Cello Health | Article
Healthcare consultancies in the modern medical environment
In today’s challenging and highly competitive landscape of medical asset development, customers like pharmaceutical groups are discovering the value of leveraging healthcare consultancies. These relationships provide much-needed insights to remain competitive in the constantly-evolving market, provide compliance guidance, position assets for success, assist in successful launches, and more.
Healthcare consultancy is about strategy
Organizations in R&D and the pharmaceutical industries know the modern challenges of asset development well. There is some irony in the reality that as our medical and scientific capabilities continue to expand, strategic asset development and market positioning become increasingly challenging. Fortunately, healthcare consultancies serve to offer solutions by working with customer’s branding and marketing departments to develop end-to-end strategies from early development to post-launch.
It is important to remember that of the strategies healthcare consultancies employ, most are centered upon establishing and maintaining asset value. Generating this value is critical for every single stage of development to secure investments, to engage all stakeholders, and of course, to ultimately provide value to patients.
One method that healthcare consultancies can offer customers is called scenario planning. In this method, potential future scenarios are developed to simulate a variety of possibilities, and appropriate responses to each scenario are generated. This method prepares a customer for a wide variety of outcomes and builds contingency plans. The benefits of this type of strategy stem not from an accurate prediction of the future, but rather from the strength that many effective response plans can offer in a variety of circumstances. Healthcare consultancies perform scenario planning first through targeted market research and insight development. This kind of research helps the customer see what potential scenarios are likely and unlikely, and effective strategies for mitigating risk in each.
Another planning method healthcare consultancies can offer is called the competitor strategy. This method also relies on thorough research, but rather than probability and potential scenarios, target insights include the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. This strategy highlights the extremely competitive nature of today’s early asset development landscape, and emphasizes the vast numbers of assets that never make it to launch secondary to competition. Because of this environment, it’s critical to keep an eye on competitors ideally even before Phase II. Even an asset with incredible clinical value can become commercially irrelevant if a competitor launches first. A healthcare consultancy can help to monitor this playing field throughout development, and adjust strategies and launch plans accordingly.
Segmentation and positioning in healthcare
Perhaps one of the most often overlooked – but extraordinarily valuable – offerings of healthcare consultancies is segmentation and positioning. This critical market analysis is built upon the philosophy that “all customers are different and will engage with our brand differently.” This is a powerful statement that emphasizes the customer’s perspective, which is frequently minimized in an environment of highly critical scientific asset development. Immersed in the environment of R&D and pharmaceutical technicalities, it can be easy to become myopic and overlook stakeholder perspectives.
Much of segmentation and positioning relies on behavioral research, which can help an organization predict how providers, payers, and patients will receive a drug or asset, what influences prescribing patterns and behaviors, and what the best market position for the asset or drug will be. Behavioral research also provides some foundation for altering the behaviors of target audiences, which is arguably one of the most valuable actionable insights from this particular method of research, along with other concrete action such as medical communications, tactical client investments, marketing and promotion, and more.
The art of executing a successful launch
As stated above, one of the most significant benefits of working with a healthcare consultancy is strategic guidance. A successful launch depends on both the development and execution of an exceptional launch plan, which is where so many healthcare groups fall short. In fact, over half of new brands never achieve peak sales from early projections, and less than two percent will outperform in terms of their ROI. The value of a thoughtful launch plan should no longer be a mystery; healthcare consultancies are well-positioned to assist in the development of a tailored launch plan to provide an asset with its best chance at performing post-launch. A great launch plan requires harmonized alignment at all organizational levels, and like all early asset development projections and forecasts, must be based on solid scientific evidence.
Healthcare consultancies provide a competitive edge in today’s challenging medical landscape. With expertise in research and actionable insight, these valuable groups can help organizations establish strategies based in concrete fact and accurate research, support R&D and pharmaceutical companies with outside expertise in market analysis and positioning, and develop strategies to align entire organizations in preparation for an asset launch. Tailored strategies are built around and in support of established business models to ensure that asset development harmonizes with organizational processes.