3 Top Payer Strategies for a Successful Pharmaceutical Launch

ARTICLE | July 11, 2022

3 Top Payer Strategies for a Successful Pharmaceutical Launch

Much of the success or failure of a product launch depends heavily on gaining favorable payer access since it affects patient out-of-pocket costs, physician prescriptions and product distribution. Since commercial or government payers account for 82% of retail prescription drug purchases, pharmaceutical companies cannot afford to ignore their payer strategies for an effective launch.

Effective payer marketing strategies enable you to communicate your product value to help you secure the desired access level. Read on to learn three of the top tips you need to know for a successful pharma launch.


1. Start Early

Marketing to payers is a complex process. It requires pharma marketers to make critical decisions early, communicate with stakeholders and external vendors and provide account management teams with the information that they need right away. This means it will be increasingly difficult if teams do not create a payer strategy early in the launch process.

Some brands struggle to plan their payer strategy well enough in advance to make it effective following the launch. Ideally, a payer strategy requires anywhere from 18 to 24 months to put in place. It takes this long to gather all the needed data, analyze it, develop the general strategy, and create a plan that optimizes the formulary coverage for the product.


2. Know Your Payers

It takes time to accumulate all the needed information about each payer influencing your product uptake, but knowing your payer requirements is crucial to the success of your launch. Payers may need to know different aspects about your product, and what they are looking for continues to evolve.

The three biggest payers on the market (who accounted for 79% of all prescription claims as of 2020) are increasingly incorporating multiple business lines, including payer trade, data and pharmacy benefits managers. This gives them more leverage than ever. In addition, the rise of providers who also work as payers requires a comprehensive market access strategy in certain demographics and therapeutic classes.

Just as marketing to patients requires customer-specific content with targeted messages, marketing to payers also demands unique messaging so that each payer best understands your value proposition to them. While core features and benefits of your product do not change, understanding each payer enables you to focus the information in a way that is valued by each organization.


3. Stay Flexible

When it comes to market access strategy, one plan doesn’t fit every payer. Have the flexibility to adjust and create the correct fit.

While planning your payer rollout, focus on multiple strategies. Targeted payer research will enable your team to see potential possibilities and develop some general guidelines. Likely, you will need multiple strategies to market to different payers.

While you should have a broad vision for your payer access strategy, changes will inevitably be needed over time. So flexibility is one of the essential underlying elements in a good market access strategy, including for medical payers.


Create Your Payer Strategy for a Successful Launch

When bringing your product to market, your payer strategy will be a critical part of the process. By doing the necessary research to create unique value messaging and laser-focusing your value proposition to each payer, you can develop the foundation for a relationship with payers that provides more mutual value.

Need some help on your drug launch? Leverage Elsevier's credible content and marketing solutions that HCPs trust. Partner with us for a successful launch. 




Article Written by: Alex Brown