Successful payer engagement through multi-stakeholder workshops - Learnings from real cases
Klarissa Hoday, Principal at Executive Insight, presents 2 examples of payer education in the field of tender management. She shows how a neutral facilitator can bring all relevant stakeholders to the table, provide international examples and a global perspective, and develop a strong decision-making framework to enhance collaboration between payers and the pharmaceutical industry.
Interview: Successful Payer Engagement: Learnings from real cases
What was the context for the payer engagement workshops?
So there is two cases that I want to talk about. In the first case, our client, a pharmaceutical company client, they faced biosimilar entry for their biologic drugs, and so also the payers faced that challenge that they had biosimilars coming to the market, and their tender specifications needed to reflect that.
The idea for them was to potentially introduce something like jumbo grouping tenders, which is very dangerous also for the patient. And so the payer was very happy to do a workshop together with the pharmaceutical company and other stakeholders to actually discuss what could be the right tender specifications.
In case number two, the case was a bit different. There, it was also about a biosimilar introduction, and they were struggeling a bit to find the right balance between keeping healthcare sustainability but then on the other hand also making sure that drugs are safe and quality of care is not going down. So they approached their pharmaceutical client counterparts to understand a little bit better how these guidelines could be shaped, also in a global context.
What are prerequisites for successful payer engagement workshops?
There are three reasons for why they chose us: Number one: They wanted a neutral facilitator. Usually, external stakeholders are also much more comfortable with that, plus it is more effective in the moderation itself. So they wanted a neutral facilitator, which we obviously were, with a good track record of facilitating such discussions - and we do have that.
Number two was the ability to put together a very meaningful and interesting framework that 1. allows to structure the issue at hand, 2. to creatively brainstorm, and 3. provide a good roadmap for decision-making. So the ability to conceptualize was, I believe, the second reason.
The third one was to be able to provide international examples; global examples that are relevant, put them in the right country context to making that connect, and then also being able to speak to these examples and having had some exposure to these examples.
What were the challenges and how were they addressed?
For this biosimilar guideline shaping workshop the problem was addressed through let's say three specific elements:
- Bringing all relevant local stakeholders to the table, that was very important.
- To again provide a very good decision-making framework, so showing all the aspects of the guidelines and the different options they have or have to choose from in these guidelines.
- Again relevant international examples.
Here it was particularly important to show how these guidelines were applied in other markets but also what was the market context in that these guidelines were applied; just to see the level of applicability for this particular market that we did the workshop in.
Now, when it comes to the methodology used during the workshop, it was very conventional. There were presentations, there were guided discussions, and then there were break-out sessions. So in terms of methodology, this was let's say very standard, however I think the magic was really in putting together the different types of interactions, the content, the different speakers, and then really in a very structured decision-making framework. I believe that was the value-add here.
Which factors were critical for effective engagement?
That one is easy: Number one, to have an engagement like that and be successful is you have to hit the nerve. It needs to be a topic and it needs to be approached in an angle that is relevant for everybody and where people feel a lot of, let's say, urgency to act.
Number two is to provide new perspectives or holistic perspectives. You manage that by doing two things:
- Having a lot of different types of stakeholders at the table - of course only the relevant ones and
- Bringing this global comparison.
What is also important is that the organizer is very transparent on their intention and that you as the third party facilitator are very transparent on who is the actual organizer. And what's also important is that there is some pre-workshop alignment, that you're doing some pre-calls with the key stakeholders, to understand very much what are they expecting out of the workshop, what is important for them, and that they get to know you and you start building the rapport with those people.
What was the impact achieved?
The outcome of the workshop itself was the decision-making roadmap for tender procurement. And one of the key outcomes or follow-on activities that our client did is: They used this roadmap and continued working with this particular group on the whole topic using that given framework. And that was very good for our client to establish an eye-level relationship with the external stakeholders and actually driving forward decision-making in a good direction according to this framework.
Ultimately, one of the very tangible results is that jumbo group tendering could be prevented up to date.