Value creation in the B2B pharma market

Published by  – 23 November 2023

Generating Value in the B2B Pharmaceutical Industry’s Market Access: A Multidisciplinary Approach

The B2B pharmaceutical industry is constantly evolving and undergoing significant changes at different levels, such as the economy, demographics, globalization, technology, healthcare reforms, and advances in research and development. The introduction of a new drug or medical device into the B2B pharmaceutical industry is a very complex process, ranging from the identification of a new active molecule to its prescription by doctors and its availability to patients. This market faces other challenges that are increasingly complex compared to other sectors.

For example: 

  • The person who prescribes the drug (doctor) is not the same as the one who finances it (government), nor the same person who consumes it (patient). 
  • There is an asymmetry of information and training, as doctors are usually very well informed about diseases, but not in the same way about treatments. 
  • The main objective of the health sector is not profitability, but to provide well-being and health to the population. 
  • Consumption of health services is generally a necessity, not a preference. 

In this highly dynamic environment, market access has become a fundamental pillar for the success of pharmaceutical companies.

This involves the identification and effective collaboration with multiple key stakeholders who influence the approval and financing of a medicine through a value-generating approach for the patient, the institution, and the interlocutor themselves. 

Market Access in the pharmaceutical industry is defined as the set of strategies and actions aimed at ensuring patient access to pharmaceutical products. This involves negotiating price and reimbursement agreements with payers and health systems, as well as demonstrating the therapeutic value of the products. Market Access strategies are complex and change depending on the therapeutic area. For example, treatments for metabolic diseases and cancer treatments require very different access approaches due to differences in cost and effectiveness. 

Traditionally, this area focused on bureaucratic aspects and price negotiation, but now the need to focus on generating value for the interlocutor, patient and institution is recognized.

To meet this premise, Market Access needs to focus on three crucial functions: 

1. Acts as a mediator between the company and the institutions, understanding the structure of the Health System and addressing the relevant parties in a timely manner. 

2. It highlights product innovation based on scientific and pharmacoeconomic evidence and the benefits it brings to patients and society. 

3. He is the orchestra conductor who coordinates different areas of the company to create an effective and cohesive communication strategy. 

Awareness from these three functions is essential to success in Market Access today. This implies not only having highly trained professionals, but also a flexible organizational structure that allows quick and effective decisions to be made that ensure success for Market Access. 

This is where the implementation of KPIs and OKRs becomes essential to measure and direct efforts in Market Access. While KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are common in many organizations, including their Market Access, their focus on past performance is not enough to drive success in an ever-changing market. OKRs differ in that they are geared towards future goals and specific outcomes. In addition, they encourage collaboration and transparency among team members, creating a culture that improves effectiveness and the ability to achieve ambitious goals. As a result, they have become a valuable tool for teams to set clear, measurable, and predictive goals. 

Some examples of how OKRs can drive success in this area are: 

  • Improve Obtaining Price and Redemption Agreements: Market Access teams can set specific Key Outcomes, such as increasing the number of deals signed in a given period, ensuring a rebate approval rate in major markets, or conducting a specific number of meetings with each active market. These OKRs focus the team’s efforts and ensure success in securing deals. 
  • Geographic Expansion: OKRs can also help in this aspect, setting goals to enter new markets. For example, a Key Result could be the realization of business agreements with strategic partners in new regions or countries. 
  • Expansion into new specialties: In the same way as geographic expansion, penetration into other specialties allows establishing a Key Result that could be the inclusion of the same molecule in other clinical specialties. 
  • Measuring Value and Outcomes: OKRs can measure the therapeutic value that products bring to patients. This includes goals such as completing a specific number of cost-effectiveness studies in a given period or reaching a specific percentage of patients who achieve their therapeutic goals with a product. 

Ultimately, market access in the B2B pharmaceutical industry is an intricate and ever-evolving process that demands multidisciplinary strategies to seize opportunities and generate value for patients. The effective implementation of KPIs and OKRs becomes a fundamental pillar to measure and guide Market Access efforts; By combining metrics that evaluate past performance with well-defined future goals, a balanced and effective approach to navigating this highly competitive and regulated market is achieved, allowing companies to adapt to an ever-changing environment and maintain their competitiveness over time. 

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