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Who is responsible for Market Access?

ValueConnected at the 2018 European MedTech Reimbursement Roundtable in Zurich, Switzerland

Image credit: Courtesy of Ruxandra Ponova

Last October, ValueConnected attended the 2018 European MedTech Reimbursement Roundtable in Zurich, Switzerland, a conference organized by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) in which speakers do not present any slides and instead focus on current hot topics of the Medical Technology industry.

Our Managing Director, Ernesto M. Nogueira, was the chairperson for the event and moderated the first roundtable: “Market Access: CEO’s top priority?” During the panel, speakers discussed whether companies are focusing on building Market Access strategies or instead leaving it to a secondary level of importance.

One of the key questions raised during the roundtable was “who is responsible for Market Access, after all?”

Not an easy answer

Market Access basically refers to the strategies and actions to ensure the right patients have access to the right technologies at the right time. Since Value is a core aspect of Market Access, it is absolutely essential to involve professionals from Clinical, Medical, Regulatory, Health Economics, Reimbursement and Sales departments; not to mention others as well.

Hence, medical technology companies have different perspectives on where Market Access belongs. Even in cases when there is a Market Access department (or person, which is more common), the question remains of where should it report to? And the answers included straight to the CEO, Marketing, Sales, Legal…

An alternative view

Andrea Rappagliosi, Vice President Market Access, Public Affairs & Communication EMEA, Canada and LATAM at Edwards Lifesciences, brought an interesting perspective: "Market Access is not a function in itself, but rather a responsibility from all departments in the company." Andrea’s thoughts sparked a series of comments and considerations from the roundtable speakers and all attendees.

Looking at the medical technology industry practices, it is evident that at each stage of the product lifecycle medical companies have different Market Access aspects to consider. For example, while in product development it is essential to understand the real unmet need or market problem that will be addressed by the technology, clinical evidence plans should also consider the outcomes required to drive market adoption, which could include establishing reimbursement.

Start Market Access early

Market Access is indeed a responsibility of an entire company, which should start considering it as early as possible and involve all necessary departments and professionals.

It is true that someone or a specific department should drive Market Access, but still, Market Access is a process and not a function.

And indeed, it should be the CEO’s priority.

Do you think Market Access is a priority for medical technology companies? And why? Let us know what you think at contact@valueconnected.com. We look forward to hearing from you!