An Entry Level Guide to Market Access

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By Jon Morris, specialist Market Access consultant

What is Market Access?

Market Access is essentially the way pharmaceutical companies allow their products to enter the market, across various countries and regions, in order to reach and benefit patients. Market Access is focused around demonstrating the value of these products in order to gain access to and supply of the National Health Service of a country, after which pharmaceutical companies are then reimbursed as the product is used by patients. 

Market Access is a niche, yet ever expanding market within pharmaceuticals. There is a growing need for strong talent within the sector. I believe the only way to continue this growth will be to invest in graduate and entry-level Market Access roles. There are a couple of reasons for this, most prominent being that Market Access is such a niche area of pharma that it can be quite difficult to transfer into the sector from a different pharma-based role, meaning the best way in is to start in an entry level position and work your way up.

So how do I go about a career within Market Access?

I come across many candidates who are interested in working within Market Access but who don’t know exactly what the sector consists of or what degree / skill-set they need in order to get their foot in the door. One element the majority of pharmaceutical companies or pharmaceutical consultancies look for is a strong academic background and an interest in life sciences. Usually a MSc, PharmD or PhD in a life science related degree is required for an application, but not always.

Market Access, particularly when working on behalf of a consultancy, will usually involve working on projects from around the world. As a result of this, languages are always an advantage for a consultancy to have in-house, so if you can speak a different language or two this will stand you in good stead.

Relevant experience is always a plus when employers are looking for graduate or entry-level candidates. For example, if you have worked in a pharmacy, pharmaceutical company, pharmaceutical consultancy or in medicine previously this would be advantageous, but again this is not always essential.

Some of the main components of experience that will be beneficial are strong analytical skills, excellent communication skills, research experience, ability to work with complex data and being able to deliver an excellent service to clients.

There are a variety of doors that will open once you begin your career in pharmaceuticals. The usual career ladder for Market Access is as follows:

  • Junior Market Access Analyst
  • Market Access Analyst
  • Senior Market Access Analyst
  • Associate Market Access Consultant
  • Market Access Consultant / Market Access Project Manager
  • Senior Market Access Consultant
  • Associate Director of Market Access
  • Market Access Director
  • Market Access Senior Director

There is no definitive tick list of experience or credentials that are required to get yourself into the Market Access space, but I hope my guide above will give some help to people interested in a career within this exciting sector.

I wish you the best of luck in your search and if you would like a conversation regarding positions available – please feel free to get in touch!

+44 (0)1625 541 047 / [email protected]

Market Access jobs page