Over our many years of work within the pharmaceutical industry, IE has come to better understand the needs of the specialty market. As manufacturers develop and plan to bring a specialty product to market, they face a unique set of challenges which are not faced by “mass market” pharmaceuticals.
Often the patient population is small, so enrolling sufficient patients in clinical trials can be a challenge. This may require a true grassroots initiative in the communities where targeted patients live. Medical societies and their members are uniquely situated to support this type of grassroots effort. Often, research is needed to understand the needs of the patients, their lifestyles, and education is needed to teach patients about their disease and the importance of enrolling in clinical trials.
In addition to clinical trial enrollment, marketing is another challenge. Marketing and any marketing research cannot take the same approach as is used with mass market products. The small market has an impact on spend and ROI; specialty products cannot cast a wide net and hope for a large ROI.
Specialty products and the patients they serve have unique considerations and needs. Manufacturers need to understand how to find the appropriate patients and how to address them once a product has been launched. This can be especially challenging when the specialty product addresses a medical need that is particularly prevalent in a racial/ethnic minority population. Generally, these groups can be difficult to find and access.
IE has worked with many of these groups and understands the needs of specialty markets. We have facilitated partnerships between medical societies and manufacturers in order to support the ability to reach these patients and Make Well Known.