After years of research, development, head-scratching, advocating, analyzing, innovating, re-configuring, collaborating, your new product will soon be ready for the pivotal trial phase. Everyone on the product launch team is excited but how will you create a consistent message that can be communicated to everyone from scientists all the way to marketing teams, medical affairs, KOLs, community physicians, and ultimately patients?
You create a cross-functional team to gain alignment early on in this process. R&D, Finance, Operations, Regulatory, Legal, Marketing, Compliance, Market Access, Government Affairs, Senior Leadership, and many more are in the room. Clinical is excited about the product’s overall efficacy. Marketing wants to bring patients to the forefront by highlighting their better quality of life due to fewer side effects. Every function is passionate about its view.
It would be easy if nothing was ever mentioned about a product until it was approved and ready to go to market. You would have every piece of data needed to tell the full story. But we all know that is not how this story goes.
If you choose too many areas, you risk your doctors not knowing which patients will truly benefit. If you choose too few, you could limit your product to an extremely niche patient segment. In that case, will you be able to recoup 10+ years of R&D or acquisition costs that led to this launch?
Streamlining messaging also has the benefit of building internal credibility during the annual budgeting process; teams are more likely to get funding when they have a compelling rationale.
This is why we want to introduce you to Artisan Healthcare Consulting, an elite management consulting firm and strategic partner of choice to top biopharma companies. They have a unique approach to uniting your product launch team around a clear, concise message of differentiation. They make sure all of the right people are in the room. They research the vast competitive landscape and understand the key market dynamics in play. And, they understand what it means to have engaged leadership – a Partner facilitates every workshop to build consensus.
One of Artisan’s methods for helping your team identify biases or evaluate perspectives is by partnering ahead of time to generate evidence. Artisan consultants are truly engaged in clarifying and bringing the best ideas to the table so that an educated decision can be made with all parameters considered. This early partnering fosters trust, ensures that workshop conversations are productive, and creates a much better consensus on the product’s strategic direction.
Artisan provides an outside perspective grounded in data. As they partner with your team, they help you find and understand case studies. Their objectivity has two benefits: informed decision-making and team-building. This creates a neutral space for discussion and serves as a constant reminder that you are all on the same team, working towards improving the lives of patients around the globe.
Artisan’s leadership also brings a deep history of creative thinking to attack key questions from new angles. For example, one client was working on a product launch for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and was rapidly approaching the pivotal trial stage. The launch team had two initial perspectives on product differentiation:
- Efficacy- one version of the therapy could provide a permanent cure, although it would require months of difficult recovery in the hospital for patients.
- Quality of life- another version would be effective but not curative, require ongoing patient monitoring, but would limit hospital stays and return patients to full activity much more quickly
Artisan’s consultants helped the launch team consider a two-arm trial approach so that physicians could compare ideal patient profiles and eventual outcomes.
Their onsite process consists of two 1-day workshops following significant pre-work; their preparation is customized based on Artisan’s deep expertise across a variety of therapeutic areas in the market. They filter out the noise and focus on strategic positioning, including these two key considerations:
- What can we differentiate on?
By the workshops’ conclusions, you will achieve unified clarity on communicating differentiation through indication prioritization.
- What are key actions to take, and how do we build the right value proposition?
With Artisan’s team, you will forecast the success of any activities you’re considering, and ensure broad organizational alignment.
They take at least a week in between these sessions. This gives the launch team time to process what was said, improve on their original ideas, and come into the next workshop with a fresh perspective. In the end, the story is built. Your message is clear. You can move forward in functional strategy/planning, building a publication strategy, KOL initiatives, as well as a market access plan.
When I was a sales manager many years ago, I experienced firsthand the impact a confusing message can have on a product launch. The marketing team kept highlighting too many product attributes and was not clear on the key takeaways. Every sales rep told their own story. Reps were confused. Doctors were confused. Patients and advocates were confused. And ultimately, the treatment wasn’t commercially successful despite its superior clinical benefits.
It should not take an unsuccessful launch to incentivize you to engage a company like Artisan Healthcare Consulting. It eliminates confusion, drives consensus, and gets your new product into the hands of the patients who can benefit most.