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Is this the toughest job in Pharma?

​It's high-pressure, demanding and more complex and crucial than ever raising the question: Has Market Access has become the toughest job in Pharma?

As new innovative therapies come to market the role has taken on more significance and more urgency but grappling with Australia’s out-of-step HTA system has also thrown up hurdles.

"More challenging, yes," HPG Director Adrian McConchie told Pharma in Focus. 

"But I find that has provided Market Access specialists with a more rewarding role. They are continuing to utilise their technical capabilities but also build on their strategic capabilities - and feel they are adding more value in bringing these ground breaking treatments to patients."

The difficulties emerge because pharmaceutical technology and innovation is progressing more quickly than regulation and new, complex therapies don’t always t into the existing HTA framework.


McConchie said the biggest challenge for those working in Market Access is "the pressure and demanding nature" of the role which requires a balance of technical, strategic and corporate capabilities.

"Essentially the viability of that product or therapy rests on the Market Access team’s shoulders - as it does with other functions to a degree," he said.

"The role has evolved from a siloed, highly technical function focused purely on reimbursement submissions to a much broader and collaborative function that is heavily involved in launch planning and life cycle management, real world evidence generation, stakeholder engagement and policy.

"Market Access professionals still need strong technical understanding and the ability to work hands-on where required, however increasingly organisations are outsourcing parts of submissions to consultants and external vendors."

The nature of reimbursement has become much more complex in Australia so senior Market Access professionals also need strong influencing and stakeholder engagement capabilities to manage key internal stakeholders at the regional and global level."

Market Access roles have been consistently in demand "for several years now" according to McConchie but with their expertise becoming increasingly sought after in the medical device sector, the shortage of candidates is even more acute.

"Market Access can be very challenging but equally highly rewarding." McConchie said. "The greatest job satisfaction - finding a solution that gets the treatments to patients as fast as possible."

Source: Christine Spiteri - Pharma in Focus