Historically, launching a healthcare brand has been a well-orchestrated affair. Every team prepared its piece of the puzzle, and as launch approached, would come together to create a comprehensive picture for decision makers: Medical handling clinical science; Market Access developing a value dossier; Advocacy liaisig with allies in the space; and Marketing preparing to amplify messages of brand value. Ultimately, the franchise leader would become the conductor of a well-rehearsed brand-building orchestra.
But what happens when the decision makers are siloed? When the health ecosystem has varied—sometimes conflicting—economic models? Today, brand success depends on a myriad of fragmented players, and their access-to-care priorities are converging and almost always go through the filter of cost. That means the comprehensive picture brand teams have focused on creating can no longer be approached piece by piece.
Set the Tone
Savvy professionals now specialize in setting the tone for a successful product introduction. These are people who have seen the big picture in what needs to be accomplished—two to three years prior to launch—and can orchestrate public relations, thought leadership, and clinical communications to establish the value of brands.
Biopharmaceutical innovation needs its value communicated effectively, comprehensively, and always with the patient impact at the center. New molecules—first-in-category products—sometimes never gain market traction, not because they aren’t breakthrough products, but because the brand champions who brought them from discovery to market didn’t see the full picture in how the market would assess their value through the cost of the therapy. In today’s environment, brand launch success is no longer gauged by volumes of stories in top-tier publications. Successful brand champions are thinking about what impression, idea, or desire motivates the decision maker, and what role each group can play—PR, thought leadership, clinical communications—in getting decision makers to recognize their product is beneficial and invaluable and that the cost of care is secondary to the cost of not using the therapy.
Biomedical innovation does bring new hope to life for patients and families. The reality is, unless biopharma companies and their agencies realign around the reality of cost to the patient, payer, and policy bodies, we will see more and more molecules approved by the FDA that never gain the full life-enhancing potential their inventors imagined during their arduous discovery.