Revenue grew 9% to an MM&M-estimated $35 million
“We’ve already capitalized on the synergies with our Icon sister companies. Our work is grounded in strategic consulting first and foremost, but we’ll continue to grow to answer demand”
“We’re seeing the same competition in oncology that we’ve seen in diabetes and RA and the other really competitive spaces”
In terms of utility to nearly every player in the pharma universe, firms that focus on payers rank among the agency world’s most highly wanted.
Don’t buy it? Take this quote from a big-agency CEO whose company has struggled to build a payer and managed markets competency: “We need to get good at this, fast. Anybody can do creative. Almost nobody can do payers really well. It’s a big blind spot for lots of us.”
When told about this line and other similarly sudden bursts of enthusiasm for his firm’s area of expertise, MediMedia Managed Markets president Lee Termini dismisses the idea he’d feel any sense of validation.
Long before its acquisition by global behemoth Icon two years ago, after all, his company had staked out its turf in the payer space, focusing on smoothing relations in advance of a drug’s arrival. He mostly seems surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. After all, it’s not as if the move toward outcomes and its effect on reimbursement happened overnight.
At the same time, Termini acknowledges that payer market dynamics have shifted in recent years. “We used to go to client meetings and say, ‘You have to begin thinking very early in the product-development timeline about what payers are going to want to see when the product is approved by the FDA,” he recalls.
“At that point, most pharma companies did clinical trials with the idea of satisfying the lowest bar that the FDA set, which was outperforming a placebo. When we’d say, ‘Well, payers are going to tell you that they’re happy the product is better than a placebo, but that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically put you on formulary or reimburse you for the product,’ we’d get these skeptical looks.”
Pharma has rethought the process. “There was some hesitation until they hired us to run advisory board meetings with payers prior to approval,” he continues. “When they shared the clinical data and heard things like, ‘That was fascinating, but what does the product offer beyond what I already have [on formulary]?’ they began to understand.”
As longtime clients Amgen, Genentech, and Shire and 2016 roster additions Merck, Sage, and Indivior attest, MediMedia facilitates these conversations better than almost anyone else.
“We’ve got more reach outside the U.S. We can help with a real-world-evidence development plan,” Termini enthuses. “We can take products from early phase 2 all the way through loss of patent exclusivity.”
In 2016, MediMedia grew revenue to an MM&M-estimated $35 million, up from an estimated $32 million in 2015, while keeping staff size consistent at 160. Up next: moving into larger offices in its hometown of Yardley, Pennsylvania.
“It’s very ‘agency-like,’” Termini quips.