E-prescribing – Insights into Adoption and Opportunties and Challenges for Pharma Marketers

Alliance recently completed a study on e-prescribing, and has gathered some interesting insights on adoption by physicians and the opportunities and challenges that exist for pharma marketers.

E-prescribing has grown exponentially over the past several years and has now achieved main stream status in the industry. Pharma companies are able to draw due attention to their brands at the point of prescription by communicating relevant messages about the brand, copay cards associated with it, patient education materials and other such information. While on the other side, PBMs are sending messages regarding cost of the brand, formulary status, availability of cheaper alternatives and other such information.

E-prescribing adoption among doctors has grown year-over-year for the past 5 years, with a 25% increase from 2011 to 2012. With this consistent uptake by doctors, pharmaceutical companies need to understand all the influences surrounding e-prescribing in detail so that they can take appropriate measures to receive adequate consideration from the e-prescriber.

The study found that physicians have become comfortable with e-prescribing. More specifically, they often use copay cards obtained through them, they are open to sample vouchers delivered via the platforms, and wouldn’t mind allowing advertising to help offset the cost of the systems.

When it comes to prescribing habits, the study found that a majority of physicians, about 80%, have their decision made on which drug to prescribe before entering a system. However, about 16% of the time that decision changes after obtaining information from their e-prescribing system, a significant percentage that can affect a brand’s sales.

To learn more, click here to take a look at the brochure for the study.

Video Series on Pricing & Market Access Issues in Pharma

Sophie Murdoch, VP of Consulting Services for ALSCG, is featured in a 3-part video series from Health Network Communications on Pricing & Market Access Issues in Pharma. The videos answer key questions that pharma manufacturers are facing today:

  • How are global austerity measures impacting pharma?
  • How can the industry work with payers to ensure that the best treatments get to patients?
  • What developments do you foresee over the next 12 months that will impact pharmaceutical uptake?

Watch the videos below!

Evolving Pharmaceutical Market Access in Brazil

This is an excerpt from our whitepaper, “Evolving Pharmaceutical Market Access in Brazil: How the Latest Developments Will Change your Business Strategy”. To read the full paper, please click here.

With expectations to reach 30% of the nearly $1.2 trillion US global spend, and
50-70% of the $70 billion annual US growth forecasted in the pharmaceutical
sector by 2016, it is clear why emerging markets are considered the new
frontier. They are the new hope for a pharmaceutical industry that is seeking
new strategies and partnerships to balance the stagnation in more mature
markets.

Quickly growing, increasingly competitive, culturally, socially and economically diverse, emerging markets defy the effectiveness of a uniform approach and call for local business planning based on a comprehensive and global perspective. For this reason, international pharmaceutical companies must be willing to implement market-specific strategies and local thinking within their global business strategy. Nevertheless evolving political stances, increasing international competition, and rising local manufacturers are toughening market access environments and creating new, and sometimes unexpected, risks for drug makers.

Brazil is one of many examples showing how quickly business conditions for drug makers are changing and how important it is to identify, evaluate, and foresee such changes as early as possible to improve and consolidate market positioning. This paper provides an overview of latest trends regarding pharmaceutical taxation, strategic partnerships and generics promotion.

Brazil Facts

Latest Reforms and New Challenges 

With over $220 billion of healthcare expenditure, a strong economic growth, and drug prices adjusted annually (2.7-6.31% increase estimated in 2013), Brazil is destined to become the third largest pharmaceutical market by 2020 after US and China.

Despite its strong economic growth, Brazil is facing increasing pressure to control healthcare expenditure and, at the same time, to promote innovation and improve access to healthcare.

Pursuing this difficult task, decision makers are discussing several initiatives, some of them already converted into law, which will reshape the pharmaceutical market in the following years. In a context of increasing competition and stricter regulatory hurdles, Brazil will become a much more challenging business environment.

To read more, please click here to download the white paper.

Global Pricing Data and Advanced Analytics for Better Decisions and Competitor Edge

This is an excerpt from our whitepaper, “Global Pricing Data and Advanced Analytics for Better Decisions and Competitor Edge”. To read the full paper, please click here.

Increasing price transparency and global competition are key challenges faced by companies across all industries. Today’s pricing decisions cannot be based on instinct or informal methods due to the high level of risk incurred through inaccurate practices.

Analytical pricing strategies are used across all global industries. Strategic decisions based on pricing data and advanced analytics have been long-established and are an integral part of price setting for the financial industry. Benchmarking competitor prices on an hourly basis and ensuring pricing decisions are optimized are practices used by the travel industry. So why not apply the same principles to pharmaceutical pricing? Basing decisions on data and analytics empowers the decision maker and allows full confidence in the choices made.

Data and analytics have become powerful tools for pharmaceutical organizations in their strive to stay ahead of competitors. Best practice shows that better data and analytical models improve decision making and thus provide better business outcomes. Within the pharma industry, data forms the basis of many decisions; clinical data defines whether or not a drug is effective; sales data defines market share; and advanced data models drive cost effectiveness decisions made by health technology authorities.

So how does pricing data play a part in strategic pricing and market access? With so many new innovative pricing schemes and tactics, pharmaceutical competitor price intelligence is crucial in optimizing prices and staying ahead of the competition. The use of data analytics can help move pricing behavior from reactive to proactive decisions based on predicted market conditions.

How can pricing data and analytics be used within pharma?

Test for Competitor Response: Competitors do not evolve in isolation—they are responding to the relevant companies in the industry, if they have the freedom, knowl­edge, and capability to do so. Knowing how the launch of a direct competitor affects the price of your product across markets is essential in knowing how to react.

Business Transformation: Data allows you to visualize what is happening in the outside world and to shape competitor actions. Modeling allows you to make the best use of the data to help predict competitor actions and optimize business strategies. Transforming business decisions based on data and models enables organizations to keep ahead of competitors and make business processes more efficient. This is particularly essential for capturing growth in emerging markets where policy and pricing is not so clear.

To read more, click here to download our whitepaper.

Anti-TNF Biosimilar Prices – How low will they go?

Benoit Donze – Pricing and Market Access Consultant

The patents of two anti-TNF agents are due to expire over the next two years, in 2014[1] for J&J’s Remicade®, and in 2015[2] for Amgen’s Enbrel®. Their loss of exclusivity will clear the way for the arrival of biosimilar agents, defined[3] as medicinal products which are similar to a biological medicinal product. The market access uptake of those biosimilars will be clearly facilitated by the economic crisis and by the payers’ willingness to reduce their healthcare expenditures. Thereby, biosimilars could represent one of the most important sources of savings over the next decade.

This article examines the possible pricing implications on the original drug and the anticipated price differentials between the original biologic and its associated biosimilar.

Study of pricing impact of biosimilars on their originator

The following analysis investigates the price differential between the price of biosimilars currently available on the market and their originator to predict prices of future biosimilars. This article does not take into consideration the complexity of anti-TNF biosimilars in term of clinical development, manufacturing and ‘similarity’ to branded anti-TNF which will for sure impact the price differential.

To date, three active substances have been approved for use in Europe by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP): filgrastim (a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor), epoetin (an erythropoietin stimulator) and somatropin (a human growth hormone). The table below shows the authorised biosimilars in the EU:

The following graphs illustrate the price differentials of Neupogen®, Eprex® and Genotropin® against their lowest priced biosimilar in EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom). The analysis is based on lowest ex-factory price per unit of the most available presentation.The observed price difference between the two products revealed a variation of -31% and +10%. The price difference in Spain remains constant for both G-CSF and epoetins at 30%. Current legislation in Spain states that biosimilars must be priced 30% below the price of the reference biological medicine. Interestingly, in the UK, Amgen’s strategy to remain competitive involved voluntarily price cuts to the original molecule Neupogen® resulting in the price of biosimilars being 10% higher than the originator.Taking an average of the price differentials across the three original biologics (Eprex®, Neupogen® and Genotropin®) and their biosimilars results in price differentials, ranging from -7% in the UK to      -30% in Spain. The calculation is based on lowest ex-factory price per unit of the two most available presentations (filgrastim 30MU and 48MU, epoetin 2000UI and 40000UI, somatropin 5.3mg and 12mg).

Currently, there are no mandatory price reductions imposed on the original biologic therapy after the entry of biosimilars. In the UK and Germany, there are no compulsory price reductions enforced on the biosimilar. In Spain, Italy and France, legislation states that biosimilars must be priced below the originator drug, 30% in Spain, at least 20% in Italy and at 15% in France.

 

What could we expect with anti-TNFs biosimilars?

Based on the analysis above, the anticipated price points of future anti-TNF biosimilars may be around 18% below the originator in France, 20% in Germany and Italy, 30% in Spain and 7% below the price of the original medicine in the UK.

We acknowledge that there are manufacturing issues (sophisticated technologies, processes, and high investments) associated with anti-TNFs biosimilars which translate to higher development costs than those required for current biosimilars. To date, Remsima® (first Remicade® monoclonal antibody to market), is only 5% less expensive than Remicade® in South Korea.

Moreover, the clinical efficacy and safety of these new biosimilar agents has not yet been confirmed. Pricing is one factor dictating market access: the lack of experience with anti-TNF biosimilars, safety and efficacy concerns (especially for biosimilars coming from Asia), and the reluctance to switch from physicians also play a significant role.

 


[1] MP advisors – Merck – Celltrion filed first mAB Biosimilar in Europe: Remicade Challenged – Consulted in January 2013

[2] Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News – Firms Are Upping the Stakes on mAb Biosimilar Development – Consulted in January 2013

[3] EMA – Biosimilar medicines – consulted in January 2013