driven, evidence-based support, and helps clients make better investment decisions for drug development and commercialization. GPI’s team of domain experts provides high quality, curated, and rapid insights to help clients with their global pricing strategy, market access optimization, and asset evaluation. We recently sat down with Preeti Patel, MPharm, CEO and Founder of GPI, to learn what is driving the growing importance for early stage asset value and price prediction, how GPI is supporting clients through these challenges, and how this solution was developed.

There is a growing importance for early-stage asset price and value prediction. What is driving the need?

The landscape is moving faster than ever before. New drug research and development has accelerated post-COVID and there are expeditated regulatory routes to speed up launches, meaning drugs are coming onto the market faster and the time between competitor entry is shorter.

Figure 1: Faster drug development, greater commercial pressures for pharmaceutical companies.
Source: Accenture. Billions to millions: Improving R&D productivity.

Additionally, there is a general trend towards precision medicine and tailored patient care, which are costly and cause considerable budgetary and affordability concerns for payers. In response, payers expect more supportive evidence and robust data packs to warrant price and access, which are not always straightforward to collect. For biopharma, making investment decisions or evaluating the commercial success of an asset depends on achieving the right price and access. Increasingly, companies are thinking about price and market access earlier in the drug development timeline.

Figure 2: Rising cost & decreasing sales in pharmaceutical development.
Source: Deloitte. Key factors to improve drug launches. March 2020.

A study by the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions analyzed 149 new launches and found that approximately 36% of assets miss sales expectations in the first year. Generally, if a product fails to meet launch year expectations, its probability of recovering revenue in subsequent years declines sharply.

What are the top three reasons for pricing and market access challenges?

The top three reasons for missing year one launch targets are limited market access, a disconnect between companies and patient or physician needs, and not having a compelling value proposition that clearly articulates product differentiation.

From a payer perspective, critically appraising new medicine and forming evidence-based decisions on its use is nothing new, but becomes more stringent when funding and affordability come into question. As drugs become more innovative and precise, payers expect biopharma to guarantee outcomes and demonstrate value, further driving the trend for creative innovative funding arrangements. The power to forecast price and access outcomes earlier in the drug development life cycle becomes critical so that you can effectively determine the return on investment. It is important to have a clear idea of what is required by the payers to get the price and access needed for commercial viability.

“Commercial success of an asset is therefore heavily dependent on getting the right price and access strategy.”

To weigh up the best strategy, progressive companies are now turning to the use of technology to speed up market access processes and increase efficiency of bringing drugs to market. The use of technology within pricing and market access can support quicker decisions and provides the ability to weigh up outcomes, create agility, align teams, and demonstrate the “why” behind key decisions.

How is GPI helping?

At GPI, we have offerings that support agile price and access prediction earlier in the development cycle. We also have the ability to consider outcomes of multiple scenarios to guide strategies throughout the life cycle, thus supporting decisions from early stage clinical development (i.e., phase I/II) through to launch and beyond in an agile, evidence-based manner.

“Imagine making decisions based on a motion picture view of your assets journey that quickly adapts to the dynamic landscape instead of having a snapshot stage gate perspective that you typically get from traditional research approaches.”

Instead of human bias influencing results or skewing data, GPI offers a robust, evidence-based perspective which is particularly useful during early phases where there is a great level of uncertainty and speed of insights is critical. During launch and indication expansion, the level of uncertainty is reduced, but greater competitive considerations are at play. Imagine having the ability to weigh up and quantify these considerations throughout the process to guide decisions, align teams, and support agility throughout the entire process, end to end—this is possible with GPI’s offerings. Instead of leveraging insights from projects that take weeks or months to complete, GPI’s offerings help you get insights faster so that you can forecast earlier and make proactive, timely decisions.

Tell us more about how you brought this solution to life.

First and foremost, hard work and testing. We spend a lot of time on research and development, and in this particular case, validation. It is vital that we validate the methodology at every stage to ensure accuracy and really make the product what it is.

Driving change is never easy and there were and still are many barriers to overcome, but I completely trust that innovation can help companies navigate some of the challenges in the sector. I’ve worked both on payer and business transformation sides which gives me a unique perspective of the issues faced from both sides. At GPI, we also have a deep understanding of medicine pricing and access from a commercial and payer perspective and have conducted many projects involving payer and key opinion leader research. In doing so, we have witnessed first-hand some of the drawbacks of using traditional research methods to determine price and access strategies in a fast-paced, competitive market where product differentiation is vital.

Through my experience, I thought there must be a better way of trying to connect the needs and the mind of the payer with the ambitions of the industry, all with the patient perspective at the heart. We came up with the concept of attributing value to price and access and that’s what GPI horizon is. Value can be determined by any number of attributes and varies depending on the payer from country to country; it also evolves over time as healthcare systems change.

“We’ve got a really clear vision of how we can adapt traditional approaches by turning the whole process on its head, leveraging the power of technology and data to create more sustainable strategies.”

There is so much we can do by using technology to really disrupt this space and make it more efficient and effective for all. To give an example of the power of a data and technology approach, we recently valued a portfolio of medicines for a potential transaction within three working days. The traditional manual approach would have taken us weeks, if not months, to collect, mine, and format all the various data points and connect the relationships. We turned this around within three days using our data-driven approach. We provided an example of how we do this in a recent webinar, where we demonstrated various use cases that highlight how our value-price methodology could be applied at different development phases.

You recently won an award for the research at ISPOR, can you share more?

We are honored to have received recognition of our research and all credit to the team who pursued the vision and conducted the analysis. It has really opened up the possibilities of how powerful our methodology is and has given us newfound confidence to pursue the vision to support all new asset launches and strategies though the life cycle using GPI horizon.

Figure 3: Example of GPI horizon price forecasting accuracy for a prostate cancer asset.
Source: GPI horizon

GPI spent more than four years developing horizon and a considerable amount of time testing and validating the approach through blinded retrospective testing where we predicted price across key markets within a 10% range in oncology and immunology, which isn’t just powerful, but game changing. As we continue to expand testing across additional therapy areas and leverage our payer network to validate each country’s analytics, adding to the robustness of the outcomes. We can also configure forward-looking views as the payer environment changes for future forecasting and planning.

How do you see the product evolving with market needs?

With more personalized and targeted therapies coming onto the market, I see a growing need for more granular information, integrated data, and sophisticated technology such as artificial intelligence to derive deeper insights for more robust decisions. Horizon employs scalable and agile methodology which can be used throughout the life cycle and can evolve as your asset develops and the landscape changes. Some common use cases include:

  • Forecasting asset price based on early TPP, which can be as early as preclinical to early phase II
  • Understanding the clinical goalposts for an asset to achieve a certain price
  • Identifying the optimal TPP from the payer’s perspective and using this to create a strong evidence generation plan
  • Reacting quickly to competitor information by having the ability to quickly test impact on price and position in the market
  • Evaluating indication sequencing to protect pricing strategy post-launch

The speed of new drug entry and landscape evolution means there is a greater need for fast, compelling insights and creative approaches for successful price and access.

Why is GPI able to offer this unique approach?

At GPI, we understand the challenges in the sector and the growing concerns for targeted therapies. We have an appreciation for the strategies and drivers behind successful and failed launches. Furthermore, we leverage deep price and access expertise, data technology, and analytics to craft these creative and innovative solutions. With the price and market access consulting mindset at heart, we truly appreciate its technicalities and complexities and really comprehend what a payer needs.

Going back to the main industry challenges of rapidly bringing drugs to market, in addition to budgetary and affordability issues for payers, we have developed this methodology in direct response to the changes we have seen. Utilizing our in-house expertise and our network of payers, we are uniquely positioned to offer this game-changing approach that addresses the challenges that our clients face throughout the development life cycle.

GPI has a legacy of providing data-driven insights along with an agile customer-focused team to identify challenges by listening to clients and providing fast, innovative responses. Our solutions combine consultancy, data, and technical advances to drive innovation in the sector.

“What’s really at the heart of GPI is the passionate team who are truly committed to providing creative solutions to improve medicine access for patients.”

We do believe that there is a better way of creating that sustainable balance between industry and payers. All with patient needs at the heart.

The GPI team understands current market needs for change and innovation; their vision is to disrupt this and improve the delivery of drugs to the market using high quality price and access insights. GPI’s data-driven, evidence-based strategies, analytics, and technical innovations support the biopharmaceutical industry and payers to achieve a sustainable balance between pricing medicines and patient access.

To learn more, visit globalpricing.com.

tHEORetically Speaking

tHEORetically Speaking is the official blog of HealthEconomics.Com.

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