Integrating Expertise for Product Success

July 18, 2018 Danielle Twigg

Creating aligned and integrated physician- and payer-focussed value propositions

By Chris Langford,1 Nichola Gokool,1 Louise Norbury,1 Richard Macaulay,2 Ebony Samuels2

1Medical Communications, PAREXEL International; 2PAREXEL Access Consulting


It is a given that a strong value proposition at product launch is essential. PAREXEL’s deep-seated belief is that a single value proposition that maps across all internal pharma teams, key markets, and major stakeholders is critical for commercial success.

The problem of misalignment

Trust and credibility are vitally important at launch and beyond, and require a cohesive story on product value supported by contradiction-free communication of the associated evidence. Because physicians often take on the roles of payers – and payers frequently liaise with medical professionals to help guide their decision-making – the importance of alignment is amplified.

Nevertheless, the translation of a product’s value proposition for medical and payer audiences is often captured in separate vehicles - Scientific Platforms and Payer Value Messaging. Although each has the same objective – contextualizing the evidence to support product value – there is the potential for misalignment when these outputs are not developed collaboratively.

PAREXEL has worked with clients who have devolved responsibility for development of the Scientific Platform and the Payer Value Messaging for a product to separate teams, each of which is supported by different external consultancies. While this in itself does not have to be an issue, a lack of communication between the two teams can lead to differences in outlining what drives value, in the statements about value and in the supporting evidence cited. And the duplication of effort involved should not be overlooked.  

Who is it for?

Case study one:  There were differences in how the patient population for an oncology therapy was described (“post-platinum therapy” versus “second-line metastatic disease”). This could have created confusion for payers and the medical community, as in this disease, significant numbers of patients were treated with platinum–based chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting.

A real difference?

Case study two:  The medical team was keen to say to a physician audience that there was a significant benefit over a competitor based on an indirect comparison as this corresponded with feedback on physician perceptions. However, the payer access team felt that this claim would be rejected by payers who have a strong preference for evidence from direct comparative studies and because of the lack of a perceived clinically-meaningful difference in the magnitude of effect. Putting aside which audience prefers which type of evidence, this mismatch between what would have been said to each audience had the potential to sow seeds of mistrust

We have frequently seen that separate and unconnected development of Scientific Platforms and Payer Value Messaging has given rise to mismatched content in the two vehicles. In the two case studies below, the differences could have had significant consequences. In both instances, we identified the disparities and helped resolve them before there they could be communicated externally.

Even if the resulting messages look similar, any discrepancies in the data cited introduce confusion and can weaken the overall value proposition. We have seen that the Scientific Platforms and Payer Value Messaging often use different data and data sources to support a common point (e.g., disease burden) resulting in inconsistencies that can undermine credibility.

A Core Value Proposition Resource for consistency

PAREXEL can help deliver consistency with our Core Value Proposition Resource that drives integrated value definition for both payer and medical audiences.

The Core Value Proposition Resource uses a product’s central value proposition as the basis for Key Value Drivers that convey the value of the product to both payer and medical audiences. Each Key Value Driver is supported by fully referenced supporting evidence – the best identified information – that becomes the foundation for communications to both groups. The resource shows which statements can be supported now but also illustrates the vision for the product by including aspirational statements and the plans to generate evidence to support them.

While the Core Value Proposition Resource ensures alignment across stakeholder communication channels, it also provides an opportunity to break out audience-specific Value Stories and relevant statements for specific stakeholder/market needs, while maintaining the integrity of the over-arching value proposition. The Core Value Proposition Resource is designed so that any differences in emphasis among payers and medical stakeholders are clear. Teams communicating with specific external stakeholders can see what is being said to other audiences – minimizing the risk of inconsistent outreach.

An inclusive process to focus on value

A Core Value Proposition Resource is most successful when it is foundational and consolidates the needs of major stakeholders. Our development process builds in early agreement and broad applicability of the final Core Value Proposition Resource so that it is relevant across internal Pharma teams, key markets, and relevant stakeholders for commercial success.

Working cross functionally, PAREXEL identifies the best evidence that supports the product’s value and serves as the bedrock for consistent and credible outreach to all audiences. We recommend involving the full range of functional teams in the development of the resource and formally taking account of the perspectives of representatives from different key markets. The result is a resource that accommodates the varying perspectives of healthcare professionals, recognizes differences among healthcare systems, and can help inform discussions across payer archetypes.

Building in efficiency as we support consistency

An integral benefit of a Core Value Proposition Resource is efficiency - the duplication of effort involved in creating separate Scientific Platforms and Payer Value Messaging is avoided. Performing one literature search to identify the best evidence to support payer and medical value drivers yields benefits in terms of cost and time. One document is reviewed and revised, and one final resource is created. When it comes to validation, most often, separate payer and clinician interviews are conducted - an integrated approach that gathers insights from the two audiences together can drive cost savings.

Delivering consistency and credibility with a Core Value Proposition Resource

PAREXEL’s Core Value Proposition Resource efficiently delivers a cohesive story on value and contradiction-free communication of the supporting evidence. It avoids the weakening of product value that might otherwise be caused by different internal teams saying different things about the product to connected audiences.

The Core Value Proposition Resource means you can align the communication of your product’s needs across clinicians and payers to enhance success. For more information, please contact Nichola Gokool (Customer Strategy Director) or Ebony Samuels (Vice President, PAREXEL Access Consulting) at PAREXEL.

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