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Developing a go-to-market strategy for a large pharmaceutical company

Pharma Growth Strategy (Case Study)

E-health, digital therapeutics and personalised therapeutics are just some of the trends shaping the present and future of today’s pharmaceutical industry. More than ever, we see empowered consumers who are self-informed about treatments and more engaged with treatment protocols. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated some of these trends. Pharmaceutical companies are confronted with the challenge of adapting to this new environment and using it as a transformative force for their own benefit. 

Challenge: How to commercialise a new pharmaceutical product in a rapidly changing industry?   

A large pharmaceutical company was aiming to create a new go-to-market approach for an innovative drug across Europe.

The dynamics within which the pharmaceutical industry operates have shifted. Due to this, communications with stakeholders and the traditional sales approach needed an adjustment and, consequently, a new growth-strategy. Focusing on customer growth, we helped our client address the following questions:

  • How should the funding route for the new drug look like given the country-specific payments as well as reimbursement models and non-hospital channels?
  • Which changes are needed to transform the stakeholder engagement setup and process? 
  • How does the organisational and sales structure need to be set up?
  • Which capabilities are required in a post COVID-19 landscape?  

Solution: A hybrid pharma strategy that focuses on agility and customer centricity

  • We analysed the market potential for the new drug and assessed the different country-specific access channels. Supported by insights from payers   who provide reimbursement or funding for the new drug as well as from healthcare professionals who treat patients in different care settings, we then developed a strategic plan on how to best achieve access to the different markets while also optimising cost coverage. 
  • In addition to traditional reimbursement approaches, we searched for alternative funding channels.
  • Our go-to-market proposition included pricing strategies with the goal of determining a reimbursed price that also reflects investor expectations.
  • Within sales, the focus was on key account management and omni-channel commercialisation as part of digital marketing initiatives and a new digital channel strategy. An agile structure   was needed to adapt to a continuously changing environment that is defined through transitions between online, offline and face-to-face touchpoints. 
  • This blueprint included the development of a nimble and dynamic organisational set up with the aim to improve workflows enabling an agile working model. 
  • The plan also focused on the allocation of responsibilities to regional headquarters and country affiliates, but also addressed questions regarding flexible resource allocation, outsourcing and required capabilities.    
  • The latter was of special importance, as the new environment requires special skillsets that many pharma companies have to adopt. These skills allow specialists to perform within a new hybrid business world in which there is substantially less face-to-face interaction. Our strategy emphasised capacity-building and recruitment of new talents.   

"PwC helped us develop our understanding of the labeled indication market in Europe as well as how to optimally access this market and with which organizational setup, manpower and skillset. Their analysis provided us with a clear plan on how to achieve our growth targets."

Client, International pharmaceutical company
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Result: A roadmap and the necessary tools for a successful implementation phase

  • Based on our analysis and strategic growth plan, our client was able to gain a clear perspective on the different go-to-market scenarios, investment and skillset requirements and related financial growth projections.
  • These served as a basis for investor approval and paved the way for the implementation phase.
  • The implementation plan enabled the client to efficiently target promising access routes. 
  • Our multi-dimensional approach provided the pharma company with the necessary plan and tools to build up the required resources and capabilities.
  • The developed strategy allowed the company to use the ongoing pharma transformation as an opportunity to become more agile and to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience that takes advantage of omni-channel, traditional marketing, and sales elements. 
  • The go-to-market strategy allows the company to optimise and transform its commercialisation process and as a result making it more cost-effective, faster and profitable. 

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Tareck Raafat

Tareck Raafat

Partner Life Sciences Consulting and Customer Transformation, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 55 63