A word from our moderator, Mike Herepath
‘It was a privilege and a pleasure for me to moderate this year’s EPP Life Science forum, and my sincere thanks to EPP and their partners, to our first class presenters and to all our engaged and enthusiastic participants for making this 6th forum such a great success. This year’s theme ‘Pricing under Pressure’ obviously resonated very strongly with all who attended, and stimulated lots of high quality discussion, debate and ideas sharing among the participants from both pharma and MedTech.
The quality of the plenary presentations, the panel discussions and the breakout sessions this year was consistently excellent, with industry leaders from across the globe tackling some of the most fundamental pricing issues facing life sciences today. These ranged from the growing sophistication and demands of payer systems, through the challenges of pricing innovative technologies and the most effective ways to manage tendering, innovative contracting and using data analytics, right through to optimizing pricing around loss of exclusivity and the usefulness of brain scanning technology in determining perceived value and willingness to pay.
Having been challenged to make the most of this learning opportunity that had been developed by pricing specialists for pricing specialists, it was so rewarding to see how actively everyone got engaged throughout the event, with lots of great probing questions and challengers for the presenters, many thought-provoking comments and points of discussion in the panel discussions and breakout groups, and loads of sharing of information, ideas and experiences during the coffee and lunch breaks and during the very enjoyable evening cruise on lake Geneva. It was also great to see how the forum provided a golden opportunity for old colleagues and professional acquaintances to catch up, and for all the participants to make new contacts and grow their networks.
We began the forum by everyone making a note of what he or she wanted to take away from the event. As we reviewed these towards the end of the two days, it became clear that the vast majority of the participants’ learning needs and expectations for the event had been met and, in many cases, surpassed.
Some of those key learning points included:
- The growing need for life sciences companies to be able to demonstrate and communicate the relevant value of their products as solutions to meeting payers’ needs, in order to negotiate optimal prices.
- The limitations of the revenue potential of ‘emerging markets’ and the difficulties of optimizing pricing with systems that are sometimes not transparent or consistent
- The appropriateness and potential usefulness of ‘innovative’ pricing strategies as alternatives to traditional approaches, and how best to price different types of innovation in pharma and MedTech
- The importance of well designed price guidelines and indices in effective payer negotiations
- The usefulness and the limitations of different types of analytics in effective pricing
- The evolving role of the strategic pricing function and how to meet both global and local needs with an effective tendering management system.
- The commercial importance of effectively managing pricing around loss of exclusivity
- The development and potential of neurophysiology and brain scanning techniques in determining optimal prices and willingness to pay.
At the end of the forum, and in subsequent emails and feedback, the majority of participants declared that the forum had met their needs and been a great success, with many adding that they were looking forward to coming again next year. I share their views, and can’t wait to join them!
See for yourself!