Note: this blog was originally published in September 2021.
Hi Joanne – first off, just outline your career history to date.
My career started as an RGN, and I still have my registration. I worked at the famous “Jimmy’s” in Leeds in research surgery, before moving into renal medicine and transplantation. I have been in the industry full-time for 23 years in all roles, but mostly leadership and Market Access.
I was fortunate enough to be seconded into the Department of Health when I was at Schering-Plough for two years at MTRAC, working on a Practice Based Commissioning Project looking at outcomes in CVD. I have worked in most areas from generics to high-cost drugs. I am a bit sad, but I love the NHS! I find it fascinating, frustrating, but also something we should be incredibly proud of.
You’ve joined Star OUTiCO as Head of Market Access and Service Redesign – tell us what you’ll be working on day-to-day.
50% of my time will be supporting pharma clients to not only deliver the KPIs set out in the contract specific to the Market Access team, but also ensuring the service we offer around Market Access is industry-leading, utilising all of our of internal expertise. From Clinical Cube to Healthcare Solutions, and services such as the DICE offering around in-call effectiveness in the digital space, I believe as a provider this is what puts Star OUTiCO ahead of our competitors.
The other 50% of the time, I will be working directly with the NHS to look at Healthcare Solutions as they navigate the changes to help them deliver their priorities around health inequalities, transformation of services and pathway reconfiguration.
Sometimes it’s simply being the Project Manager that can bring all the work together for them, with our insights and data to allow them to concentrate on post-COVID ways of working. There is also a huge opportunity with pharma to partner with us, given our level of capability as an organisation, to produce bespoke packages suited to their needs around service re-design and pathway implementation.
I am a bit sad, but I love the NHS! I find it fascinating, frustrating, but also something we should be incredibly proud of.
Now that we’re a few months in, what do you think are the key market access challenges for Pharma since the implementation of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)?
This question you could debate all day.
Variance: The NHS has lots of regional and local variance when it comes to integration. COVID has, in a weird way, helped them redesign services overnight and work together collaboratively, which, let’s be honest, they are not known for. However, it has also left a huge burden around hospital waiting times for elective surgery, a backlog of complex patients in Primary Care, and often IT systems that are just not ready to integrate.
Exhaustion: A lot of NHS staff are exhausted, having worked through and continuing to work through the pandemic. When all our NHS workers are working flat-out the government is still pushing ahead with policy and transformation, and often HCPs cannot keep up and don’t know what is expected of them.
Both combined makes it incredibly difficult for pharma to find that value proposition, as one size certainly does not fit all.
Agility: Having worked in the industry for over 23 years, being agile as organisations and navigating process can be incredibly challenging. That, and how pharma now works in the digital world, is very different to the traditional sales structure, which was predominantly face-to-face. The new emerging customer groups that will be prevalent work on place-based partnerships. Provider collaboratives will need to see value beyond the medicine and whole system approach, which for salesforces, can be hard to adapt to. New stakeholders and new ways of working are now the normal.
From Clinical Cube to Healthcare Solutions, and services as the DICE offering around in-call effectiveness in the digital space: I believe as a provider this is what puts Star OUTICO ahead of our competitors.
As a service provider, what do you see as the main issues to address to ensure our Pharma clients can deliver true value to their NHS customers?
4 main ones:
Pharma needs real customer insights to be able to make informed decisions that are not just about their products. As a service provider, we need to be able to provide these bespoke to our clients from all stakeholders across the ICS, which I know we can offer.
Pharma needs access to the data to support their brands and the solutions to be able to make those changes happen with prescribing systems, etc. Again, Star OUTiCO can offer these healthcare solutions, as often this is where the industry falls down – when products are preferentially positioned on guidelines, but not implemented.
The industry needs to look at how their sales teams promote in the digital space and add value, as the typical sales model and key selling messages now no longer are enough. When everyone is trying to contact customers remotely, it’s much more around building capabilities, soft skills and improving in-call performance that are measurable. Again, through our DICE initiative, we can deliver this kind of service, whether it’s with current sales teams, those facing LOE, or about to deliver an APN.
Provider collaboratives will need to see value beyond the medicine and whole system approach, which for salesforces, can be hard to adapt to. New stakeholders and new ways of working are now the normal.
Lastly, what are your first impressions of Star OUTiCO as an organisation, having recently joined?
What can I say for those who think we are just about Recruitment?
Watch this space.
I have been blown away by the level of sophistication, insights, data, and solutions that Star OUTiCO can offer to clients, but also the culture of the company is brilliant. It’s open, honest, future-focused, and exciting to be a part of.
Joanne Irving, Head of Market Access and Service Redesign
T: 07591 383636
Connect with Joanne on LinkedIn here.
Watch Joanne’s Q&A video below.