Boston Healthcare has worked with established and emerging pharmaceutical companies in a variety of capacities, ranging from formulating full marketing plans to developing components of a launch plan, such as positioning and pricing assessments. Boston Healthcare sets high standards for its market research capability and prides itself in the ability to conduct quality research and offer actionable recommendations to its clients. Below are summaries of typical project case studies:
Pre-Launch Market Analytics for a Specialty Pharmaceutical
A specialty pharmaceutical in the gastroenterology market space engaged with Boston Healthcare over a period of three years to act as the company’s market analytics arm and to generate and assimilate the market data needed for a targeted market launch. Over the course of the engagement, Boston Healthcare conducted a product/market opportunity assessment, a reimbursement assessment and strategy, a KOL evaluation of the product, qualitative and quantitative positioning and messaging research, market sizing, including the creation of a forecast model, and evaluation of sales material and collateral. Boston Healthcare worked with the company to test and obtain market input on several iterations of a risk management program. The research methodologies used ranged from telephone interview to in-person research at facility and web-based designs (including internet surveys and tools such as Webex in combination with a telephone discussion). A range of stakeholders were included in the numerous research projects, including physicians, patients, payers, infusion nurses, and hospital pharmacists.
Strategic Mapping (Positioning) Research
A biopharmaceutical company preparing for the launch of a pain management therapeutic needed market research on potential prescribers. Boston Healthcare conducted qualitative research with potential prescribers to assess the impact of two potential strategic directions and to understand the opportunities and barriers associated with each potential scenario. Recommendations from this research led to in-depth, in-person research to test positioning “stories” and determine the key elements to be incorporated into the initial launch message.
A pharmaceutical company needed to examine the impact of several pricing scenarios on the adoption and utilization of their new therapeutic for an autoimmune condition. Boston Healthcare assessed the likelihood to prescribe the drug relative to potential treatment outcomes (clinical and economic), coverage scenarios (insurance status and co-pay structure), and price. Combinations of these attributes were tested qualitatively and quantitatively with physicians, payers, and patients. The recommendations from the research allowed the company to develop targeted strategies for each stakeholder group in order to maximize its price opportunity.
Concept and Promotional Material Testing
A consumer healthcare company needed help testing the promotional messaging and several visual concepts for a new sales aid for a hospital-based anti-infective. Boston Healthcare conducted market research involving in-depth, in-person interviews at a focus group facility with several physician specialists who were making treatment choices and were actively involved in the care of patients. The research was completed within a very short time period thus allowing the company to work with its advertising agency to finalize the sales aid and launch it with the sales force, coupled with recommendations on the key elements to include in the sales message.
Developing a Market Strategy for a Drug Discovery and Clinical Diagnostics Platform
An emerging analytical platform company needed an assessment of the market opportunity in the US in the preclinical and clinical diagnostics markets. Boston Healthcare examined market segment trends, market potential by segment, service/business models, competitor profiles, pricing, and the complex and changing environment for reimbursement and coding for genetic testing.
Reimbursement Assessment and Managed Markets Strategy for Specialty Drug
Boston Healthcare assisted a client that was preparing to launch a new physician administered drug for chronic pain patients. As part of the assignment, Boston Healthcare conducted a situation analysis of the coding, coverage and payment environment for the drug within the physician office, inpatient, ambulatory surgical setting, and hospital outpatient department. The payer mix for the drug was also validated. Using primary market research with payers from public and private commercial plans, Boston Healthcare identified the key strategic issues that would accelerate routine reimbursement of the drug. Boston Healthcare worked with the client to develop a reimbursement strategic plan for the launch. Using this plan, the client and Boston Healthcare worked to develop tactical support materials to be used with the payer decision makers and decision making bodies such as technology assessment committees and pharmacy and therapeutics committees.
Several quarters before the launch of the drug, Boston Healthcare began a strategic profiling of the key payer organizations within all payer segments. The goal of this work was to examine any existing coverage policies for the drug, the expected decision making process for the technology, the expected time line for review and the decision makers to be involved. During the profiling, the top 40 commercial managed care plans were identified and profiled, all Medicaid states were contacted and profiled and the Medicare contracting carriers were also profiled. In addition, the team identified the Carrier Medical Committee members who work with the Medicare Contracting Carriers since it is important that these physicians are familiar with and support the technology in order to drive positive explicit Medicare policies.
Upon launch, Boston Healthcare conducted training on the reimbursement environment for the sales representatives as well as an advanced training program for the National Account Managers who call on the payers. Boston Healthcare also prepared and submitted two coding applications to CMS which subsequently have been successfully granted. The client’s team has been driving positive coverage policies from managed care and Medicare contracting carriers at an above industry standard rate.