What is Market Access?
Within the healthcare sector, Market Access is the complex and protracted process that pharma and biotech companies have to go through in order to ensure that their medicines are made available in as many countries as possible, while ensuring these medicines are reimbursed and made available to the patients who need them.
You’ll also hear phrases such as ‘Pricing and Reimbursement’ (P&R), ‘Health Economics and Outcomes Research’ (HEOR) and ‘Payer (or Payor) Research’ and ‘Cost Effectiveness’. Market Access is the broad term which encompasses all of these things.
Market Access has become increasingly important over the last 5 to 10 years as more hi-tech and expensive drugs have come to market, while at the same time there have been enormous pressures on governments and/or healthcare systems to but the costs of their drugs bills. A good example is the UK market, where the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) plays such a pivotal role in deciding whether or not new treatments are cost effective.
In order to have their products reimbursed by the NHS at the best price possible, Pharma and Biotech companies now have to work very hard, gathering lots of data around the health economic impact and cost effectiveness of their products, while presenting these reams of data to NICE in as convincing a form as possible. In order to help them do this they will commission a specialist Market Access consultancy to walk them through the process and to achieve the best results possible.
What does a career within Market Access and Health Economics look like?
Starting out your career within Market Access, an entry level role will most often be with one of the specialist Market Access consultancies as a Research or Business Analyst, moving up to a Senior Analyst and then onto Consultant level. In the more junior roles your time will be split between the following – about a third of your time will be spent arranging interviews with key opinion leaders (KOLs) Payers (the guys that hold the purse strings and ultimately decide whether or not to reimburse products and at what level). Almost half of your time will be spent on desk research, conducting interviews, helping with analysis and developing presentations. The rest of your time will be spent on client liaison and project management.
As you climb the career ladder you’ll become less involved in the nitty gritty day-to-day aspects of managing the projects and more involved in client liaison, business development, proposal writing, pitching for new business and advising on Market Access strategy. Client side or industry roles also exist within Market Access, but these tend to be reserved for people with a good number of years’ experience under their belt, which will most likely be gained on the agency side.
As well as the Project Managers there are also opportunities for writers who would be responsible for developing value dossiers and compiling other forms of report and documentation which essentially will be used to support submissions to bodies like NICE. For this you would need a strong science based degree, preferably a PhD and you’ll need to provide evidence of strong writing skills ideally with some previous experience either within Market Access or from within the Medical Communications sector.
Like all sectors within Pharma, Market Access can offer a lucrative career with companies paying good basis salaries and offering attractive benefit packages with genuine opportunities to learn and climb the career ladder. The work is fast-paced and at times demanding but can also be highly rewarding, Our clients within Market Access look for people with a strong academic background who have a passion for working in this sector. They’re looking for good communicators, strong project managers and people who can work effectively under pressure, juggling several projects at any one time and working with pace and urgency.
What are the typical roles within the Market Access sector?
Director of Value Communications
Health Economist/Junior Health Economist
Market Access Medical Writer
Market Access and HEOR Manager
Senior Value Communications Consultant
Market Access Engagement Manager
How Carrot Recruitment can help you find your next job within Market Access:
Our specialist recruitment consultant, Chris Costello, will be happy to help with all your Market Access and Health Economics needs. He can be contacted on:
+44 (0)1625 541 035 / [email protected]
You can also view all our live Market Access jobs here or take a look below.
Looking to progress your career within Market Access but unsure what your next steps may look like? Check out our useful article on how to progress your career in Market Access here.
We’ve also put together an entry level guide to Market Access, which you may find useful.