Suzanne Greenwood, RN, BSN, Senior VP, Strategic Solutions, EVERSANA and Chien Sun, Ph.D., Senior Principal, EVERSANA MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
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In the expanding arena of high-science brands, or high-stake, complex therapies, time is not a luxury that patients, providers or pharma manufacturers have on their side. Patients with rare and complex diseases, cancer patients in particular, need access to life-saving therapies without delay. Providers with cancer patients must understand how to navigate the system and support their patients in navigating the complexity of access, reimbursement and affordability in order for them to have access to life-saving treatments in a timely manner.
The good news: While physicians, patients and caregivers fight complex and rare diseases, a growing number of drug manufacturers are fighting to get their high-science therapies to market at rapid rates. There are currently 550 active cell- and gene-therapy agents in the clinical development, with a great momentum building for immuno-oncology treatments. By 2024, EvaluatePharma predicts that oncology therapeutics sales will hit $250 billion worldwide; and by 2030, the National Cancer Institute forecasts that the world will have 22.2 million cancer survivors.
“There is no question about the incredible clinical impact cell therapies can have on patients. But to ensure timely patient access, pharma companies must first overcome commercialization hurdles that may equate in complexity to their treatments,” says Suzanne Greenwood, RN, BSN, Senior Vice President, EVERSANA.
As a result, it is exceedingly difficult and time-consuming, especially for first-time pharma companies, to launch high-science brands. Raising the capital to go at it alone, selling, or licensing their product with larger companies were the only options until now. While the market for complex therapies becomes more competitive, new commercialization models, like EVERSANA COMPLETE COMMERCIALIZATION, are needed to provide new, faster-to-market options that match manufacturer innovation.
For a high-science brand to succeed in today’s global market, it must overcome three critical challenges.
Maximizing Launch Speed and Agility
High-science pharma companies need to be experts on one topic — complex treatment science. Whether they’re producing cell therapy, cell-based immuno-oncology or gene therapy, sound science must be at the core of their focus. Expecting first-launch pharma companies to also be experts in commercialization may often be inefficient and counterproductive to an agile product launch, extending the amount of time it will take to push the treatment to patients and providers. Meanwhile, other commercialization options may limit manufacturer authority and opportunities for growth.
The end-to-end complete commercialization model provides emerging pharma companies options to simplify launches and reduce launch risks and ensures that high-science brands will maintain ownership of their product.
“All aspects of commercialization should be coordinated at some level to leverage connectivity and synergies and ensure speed to market,” says Chien Sun, Ph.D., Senior Principal, EVERSANA Management Consulting, who specializes in oncology therapeutics.
Pairing sound science with focused marketing is essential to establishing a well-coordinated commercialization strategy. With a synergistic commercialization model, manufacturers have increased flexibility to pivot with market demands and improve overall launch efficiency.
Ensuring Connectivity Between Commercial Services
To be successful in the market, complex medicine needs precision connectivity among commercial services.
“Even if you’re an established pharmaceutical company launching your product, the visibility you have into channel, patient services and your agency may be limited because you’re still outsourcing all of those services — and some may even be competitive to each other,” Ms. Greenwood says. “These components are all under the same EVERSANA umbrella, enabling greater visibility and coordination.”
New and unique challenges consistently arise from the time of clinical trial design and patient recruitment through commercialization. Meeting these challenges head-on requires interconnectivity between multiple service lines, such as patient services, distribution, medical information/medical affairs, stakeholder engagement and reimbursement. Technology solutions, such as ACTICS by EVERSANA and Seeker Health by EVERSANA, inform commercialization strategies from early launch development and improve access to difficult-to-reach patients. When a commercialization model is reinforced with the right advanced technology, launching a high-science, life-saving treatment is manageable and simplified.
Efficiently Leveraging Your Assets for Patients
One of the greatest hurdles for high-science brands beyond clinical development is achieving provider engagement and communicating complex treatment science to patients and caregivers. To successfully relay complex sciences information to providers and patients, pharma manufacturers need support from proven experts in commercialization as well as experts in their targeted therapeutic area.
“Companies must be able to parse out the complexity and explain the science based on what’s meaningful for the physicians and patients,” Dr. Sun says, who has a decade of experience advising leading biopharma companies in high-science oncology therapy launches. “Manufacturers need to provide consistent, absorbable messaging to communicate the value of high-science therapies and encourage patient/caregiver support.”
Launching with a commercialization partner, such as EVERSANA, allows high-science brands to leverage industry experts without the increased risk and the financial drain. Now manufacturers have options with high success rates that are less risky, preventing pharma companies from navigating the complexities of a high-science launch alone and providing enhanced provider and patient support.
“The patient should be at the heart of everything we do,” says Seth Gordon, General Manager, EVERSANA Engage. “The patient voice needs to be woven into the messages, which allows us to avoid being too complex and foreign. Rather, we need to craft bite-sized messages that are approachable and empathetic.”
Through new models and new thinking informed by integrated technologies, high-science brands have a new opportunity to reimagine market and patient access and improve overall launch success rates. In a world where almost 5,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer each day, seamless launch proficiency is crucial for putting cutting-edge therapies into the hands of physicians and patients — because every second counts. (PV)
EVERSANA is the leading provider of global commercial services to the life-sciences industry, with integrated solutions rooted in the patient experience that span all stages of the product life cycle to deliver long-term, sustainable value for patients, prescribers, channel partners, and payers.
For more information, visit eversana.com.