Are you in touch with the latest payer thinking?

April 27, 2020

In the third of her five-part series on digital transformation in market access, Dr. Patti Peeples, CEO of, sits down with Anja Pownell, Associate Director at PRMA Consulting, to find out how technology is putting dynamic payer thinking at the fingertips of its users.

Dr Peeples: You partner with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers on their market access projects. What challenges do you most commonly see?

Anja Pownell: In some disease areas, payer and health technology assessment (HTA) expectations are changing rapidly, and market access professionals face continual pressure to adapt their strategies to emerging market requirements.

Therefore, manufacturers often need support when they are moving into a new therapy area or when the treatment paradigm is completely changed by products with a novel mechanism of action, such as CAR-T treatments.

We recommend monitoring the HTA and pricing and reimbursement (P&R) decision landscape for competitor products to gain an understanding of what is driving the decision-making.

This keeps manufacturers up to speed with evolving payer and HTA agency expectations in areas such as appropriate comparators, endpoints, trial design, and value perceptions.

In turn, this helps them to assess and prioritize key evidence generation activities and strengthen their evidence base in line with changing payer and HTA needs.

Dr Peeples: How is technology helping with this?

Anja Pownell: We use the PRMA Tracker® digital application to deliver these landscape assessments.

At the start of the process, the client’s competitors in a specific disease area are monitored and any regulatory, HTA and P&R decisions in the countries of interest are critically reviewed.

The review includes any decisions that have been published but we also continue to monitor the landscape for new decisions. Depending on the activity in the disease area, we monitor decisions for several month or years. Clients are alerted to any new updates within 3 business days.

Decisions are reviewed in detail to understand the evidence that was available to the decision-makers, and the feedback and criticism from those agencies. We then interpret what the outcomes and agency criticisms for the competitor products mean for our clients and their pipeline, which we discuss with clients in our regular meetings.

Clients are provided with not only these insights and recommendations, but also all the detailed submitted clinical and economic data and key criticisms from review committees, within a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate format. The PRMA Tracker® is also accessible by the global team and affiliates, which helps them have more informed discussions based on the same synthesized information.

Clients can access all the latest information from one source, as new decisions are added to the application when they are published.

Dr Peeples: How does the PRMA tracker® contribute to your clients’ success?

Anja Pownell: Success is driven by the insights that the application provides.

The insights are developed by our senior team within PRMA Consulting, and really take the competitor decisions to the next level by answering the “So what?” questions for our clients.

The case study attached shows a real-life example from a leading pharmaceutical company. It incorporated insight from the PRMA Tracker® as part of its launch of a new immunotherapy asset.

The PRMA Tracker®

  • reduced the risk of unforeseen HTA/P&R objections
  • allowed time to develop strategies to mitigate objections
  • saved time and costs by anticipating evidence needs early on
  • combined insights with discussions with the PRMA Consulting team, which supported focused evidence development activities
  • enhanced collaboration and efficiency by keeping everything in one place.

Following this success, our client asked us to continue the activity, and this PRMA Tracker® project has now been supporting our client for 5 years.

Dr Peeples: What makes the PRMA Tracker® better than traditional methods that market access professionals may be using?

Anja Pownell: The key advantages are:

  • speed
  • depth of information
  • bespoke insights.

When global and affiliate teams can both access the same information, I’ve seen improvements in collaboration, and cross-functional efficiencies.

Our clients are alerted when a new decision on one of their competitors is published, and the detailed rationale and payer feedback can be accessed at any time and, from anywhere.

Beyond reporting competitor decisions, we highlight the implications of a new decision for our client, based on a good understanding of our clients and their products, and help market access teams to anticipate evidence needs early on.

I am happy to have a confidential discussion with anyone who would like to find out more.

“How a leading pharma company gained significant market access insights prior to launch”

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