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A day in the life of a Market Access Consultant

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By Victoria Last

After over 5 years of working in market access consultancy I’m pretty sure my family and close friends are still not entirely certain what it is exactly that I do for a living! So I posed the question, and the response was:

“Something with drugs”

 “I’m not entirely sure what you do; it comes under the clever stuff I don’t understand umbrella”

“Taking over the world”

So please read on to discover what a day in the life of a market access consultant is really like…..

As a market access consultant at OPEN Access my day-to-day role is extremely varied. After focussing on one cell signalling pathway for 4 years it is a delight to work in a fast-paced environment on a diverse range of disease areas - ranging from long-term chronic conditions, to specialised sectors such as cancer and rare diseases. I can honestly say I have never been bored as every day is different, with interesting and challenging projects for me to get my teeth into.

As a consultant, I am responsible for writing and developing material content, directing and managing multiple projects, client liaison, business development and ensuring projects are delivered on time and to budget.

I work as part of a close-knit team of project managers, associate consultants, senior consultants, medical writers and health economists. As market access encompasses such a wide range of different materials it is great to have experts with many years of experience in different areas such as HTAs, GVDs, and UK or Global Market Access in one team.

A typical day will start with a catch up call with a client. I tend to have weekly calls for each project to ensure the project is progressing according to the agreed timelines, and to address any queries. Today it is a status update on a series of medical advisory boards OPEN Access is running across the globe around the launch of a new therapy. My role for this project is to identify suitable delegates from our extensive network of clinical and commissioner contacts, create the meeting materials and facilitate the meeting on the day. OPEN Access works within the UK, EU and globally, and it is always extremely interesting to hear insights and considerations from other countries. Today we talk through and agree the agenda, and the workshops for the meeting.

After a quick coffee break and snack (the kitchen has free fruit, and biscuits, guess which one I tend to go for……) I have a meeting with my colleagues at pH Associates and Harvey Walsh about a value tool we are developing which is underpinned by Real World Evidence and NHS data. We talk through how to align the patient outcomes with the data and value messages to tell the most compelling story. Every material I work on is different, and my job is actually as much creative as it is scientific at times, as I try to craft innovative ways to communicate the value of a therapy. On that note I have a quick chat with the digital team around working their magic and turning the value tool into an App – I love seeing the end result of their wizardry!

After lunch I catch up with one of our medical writers, who is working on a NICE HTA submission for a new oncology therapy. NICE have a list of questions around the submission, and we go through and discuss how to respond. My role involves a lot of juggling of short projects, and also long-term projects like NICE submissions, that can take a year to complete. There is nothing more rewarding however than seeing a therapy gain a NICE recommendation after spending that much time and effort, you gain quite an attachment to the submissions!

I spent the rest of the day researching and mapping a complex patient pathway for a chronic disease area, which involves talking to a clinician to walk me through the pathway and research. I spend an hour or so answering emails and signing off artwork proofs from our studio, then it’s off out into Marlow for a well-deserved post work drink with the rest of the team!

What I love about what I do

I love the fact that due to the other agencies in OPEN Health, I have experts in patient outcomes and real world evidence, NHS data and analytics, digital programs and apps, branding and PR that are literally only a desk away. Having that kind of expertise for collaboration has been hugely beneficial to my role.

However, ultimately I am all about the patients. Knowing that something I have created has helped a patient in need, access a therapy that could make a real difference to their life is what drives me every day.

If you work or are interested in market access and want to join our fabulous team we’d love to hear from you. Simply contact Jane Sowerby at janesowerby@openhealth.co.uk

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