What Do Payers Want From The Life Science Industry?
The life sciences field is very complicated, but before you can get your product in the hands of patients who need them, you first need to get approved by payers.
That’s why Frank Dolan sat down with Steve O’Malley, Executive Vice President of Market Access at Two Labs, as part of the Leader Lab series. The two men discussed what payers want to see from companies that are bringing drugs to the market.
Happily enough, the payer space hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19 as much as other areas of the industry. This means that Dolan and O’Malley got to speak in depth about more general payer concerns. In this article, we’ll discuss two of the most important takeaways from the conversation: specifically, explaining how your drug actually works and making sure your timing is right.
How Does Your Drug Work?
At the most basic level, Steve O’Malley states that payer concerns are simple. “What payers are looking for are products and devices that work. If the product actually cures what it says cures, you know AML CLL, those are incredible opportunities.”
It’s important to make sure your product is effective, but given the competitiveness of getting on the formulary, you need to go beyond that. For instance, how long is the drug effective for? O’Malley advises life science companies to be prepared for questions like, “Does it mean that you only take the drug once and then you’re cured for life?” and “Is it actually a cure or is it just a kind of reduction?”
It can be difficult to get that kind of information for drugs that aren’t currently on the market, which is why you need to be prepared to convince payers that your drug is actually worth the money that you’re asking them to spend on it.
Timing is Everything
Payers are busy, and drug costs are rising. For this reason, it’s important to get in front of payers as early as possible in order to show them the value that your drug offers the market. O’Malley says that “Most companies are starting that process 18 to 24 months in advance,” and he considers that an excellent timeline for ensuring that payers are able to properly budget for your drug.
While it’s important to get in front of the decision makers, you also need to respect their time. “If you open up the can of worms,” O’Malley advises, “be prepared to answer all of their questions at once instead of stringing it along.” Because payers are busy, you need to make sure they’re able to get all the information they want, when they want it.
Have Additional Questions About Payers And Their Relationship To The Healthcare Industry?
If so, Steve O’Malley is the expert to talk to. He’s been in the managed care space for over 30 years, and during that time he’s amassed a wealth of knowledge about what payers want.
If you’d like to learn more, he’s always happy to have a discussion. You can reach out to him via his LinkedIn page, or by sending him an email at steve.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.