What New Cancer Pathway Programs Mean For The Drug Industry
New efforts by US payors suggest oncologics no longer enjoy the same protected reimbursement status they once did, potentially pulling the rug from under biopharma's hottest development, dealmaking, and revenue generating activities. To succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace, biopharmas must adapt their strategies with an eye to reducing payors' overall costs.
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As pharmaceutical companies enjoy a growing and shared base of biological understanding, savvy development decision making and effective commercial positioning have become prerequisites for commercial success. Recurring patterns exist across markets where competition is dominated by products that hit a single or related set of molecular targets; smart developers can recognize these patterns to developed better clinical strategies and improve targeting of increasingly precious R&D and business development resources.
Oncologists are the most restrictive physicians to pharma sales reps, according to a report by ZS Associates. Oncologists permit reps less than one visit a month to educate them about new drugs, but pharma continues to waste between $1 billion and $1.5 billion on infeasible sales calls.
Over the last two years, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna have launched cancer pathway programs with the overall goals of standardizing and improving care and lowering cost. Drug therapy is a key focus.