So what is Pharmacoeconomics?

Pharmacoeconomics, is the “scientific discipline which evaluates the clinical, economic and humanistic aspects of pharmaceutical products, services, and programmes, as well as other healthcare interventions to provided healthcare decision makers, providers and patients with valuable information for optimal outcomes and the allocation of health care resources” (ISPOR: Frequently used terminology: Pharmacoeconomics, 2017). It’s often also referred to as health economics or health outcomes research.

While it’s hardly a new area in life sciences, it’s experiencing a resurgence of late. Playing an increasingly important role in the decision-making process of life sciences companies, Pharmacoeconomics provides crucial information for pricing and market access, R&D and licensing.

Essential expertise needed

To work in Pharmacoeconomics, unique skill sets and relationship-building capabilities are required.  Internally, practitioners must combine the worlds and views of medical affairs and marketing, as well as clinical development and strategic planning. Externally, they are facing changing economies and ever-evolving payer needs. If we look at some of the leading global life science firms, we see that companies often have choose to outsource.

The case for Interim Pharmacoeconomists

With the growing demand for Pharmacoeconomics and its increasingly important role, firms often decide that outsourcing certain tasks helps maximise their internal resources. Factors, including unique data requirements for each stakeholder, target market and therapeutic area, can create a time critical need for expertise that may or may not be present in the organisation. This can prove to be an optimal project for an executive interim to focus their efforts on. Skills gaps, lack of technical expertise internally, or requests for complex health economics studies are just a few examples of where the use of a specialist executive interim could be invaluable.

The changing complexity and volatility around these factors will drive demand for highly skilled professionals in these fields, many of who will chose to provide their skills on an interim basis. We can expect to see demand for such executive interims in this field to grow even further in the near future.

Kristin Schirmer, Consultant |

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