Director, Access Strategy and Marketing
A Patient-Focused Value Proposition for Payers
As the lead of the market access launch for RUKOBIA (fostemsavir) in 2020, AJ Ahuja sparked a powerful chain reaction of creativity that explored every unexplored avenue of communication, paved new ways of working, and boldly interrupted the norm to bring focus where there was none.
RUKOBIA is a first-in-class treatment that is approved to be used in combination with other antiretroviral (ARV) medicines to treat HIV-1 in adults who have received several anti-HIV-1 regimens in the past, but have HIV-1 virus that is resistant to many ARV medicines and whose current ARV regimen is failing. AJ knew that this type of treatment regimen is often missed or just misunderstood by market access decision makers in a market dominated by Single Tablet Regimens to treat HIV. So, a unique value story was needed.
The strategy was different than anything ViiV Healthcare had deployed before with payer customers—a value proposition and messaging that emphasized the patient story as much as efficacy data, a dynamic tool to quantify the population within health plans, and resources that shared the perspectives of HCPs and patients who were not afraid to voice the urgent need for a new treatment for heavily treatment-experienced (HTE) patients. This strategy with a laser focus on the unmet need—one that shifted the discussion away from cost and towards the patient—was a clear success. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, engagement with customers was at an all-time high and both the speed and quality of coverage post-launch exceeded expectations week over week.
Now, AJ is working on the access strategy for ViiV’s injectable therapies, which is itself a history-making move for the therapeutic category and the perfect opportunity for him to once again apply his unique style of disruption.