R&D and commercial teams have operated in silos for years. however, pharma and medtech companies are beginning to recognize that these two teams are actually a match made in heaven. historically, research and development and commercial activities have been considered as independent from product development and launch. however, this can be detrimental down the line when products fail or underperform.
How to better coordinate R&D and commercial teams for product development excellence?
Cross Functional Collaboration:
Change management programs should be implemented to encourage and facilitate cross-functional collaboration. By gaining valuable commercial insights early on, companies can avoid missing important information that could result in huge losses in resources and revenue. Improving information sharing, decision making processes and creating a culture of cross functional collaboration where product knowledge is shared and leveraged will result in increased results for the manufacturer and improved experience for patients.
Early involvement and coordination with commercial teams is key to success. By involving commercial teams early on in the product development process, you can ensure that the product you are offering will satisfy the needs of all relevant stakeholders. If the needs of patients, physicians and payers are not considered early enough, it can delay uptake or impact success. Meetings with the relevant teams to evaluate the stakeholders, their needs, pain points and ascertain how products will add value to the market will create valuable information to be fed into product and launch.
Some key areas to address when evaluating stakeholder needs:
What patient groups are being targeted. Map out the patient's journey and evaluate what challenges they are facing. Go beyond medical needs and evaluate financial and personal perspectives. Consider the challenges facing patients in everyday life, as well as the overall medical outcome desired. Discuss the value patients put on their ideal outcomes and assess how their experience can be improved. Commercial teams are closest to the customer and will have invaluable knowledge.
Health Care Providers:
Assess what HCP types are your patients engaging with. Evaluate how the needs and challenges differ between customers, whether it be a primary care physician or a Chief Medical Officer. Assess the challenges and pain points HCPs experience as they deliver treatment to patients.
Commercial and R&D teams should closely coordinate to evaluate the needs and requirements of payers when developing a product. Organisations should evaluate how a payer's population will be impacted by the organisation's product and improved health outcomes for patients. While payers are placing more value on health outcomes today, the main priority remains cost containment. Teams should assess how much payers would be willing to pay for the product and develop a pricing structure that gives budget predictability.
Consider how the product in question will stand up against standard of care. Are there any measurable differences? It’s also important to consider the size of clinical trials and duration. Consideration should also be given to designing clinical trials with patients at front of mind to ensure participation and acceptance.
So by R&D and Commercial teams working closely together and first evaluating the needs of relevant stakeholders, companies can design and develop products and solutions that better cater to the needs of customers, therefore gaining a competitive advantage.
If you wish to find out more on how to coordinate R&D and commercial teams for product development excellence, Clarity is here to help!