mmm january 2019 cover

Click here to read the complete January 2019 Digital Edition.

HCP engagement: Paid speaking back in the spotlight

When GlaxoSmithKline said recently that it would resume paying physicians to speak about its medicines – taking the industry back to the future, so to speak –  it certainly captured the industry’s attention. After all, a mere five years ago GSK had announced, with great fanfare, that it was halting such payments.

Whatever the thinking behind the about-face, GSK will encounter a very different KOL and access landscape than it did in 2013. Thus we ask: What is the value of paid speaking today? Can physician payments really help launch new medicines? And does not offering it put a company at a competitive disadvantage?

Countering co-pay accumulators

Drug prices fell in the first and second quarters of 2018, and co-pay accumulators were cited as one big factor behind the reductions. Can manufacturers adapt their co-pay support programs in time to  mitigate the effect of accumulators? If not, declines may worsen in 2019. We go behind the numbers to find out what pharma’s defenses are, and whether  this new tool – used by insurers to limit drugmakers’ financial assistance to consumers – is really saving the health system money, or if the savings are outweighed by what patients will endure in the long-term without the same access to medications.

Payer marketing: It’s still a fee-for-service system… or is it?

UnitedHealth recently shared that it is paying almost half of its annual reimbursements – roughly $69 billion – to doctors and hospitals via value-based models. But there’s a spectrum of how one defines “value-based,” and very few deals feature full upside/downside risk. Perhaps the transition away from fee-for-service isn’t proceeding as quickly as some would have us believe. We analyze where payment is now, versus where payment is heading, and how pharma is faring under alternative pay models.


A drugmaker’s head of commercial innovation – a role that spans digital health, patient support programs, and devices – discusses the importance of partnering with health-tech startups.

Gaze into the crystal ball…

Influencers in a range of channels and categories, including point of care and clinical trial management, share their predictions for 2019.