Icon will teach Cambridge students how to market drugs

Global CRO Icon ($ICLR) has deepened its longstanding relationship with Cambridge University by agreeing to lead a class on pricing and market access for new drugs.

Hosted by the school's Institute of Biotechnology, the course will focus on the fundamentals of value-based pricing, involving Icon experts and employing industry case studies, the company said. Taking center stage is the role outcomes research plays in pricing strategy. Making a convincing case to payers is vitally important to companies seeking both a return on investment and wide patient access to new therapies, Icon said.

Icon's earlier dealings with Cambridge have centered largely on drug development, but, thanks to global healthcare reform and mounting scrutiny from payers and providers, valuation has become an integral part of the R&D process, the company said.

"Pricing and market access strategies that protect the long term value of a product are becoming increasingly important in an environment where payers are targeting pharmaceuticals to bring healthcare budgets under control," Icon Commercialization and Outcomes Vice President Ted Sweeney said in a statement. "We are proud of our long association with the University of Cambridge and look forward to working together to share our extensive experience to help biopharmaceutical professionals define a clear, quantified product value proposition."

Icon's expertise in pricing and market access strategies is in part an outgrowth of its 2012 deal to acquire the consulting outfit PriceSpective, a $50 million agreement that expanded its footprint in post-market services.

A long-running year for M&A has helped Icon flesh out its offerings in each phase of the development process, and the Dublin-headquartered CRO has grown to employ more than 11,000 people across 39 countries.

- read the release

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