Greater Communication between Drug Companies and Payers Early in Drug Development Streamlines the Final Submission Process, Says

Greater Communication between Drug Companies and Payers Early in Drug Development Streamlines the Final Submission Process, Says Cutting Edge Information

Research Triangle Park, NC, 10/27/09 - Not enough communication takes place between drug companies and payers before Phase 3, according to a new study from Cutting Edge Information ( The study finds that drug companies contact payers an average 2.4 times in all of Phase 2.

The report, "Securing Market Access: Reimbursement, Payer Relationships and Healthcare Reform," argues that to gain a better understanding of payers' needs, drug companies must increase their level of contact with payers early in drug development. Strengthening communication at that point will ensure that companies' clinical processes develop viable products that managed care organizations and healthcare insurers will cover.

"Improving how drug makers communicate early in the development process produces stronger, more competitive products by increasing cooperation with payers during registration and launch," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. "Providing more valuable information to payers during early-stage drug development and reducing later 'firefighting' is critical for market access teams."

The study finds that the number of conversations between account managers and payers increases throughout a drug's development cycle and peaks during the regulatory approval and launch stage. The average 15.1 contacts made during regulatory approval and launch are more than all other phases of development combined.

The number of contacts with payers in the final stages before launch often results from mistakes made on the formulary submission documents. Payers ask that corrections be made and request additional information that was not submitted with the original drug dossier. These requests add days - and even weeks - to the submission process, potentially delaying a drug's launch. Common errors can multiply, overwhelming even the most experienced account manager.

Companies can avoid most mistakes by communicating clearly and regularly with payers throughout the early stages of drug development. Extra phone calls, emails, or face-to-face visits with the payer help account managers better understand payer requirements and preferences. The account manager communicates the information along to the market access department well before preparing the final submission. Streamlining the process also reduces the time that account managers spend putting out fires.

"Securing Market Access" contains strategies and best practices for achieving the best reimbursement status. Metrics include companies' payer targets, communication methods and timing.