Boutique consultancy Skysis merged with its larger sibling Avalere Health, spawning a single U.S. market access unit within parent Fishawack Health.

As part of the merger, Skysis will be retired as a brand and its staff will be integrated within Avalere’s policy, access, value and evidence team. 

Dawn Rich, formerly managing director of market access at Skysis, will focus on executive business development. Similarly, Heather Lee Whipple, formerly Skysis principal of market access, will join Avalere’s market access leadership.

Both will collaborate with Lance Grady, director of Avalere’s market access practice, as well as with the larger Fishawack community around evidence development and value comms. 

Complex changes in the healthcare industry have challenged traditional market access strategies, observed Grady. The intent behind combining the teams is so that clients can leverage “a comprehensive market access capability” to address those challenges, he stated in a press release about the merger

Fishawack, a 2023 MM+M Agency 100 honoree, has been beefing up its policy and market access capabilities. The firm’s revenue grew from $139.4 million in 2021 to $173.3 million in 2022, a 24% jump, according to MM+M’s 2023 Agency 100 report.

The network bought D.C.-based Avalere last June, with help from principal investor Bridgepoint. That followed the early 2022 acquisition of Policy Analysis, a health economics and outcomes research consultancy.

Avalere says it will now be able to support clients at any stage along the market access pipeline. Skysis complements its market access offering across several domains, including hub and patient support services, strategic business planning, value proposition development, product commercialization and market access team design and capability building.

The access advisory landscape has been an active one, with many formerly independent shops getting bought by agency networks over the last few years. 

Recent examples include Fingerpaint Group’s 2023 purchase of market-access shop MYND Group, following its 2020 acquisition of access advisory 1798 Consultants; Red Nucleus’ 2022 buy of market-access outfit Jupiter Life Sciences Consulting; Citrus Health Group’s 2022 acquisition of Citrus Market Access and Lumanity’s 2021 M&A deal for market-access firm Cyan Health.

Some of the larger agencies have also built out their own offerings, like Syneos Health’s launch of the standalone market-access shop Spherico.