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What does a market access manager do and why should you become one?

Posted on: 15 Jun

Market access is all about preparing a drug for market entry, and as such it’s a vitally important part of the drug development process and wider pharmaceutical industry. While for pharmaceutical and biotech companies it can be a complex process to gain market access, doing so allows their therapies to be available in as many countries as possible, reaching patients who need them and ensuring medicines are reimbursed.  

So what kind of market access jobs are available and what exactly do they do? 

Market access, defined 

Medical market access allows organisations to understand how stakeholders define value and where their portfolio is strong and weak around the world, helping companies to build commercial success by positioning their products in the right way. Strong knowledge of local and global markets is key to any successful market access strategy, as are economic modelling and pricing insights. 

Growth in the industry 

Market access and pricing have expanded in recent times as new demands for new products have emerged. Markets have seen an increase in more advanced and expensive drugs, yet governments and healthcare systems face continued pressure to reduce drug costs. To justify the price of products and have them reimbursed at the best possible price, companies are increasingly turning to market access managers to help establish the effectiveness and economic impact of their products and ensure patients can access drugs quickly and continuously.  

The expanding role of technology within pharmaceuticals means there is an abundance of data and evidence to allow payers, providers and regulators to evaluate the price and value of new products. In addition, changes in stakeholder requirements are common in the ever-developing market access environment. This means that market access managers need to not only have strong business acumen, but also an open, curious mind with a willingness to learn and adapt as needs change. 

Key requirements of a medical market access manager 

A successful market access manager is informative, persuasive and influential. Ultimately supporting clients to prepare and launch drugs into markets, market access managers possess deep industry knowledge and provide data-driven insights to help speed new medicines to patients around the world. Research skills are essential to understand market trends and industry developments, including everything from coverage and reimbursement, payer policies and the competitive landscape to potential barriers to access. 

In addition to being flexible and commercially-savvy, market access managers must be able to balance the clinical performance of a drug with the willingness of markets to pay for it. Strong project management skills, and an ability to work to deadlines, are essential, as well as an understanding of local markets. Market access managers speak with key opinion leaders and payers, liaising with clients and advise on market access strategy, so interpersonal skills are key. 

Developing your career in market access 

Many people begin their market access career in an analyst or associate role. Other roles within the market access umbrella can include market access analyst, market access consultant and market access medical writer. At the top levels of the industry, roles include vice president of market access, market access director and head of market access. 

Why work in medical market access? 

Medical market access manager jobs can be extremely rewarding; you are responsible for helping effective drugs reach as many markets – and therefore patients – as possible. Job satisfaction comes from seeing products you’ve worked on reach the market, ultimately resulting in improved healthcare options for patients. What’s more, the role is extremely varied and allows those with medical or life sciences degrees to contribute to the healthcare industry without working in a lab. 

For business-minded, data-loving individuals with an interest in the pharmaceutical market and a desire to always be learning, this job could be a perfect fit.  

Find your next medical market access manager job with IQVIA 

At IQVIA, we’re always looking for skilled medical market access managers to join our team. View our latest market access manager jobs here, or read our blogs to find out more about working at IQVIA.