Women Leaders in Market Access: An interview with Paula Albuquerque from UCB

In our podcast series, “Women Leaders in Market Access,” we engage in insightful interviews with eight inspiring individuals who are remarkable leaders in the global market access community.

This interview spotlights Paula from UCB. At the time of recording this interview, Paula Albuquerque was the Director of Global Market Access Immuno Rheumatology at UCB. She has since progressed into a Global Strategic Launch Excellence role. 

With a comprehensive global background in healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech, and management consulting sectors, Paula focuses on translating science into commercial value propositions. In this interview, she shares insights on her career journey, her upbringing, and her mission to make science accessible for all.

Q1: Can you tell us about your background and journey to market access?

My journey to market access began in my childhood. Growing up in a family of doctors, I was surrounded by compassion and generosity. This influenced my belief that everyone should have equitable access to medicines and healthcare. Seeing my grandpa and my mother work hard and care for others inspired my career choices and led me to market access.

Q.2 Given that many members of your family are in the medical profession, were you ever tempted to explore a career in that avenue yourself?

I admire doctors but didn’t want that for myself. I wanted to have an impact on the patient journey without being on the front line. I decided to study pharmaceutical sciences, which started when a friend mentioned it. This led me to pursue a doctorate in pharmaceutical science. Today, I define myself as a scientist driven by the purpose of bringing science to the market.

Q3: What motivates and drives you to stay focused on that core value?

My passion is bringing science to the market. Science and innovation must reach the market to benefit anyone. I’ve seen many valuable molecules and programs fail due to lack of evidence or financial constraints. My motivation is to translate scientific benefits into commercial value propositions, considering patient needs, care giver roles, and healthcare system requirements. I was inspired by the concept of reverse innovation, which looks at market needs and translates them through science.

Q4: Why would you say market access has been rewarding as a career path for you?

Market access is rewarding and intellectually stimulating because it involves combining various perspectives to bring science to the market. It requires leveraging expertise in pricing, access, evidence generation, and health economics. Success comes from collective work across disciplines and functions. This collaborative approach, along with the opportunity to make an impact, makes the job intellectually rewarding.

Q5: Reflecting on your career, what significant changes have you witnessed?

Three remarkable transitions stand out. The first was after completing my executive MBA, which opened doors to different industries and led to a global role in London. The second was moving to Spain to set up a new team in access pricing at a research and development organisation. The third was launching a global brand in the immunology space at UCB. Each transition followed a period of reflection and learning.

Q6: What advice do you have for market access professionals preparing for future changes and challenges?

Embrace periods of slowing down to reflect and build on new skills before jumping into the next opportunity. Be opportunistic while staying true to your core values. Stay curious and explore new sources of information like artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning. Be open to new partnerships with healthcare systems, insurers, and public payers to transform the patient journey and provide holistic healthcare.

Q7: What is your experience working with the team at Access Infinity?

Working with Access Infinity feels like being part of their team. They share our objectives and goals, making it a rewarding collaboration. Their ability to seamlessly build the right team for each project and adapt as needed instills trust and ensures success. They are Type A professionals who strengthen our team and contribute to our success.

Q8: Can you tell us more about your current role at UCB? What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me involves setting intentions and planning activities for the day. My workday is busy with meetings, often virtual, as we are a global team. We discuss, brainstorm, and collaborate to bring new molecules to the market. The work is intense and demanding, requiring quick transitions between topics.

Q9: What changes do you anticipate for market access in the future?

Access will be at the core of the future of the pharmaceutical industry, especially after the pandemic. Topics like sustainability, affordability, and equity in healthcare will become even more significant. Market access professionals will need to redefine these principles and drive change. There will be a need for holistic approaches, integrating data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning into our work.

Q10: Any advice for market access professionals looking to prepare for these changes?

Stay open-minded and explore beyond traditional strategies. Consider new partnerships with healthcare systems, insurers, and public payers. Use data and technology to inform decisions and improve the patient journey. Stay curious and embrace innovation to bring science to the market effectively.

To list to the complete interview with Paula, click here or search ‘Market Access Matters’ on any major podcast directory. 


Women Leaders in Market Access: An interview with Pfizer’s Séverine Barquart

In our podcast series, “Women Leaders in Market Access,” we engage in insightful interviews with eight inspiring individuals who are remarkable leaders in the global market access community.

This Q&A is with Séverine Barquart from Pfizer.

At the time of recording, Séverine was Director of Global Market Access for Medical Dermatology at Pfizer and has since progressed into a new role as Access Strategist Team Lead for Hospital Portfolio. Séverine has been at Pfizer for over 20 years. She started her career wanting to be a pharmacist, but after joining Pfizer realized that market access is in her heart.

Read on to hear about Séverine’s view on the evolution of market access. To listen to the full podcast episode, click here.

Q1: Can you introduce yourself?

I am a pharmacist by background and am married. I have celebrated 23 years of marriage with my husband. We have two sons and two dogs. I have always lived in France. I grew up in the countryside, in a very small city, and then moved to the suburbs of Paris to study pharmacy. Now, I live in a small city in the suburbs with a garden because I love gardening. Trees and green areas are key to my happiness and peace.

My journey in market access has always made me want to be a pharmacist. After earning my pharmaceutical degree, I decided to move into regulatory affairs, which at that time included pricing and reimbursement. This area fascinated me during university because it combined scientific knowledge with strategic thinking, allowing me to help patients access important medications.

Q.2 Given your initial aspiration to become a pharmacist, what specific factors during your university studies prompted the shift from being on the frontline to working within a pharmaceutical company?

I have always loved innovation, and working in a pharmaceutical company allowed me to be part of a story where new drugs could improve patients’ lives. This desire drove me towards market access. Being involved in the critical phase between product development and launch was exciting because it meant I could help ensure patients gained access to these new treatments.

Q3: What makes market access a rewarding space to work in for you?

My career started in regulatory affairs at Pfizer, then I moved to the pricing and reimbursement team in France, which I enjoyed. Negotiating with payers and developing arguments to manage their objections was fulfilling. Eventually, I wanted to leverage my experience in a more diverse way, sharing my expertise across different countries. This led me to a global role, particularly in the Africa and Middle East regions. Supporting colleagues in these regions by sharing best practices and negotiation tips was particularly rewarding.

Q4: What would you say is the key to a strong negotiation?

The key is listening. Understanding the payer’s needs, discussing openly, accepting silence, and asking questions are crucial. As negotiators, we often focus on our goals, but it’s important to remember that the payer has their own objectives too. Building trust, asking the right questions, and truly listening to their concerns are vital to creating a productive dialogue.

Q5: You mentioned market access and pricing when you first started your career was part of regulatory affairs. What do you think was the driver for the separation and market access becoming its own function?

The separation occurred due to the evolving complexity of price and reimbursement approvals. Initially, it was mainly price-driven: once marketing authorisation was obtained, you negotiated the price and got reimbursement. However, in the 1990s, health technology assessment (HTA) became more complex and demanding. Requests for data comparisons with competitors, budget impact models, and cost-effectiveness analysis became common. This complexity made market access a critical cornerstone for product launch and patient access, necessitating its separation from regulatory affairs.

Q6: Acknowledging the significant driver for change you've mentioned, have there been other changes throughout your career that you've observed, and what makes them particularly significant for you?

One major change is the shift in focus from high target population products, like those for cardiovascular diseases or depression, to treatments for rare diseases or small target populations with unmet needs. The cost of developing new products has increased due to the need for competitive data and more extensive analysis. This shift has resulted in higher prices for new products compared to the past.

Q7: What would you say have been your key learnings and key takeaways from your career in market access so far?

My key learning is that as a woman, it is crucial to trust yourself and recognise that your experience adds value to the company. Don’t be afraid of being a young woman in a big pharma company. Your perspective and expertise are important.

Q8: From your perspective, what do you foresee on the horizon for market access? Alternatively, what changes or developments would you like to see shaping the future of market access?

Cost containment will remain a key challenge. I hope to see continued evolution towards equity of access, ensuring all patients worldwide can afford and access new medications. Pharma companies must focus on affordability to ensure that new medicines reach everyone who needs them.

To access the full interview with Séverine, click here. Discover more episodes from the Women Leaders in Market Access podcast series, or find the ‘Market Access Matters’ podcast on all major podcast platforms.


Introducing the State of Market Access Report 2024

Over the past 25 to 30 years, market access has emerged as a key function in the pharmaceutical industry and has evolved to meet the complexities of an ever-changing environment. 

As the cost of therapies has risen, pressure on healthcare systems has increased in tandem, making it critical that companies demonstrate the value that their products deliver for patients, payers, healthcare systems, and society at large. They must also position their products in the contexts of the standard of care and other competitors, and they must communicate a differentiated value proposition clearly, compliantly, and compellingly to a broad range of stakeholders. 

Any of these tasks would be difficult on its own. But taken together, particularly in the context of increased resource pressure, leaner organisational budgets, and global economic uncertainty, these tasks pose a challenge that requires leaders in the field to apply strategic acumen, creativity, and a willingness to critically examine their performance to improve their future outcomes. 

It’s with those needs in mind that we asked key stakeholders across the market access community to share with us their insights, their best practices, their challenges, and their vision for the future. 

In response to our call, we heard from over 130 professionals who answered our survey—representing a range of seniority levels and responsibilities that include Market Access, Pricing, and HEOR functions — who work in a mix of global, regional, and local geographic scopes. 

In addition, we engaged with our 1,300-strong network of global payers to add nuance, breadth, and perspective to our survey findings. These payers brought to us their insights from a range of roles across HTA, pricing committees, and PBMs, and from remits ranging from the hospital level to the national level. 

The report highlights key outcomes from our survey, coupled with payer insights and explores the topics shaping today’s market access landscape including:  

  • Defining success in market access 
  • Areas for improvement for market access teams 
  • Best practices and untapped opportunities 
  • The voice of the payer 
  • The importance of tracking market access performance  

Contributors to this report include our Founding Director, Ahmed Edathodu, alongside Access Infinity Partner, Brett Gardiner, and Director, Isabel Rubio. Their analysis provides valuable insights into the current state of play in market access and offers guidance on future directions based on the rich survey findings. 

A must-read for professionals with their finger on the pulse of market access, this report uncovers the latest insights into the ‘State of Market Access in 2024’. Secure your copy by completing the form below.  

A huge thank you to everyone in our valued market access and payer community who took the time to complete our survey. We hope you enjoy reading this report as much as we’ve enjoyed pulling it together.  

Join the conversation Agree or disagree with what you read? Or, have a different viewpoint you’d like to offer? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line on hello@accessinfinity.com and look out for the 2025 survey launching soon.  

The State of Market Access in 2024 Report

Complete the form to download your copy


Top 3 considerations for market access teams renewing their pricing database subscription


Women Leaders in Market Access: An interview with Katie Gardner from Astellas

In our podcast series, “Women Leaders in Market Access,” we engage in insightful interviews with eight inspiring individuals who are remarkable leaders in the global market access community.

This interview spotlights Katie Gardner, who is Head of Global Market Access Excellence at Astellas. Katie is not afraid to challenge the norm. She has a growth mindset and has compassion and support for how others respond to change and the challenges it brings.

You can access the podcast episode featuring Katie here, or continue reading for the complete Q&A.

Q1: What is your current role and your core responsibilities?

I’m the Head of Global Market Access Excellence and Capabilities at Astellas. I’ve been at Astellas for just over three and a half years now, and my remit is to define market access excellence. I ask what an industry-leading market access function looks like and ensure we have the capabilities to achieve this consistently across the organization. I get to work across Astellas’ market access community, including global and country-based colleagues across all products and the pipeline, and with many cross-functional colleagues across medical and commercial. I’m grateful for my role and really enjoy it.

Q2: What did your own personal journey into market access look like? What led you to the industry?

After completing a PhD in neuroscience, I moved into the pharmaceutical industry. My first job was in pharmaceutical advertising, launching a product that patients and doctors wanted, but payers wouldn’t cover due to a lack of evidence demonstrating the product’s value. This experience introduced me to market access and the importance of payer evidence. I joined a small consultancy focused on payer research and communications, gaining depth in health economics, outcomes research, real-world evidence, and value and access consulting over 12 years. This broad perspective solidified my expertise in market access.

Q3: Did you always have a clear intention to work in science, or was it a career choice that evolved over time?

Looking back, I’ve always enjoyed making evidence-based decisions, which naturally led to science and market access. I’ve always enjoyed problem-solving and wasn’t good at arts and languages, so science was a good fit for me.

Q4: What have been the most significant changes you've seen so far in your career?

The biggest change over the past 15 years is the increasing importance of payer perspectives earlier in product development. Companies that achieve optimal market access are those that integrate payer considerations throughout the development process. At Astellas, we use a framework called Mishi, which ensures we consider payer perspectives from Phase 1 to launch, enabling us to bring innovative treatments to patients as soon as possible.

Q5: Have you had to overcome any barriers or obstacles as part of your journey so far?

I joined Astellas during the first COVID-19 lockdown. I had to build relationships and credibility virtually, which was challenging. I focused on connection questions and building familiarity with my team by discussing life outside of work. Despite working remotely, I aimed to create a high-performing, cohesive team.

Q6: What are the biggest challenges that market access professionals face?

The constantly evolving landscape is a major challenge. Policy changes across the globe, like the IRA in the U.S. and EU pharma legislation, raise the bar for value demonstration. Developing more innovative treatments requires close collaboration between industry and payer decision-making bodies. Increasing agility in the reimbursement landscape is also crucial to adapt to these changes.

Q7: What should market access professionals be doing to prepare for the ever-changing landscape they're faced with?

Embracing digital technology is key to increasing agility. We aim to have a digitally bilingual workforce at Astellas, combining expertise in market access with foundational knowledge of digital tools. This allows us to use digital technologies effectively, whether for payer insights, operationalizing pricing, or value demonstration.

Q8: Given your close involvement with Access Infinity and the ongoing journey, could you provide some insights or commentary on this topic, specifically in the context of your experiences and observations?

Working with Access Infinity is rewarding because of the blend of technical and market access expertise in the team. Diversity within the team fosters innovative ideas, and initiatives like our Togu project allow team members to gain experience in different areas and bring fresh perspectives to projects.

Q9: You've emphasized the significance of building a digitally bilingual team, a term I find intriguing. Additionally, you've highlighted the idea that insights can emerge from any source, and briefly touched on mindset. Could you elaborate more on your thoughts regarding the mindset theme and its role in fostering innovation and digital transformation within teams?

Mindset is crucial for high-performing teams. A growth mindset is necessary for innovation, which involves being open to ideas from anywhere, accepting feedback, and being willing to be challenged. Collaboration between industry and payers is essential to recognize and bring innovation to patients.

Q10: What have you learned along the way in terms of key takeaways? Is there any advice that you'd give to young budding market access professionals starting their career now?

Mindset is crucial for high-performing teams. A growth mindset is necessary for innovation, which involves being open to ideas from anywhere, accepting feedback, and being willing to be challenged. Collaboration between industry and payers is essential to recognize and bring innovation to patients.

Q11: What makes market access a rewarding industry for you to work in?

Making a difference in patients’ lives is the most rewarding aspect. Market access professionals play a crucial role in ensuring patients can benefit from innovative treatments. Keeping the patient focus central to our work helps maintain motivation and drive.

For the complete interview with Katie, click here. Explore other episodes in the Women Leaders in Market Access podcast series here, or find the “Market Access Matters” podcast on all major podcast directories.


World EPA Congress 2025

World EPA Congress

Let’s meet in 2025

We are delighted to confirm our presence at the World EPA Congress 2025 where we’ll be sharing our insights from the Access Infinity team on industry hot topics.

Robert Buckley

Senior Business Development Manager

Thomas Gilboy

Product Owner

Margaret Labban

Product Manager

Best practices in estimating pipeline product prices for early market access teams

It goes without saying that analogues are a great choice for robust evidence because they tell us what’s historically happened to products in similar situations. Of course, there is no perfect analogue that 100% meets your own product, so how do you choose which ones to analyse and review?
There’s much to consider and a lot at stake, not to mention the time pressures you’re facing to answer complex questions, at pace.
So how can early market access professionals take a holistic approach to finding the right analogues in the right time frame?
Our Product Owner Thomas Gilboy explores this at EPA Congress, taking a deeper dive into:
· The analogue analysis challenges faced by today’s early market access teams[LB1]
· How to produce more accurate analysis and evidence to support a product’s launch strategy
· How to pick up the pace of analogue analysis [LB2] so that you can respond rapidly and accurately to enquiries from the [launch?] team

Let’s meet in person

The World EPA Congress 2022 is a great opportunity to share ideas. Block some time for a product demo or chat with our P&MA experts. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.

Meet us at Booth 20.

About Access Infinity

Access Infinity is the world leader of digital transformation in the Pharma Industry. We are a trusted provider of digital platforms and consulting services to leading pharma companies

We come in two flavours


The critical support you need to develop a successful value assessment and launch strategy.

Digital products

Time-saving digital solutions that help you launch your brand to the right patients, at the right price, at the right time.


Women Leaders in Market Access: An interview with AstraZeneca’s Ana Plata

As a part of our podcast series, “Women Leaders in Market Access,” we interviewed eight inspiring leaders from the global market access community.

This interview spotlights Ana Plata, Global Access Franchise Head – Respiratory & Immunology at AstraZeneca. Ana specialises in strategic pricing and market access, contributing to the support of pharmaceutical life cycles. In this interview, Ana delves into her diverse career journey, spanning experiences in both industry and consulting.

During our conversation, Ana emphasises the significance of fostering individual growth, the influential connections made with peers, and the valuable role mentors and coaching play in supporting career paths. She acknowledges that career trajectories are seldom linear.

You can access the podcast episode featuring Ana here, or continue reading for the complete Q&A.

Q1: Can you share your career journey, from aeronautical engineering to global pricing head at AstraZeneca?

My journey started with aeronautical engineering, but I found my passion in bioengineering during my PhD at Imperial College, London. After academia, I ventured into consulting at IMS, where 80% of my time was dedicated to pricing and market access projects. Novartis then invited me to join them in Switzerland, focusing on market access launch strategies. After various roles, including leading a team at UCB, I moved to AstraZeneca ago as the Global Pricing Head.

Q2: What led you to specialize in strategic pricing and market access?

During my time at IMS, I realised the significant impact market access projects could have, both within an organisation and for patients. The evolving landscape, especially in the last 10 years, has shifted the focus from regulatory approval to ensuring meaningful evidence collection for payers and sustainable pricing for healthcare systems.

Q3: Your passion for building and managing large teams is evident. Can you share your approach to leadership and why team development is crucial to you?

My belief is that if the team excels, I excel. I take team development seriously, finding it rewarding to watch team members grow and make significant contributions. My approach involves asking, “How can I help you?” and providing the right environment and resources for team members to own their development and growth.

Q4: What makes market access a rewarding industry, and have you faced any barriers or obstacles in your career?

Market access, in my opinion, has one of the greatest impacts on the industry, ensuring patients have access to the drugs produced. Overcoming barriers often involves translating technical knowledge into broader organisational understanding, emphasising the need for effective communication within cross-functional teams.

Q5: Mentors play a crucial role in career development. Can you share your experiences with mentors and their impact on your journey?

I’ve been fortunate to have inspiring mentors at various stages of my career. My first manager in industry taught me a lot about building effective teams. Strong female leaders have also played a pivotal role in helping me balance work and personal life. I encourage others to seek mentors, as connections in this industry are valuable.

Q6: What advice would you give to your younger self at the beginning of your career?

I would advise my younger self to feel free to explore different opportunities. Early in my career, I sometimes questioned if I was wasting time on less conventional paths. However, these experiences outside the typical trajectory have proven enriching, providing valuable insights and connections.

Q7: What does the future hold for market access, and what changes do you anticipate?

I’m passionate about advancing access to medicine in emerging markets. Looking ahead, I foresee a shift in geographic distribution and increased emphasis on emerging markets. Additionally, I believe market access will continue to grow in importance within pharmaceutical companies, playing a vital role in navigating post-pandemic challenges.



For the complete podcast with Ana, click here. Explore other episodes in the Women Leaders in Market Access podcast series here, or find the ‘Market Access Matters’ podcast on all major podcast directories.


Drive Success with Excel: Top Pricing Tools for Market Access & Pricing Teams


Women Leaders in Market Access: An interview with GSK’s Clare Marley

In our podcast series, “Women Leaders in Market Access,” we shine the spotlight on women leaders in market access, looking at their professional and personal journeys and what’s attracted them to the industry.

This interview features Clare Marley from GSK.

Clare is a seasoned professional with nearly a decade of dedicated service at GSK. With a primary focus on global market access and payer strategy, Clare has seen the evolution of the market access function, transforming from its inception into the dynamic discipline it is today.

Having spent a significant portion of her career navigating the intricacies of market access, Clare’s wealth of experience brings a unique perspective. You can access the podcast episode featuring Clare here, or continue reading for the complete transcribe of the interview.

Q.1 How did you become interested in market access?

My current role is in the global market access function in GSK and I’m the disease area head in our Immunology group. So that means that me and my team, we’ve got responsibility for the inline and the pipeline immunology assets.

I’ve been working in market access for a lot of my career. It’s roughly 15 years now, and that’s been split across a few different companies and I’d say about 50-50 with LOC (Local Operating Country) and global roles. It’s not always been market access though. I did start off my career in sales.

I was a sales representative when I first joined the industry and I worked in various roles in the field as a sales rep, as I’ve mentioned, and then also as a key account management. And it just seemed to grow organically from there, that I moved into market access right at the time, really in the early 2000s when market access was becoming established as a function.

Q.2 So was it the pharmaceutical industry that you started off in sales?

Yes. That’s right. I’ve always been interested in sciences and in that field. I did a science degree back in Dublin and after I finished that I ended up moving straight into pharma. So I have always been in the pharma industry.

Q.3 What encouraged you to explore a career in a STEM subject? Was this intentional?

I think I’ve always been more inclined to sciences in honesty. That comes from my parents – both are biochemists.

Back in Dublin there was a family business that my parents ran and that was supplying hospitals, pharma companies and labs with different equipment and technology.

I was at the stage where I was working there in the summer and, always being exposed to that environment. So it felt natural then to move into studying science. And that’s what I did in UCD in Dublin. Along the way I’ve done some more studies  – a Master’s in epidemiology, which has been both interesting and helped me in my career.

Q.4 Do you think there's more to be done to encourage the next generation into a career in science? Pharma specifically, or maybe even market access?

I think it can be a very rewarding career and it can take you in many different directions.

We were also chatting offline about women coming into STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths) forces. I think the pharmaceutical industry is probably pretty good on that front, compared to some other, STEM industries, like engineering, etc. We always want to be attracting people into this field. It can be a really rewarding career. It can take you around the globe if that’s what you’re inclined to do, it can go in so many different directions.

So, it’s only going to be our benefit if we can attract the top talents that have got new ideas and new ways of doing things into the field. So yeah, I think it’s always important that we’re doing that.

Q.5 How do you think your career pathway started transitioning from sales into market access?

I worked a number of years in the field force as I’ve mentioned, and it was back in the early 2000s when things were really starting to take off from a market access perspective. At that point, a term, I’m not sure you hear it so often now around, postcode lottery.

It really was a postcode lottery in terms of what medicines you could access local funding decisions – I’m talking in the UK from my experience. It was at that time that market access was starting to be established as a core and integrated function within pharma companies as well.

I was curious about becoming involved in that, and I could see the challenges in the field about how could we get access for our drugs for patients? What was the data requirements from a payer perspective, because it was definitely different to the conversations that I was having with healthcare providers and that really interested me.

I managed to move from being out in the field and working as a key account manager, to having more of a role with developing the appropriate materials that the key account manager teams needed in order to engage with payers. So that’s really how the transition happened for me. And then it just went from there in terms of various roles at a local level. And also, then transitioning into a global role after about seven years.

Q.6 Were you always certain about career change from Sales?

The sales element? That’s a tough job. 

And I really enjoyed it at the time, but I was definitely ready, I think, to do something else. It was before where we were joking that you don’t dream necessarily of being in market access when you’re growing up. And it’s funny because my 10-year-old daughter asks, what I do, and she gives me funny looks and I’m trying to explain to her what I do.

But it is a very rewarding career. I’m passionate about health and healthcare and I think you can make a very interesting and rewarding career from working in market access.

Q.7 What is a typical day like for you now, and what are your key priorities?

It’s funny. I bet you’re expecting me to say like there is no typical day and that is true. It’s the variety that keeps it engaging and keeps it interesting. But there are a few priorities that we can talk about. One of the key accountabilities in a global access role is to lead that global pricing and market access team.

And what that looks like is a cross-functional group within global, but also engaging with regions and some LOCs to really drive the strategy at an asset level. One of the core accountabilities is to deliver the strategic plan at an asset level through that hub, through that team. 

Of course, there has to be some external insights and knowledge. So, there’s always some projects going on, whether it’s preparing for an advisory board or external engagement, or gathering insights through another way, such as market research. There are usually projects like that which are ongoing. Another key priority is how we build relationships across the organisation.

So, I do spend a lot of my time with other functions with the cross-functional team. We would sit on other cross-functional teams such as the medicine development team within R and D (research and development), which is really important because one of the things we’re trying to do is to ensure that we’re getting payer strategy and thought early into the development plans and really shaping what the evidence generation is like, so we can have the right evidence at launch for payers as well as all the other important stakeholders.

There’s a lot of engagements across the business. We spend time with our brand teams and with other parts of the business and coming together as a market access team is also important. 

We want to share best practices and know what other people are doing and ensure that we’re tapping into that. Learning from each other and also discussing key trends that are happening externally and what those implications mean for us. So, it’s important that we build our community internally to evolve ourselves as a core and integrated function within the broader organisation.

Q.8 Could you elaborate on the nature of the internal community you're building? Specifically, is it a dispersed community with members located in different locations?

Yes that’s right. We are literally at every corner of the globe within our global market access team, which is brilliant because you’ve got views from all over and different backgrounds and experiences. But the flip side of that is that we’re actually quite a new and forming team here, and we’ve been building those relationships virtually via Teams meetings, etc.

We have got together face-to-face on a few occasions, so there’s more of that happening. Day-to-day, it’s a team that’s spread all over, in different time zones.

Q.9 What is your experience of working with the team at Access Infinity?

So like I mentioned before, gathering external insights is a core part of what we do. I’ve been fortunate enough in the last few years to get to know Shri and Ahmed quite well. And in more recent times, yourself and Keshav it’s been great to work with the team and get to know you.

Mainly for me, it’s been around our strategy development working with the team on trying to think through different analogues and generating payer insights. So, all of that external input is really important into our strategy development. So that’s been the main work that I’ve done with the group.

Q.10 What have been the most significant changes you've seen in your career so far?

I mentioned earlier that market access is a relatively young function, right? So, it’s been fascinating to be part of that journey as it’s emerged as a core and integrated function at a pharma level, and also market access, getting involved even earlier in development.

And I think that’s really significant because not only when we’re bringing innovation to market, do we need to meet the requirements of regulatory stakeholders, but it’s imperative that we’re getting the right data generated so we can achieve early market access and reimbursement. So, we have the right data from a payer perspective as well.

So, I think that’s been interesting to me, just seeing the function grow and evolve, it’s still happening. I think if you looked across different companies, and I’m sure you’re hearing different things with people you speak to, I think there’s probably still variability at a company level with the sort of size of the function or how we’re set up. But that’s part of the evolving function. So, it’s quite interesting to be part of that over the last number of years.

Q.11 What would you say are the biggest challenges that market access professionals face?

This is an interesting one. Market access is, a pretty complex area to work in for a number of reasons. There’s so many interdependencies across different functions within the organisation and I think there’s perhaps slightly an unusual blend of competencies and skills to be successful in the role. 

You have to be technically and scientifically literate alongside having strong business acumen and being able to communicate at different levels within the organisation. So it’s quite a complicated role from that perspective. The other thing is that the environment that we’re working in is in constant states of flux. I’m thinking about policy changes or dynamics in the political environment or other macro trends that really do change how we need to be thinking about market access and our strategies as we develop them. There’s lots of challenges within the role, that keeps it interesting.

Q.12 Would you say you've had to overcome any barriers or obstacles as part of your career journey?

I can answer this from a personal perspective. We are talking a bit about women and their career journey, so there’s some examples I can think of which are related that have probably changed the trajectory of my career.

And it does come back to I’m quite thoughtful about the people that I work with and the managers that I work for. And I really want to work with people that I respect and I trust. And, we’re quite open about our own ethos and values. So that is important to me. And I think these examples show why that’s been helpful.

The first example was just as I was getting my first opportunity to move from an LOC role into a global role, and I was going through the interview process and very excited about this, and actually going through that process, I found out that I was pregnant and I thought, all sorts of thoughts.

I felt stuck and a bit compromised because I was hopefully going to work for somebody that I really respected and trusted. Yet, I knew that I was at the early stages of pregnancy and that in eight months time I was going be gone, and I thought that was going create problems for them.

All of these barriers and assumptions I was creating for myself. And actually the job offer came in. And I initially refused it, right? I said no to the job offer. But thankfully the hiring manager at the time, took the time to really understand. I think he was a bit confused as to why I wasn’t going to accept it and took the time to have that discussion with me and all these barriers that I’d put up for myself, we actually worked those through and thankfully I did come around to accepting that job offer and went from there. 

So I thought that was one example of maybe self-imposed barriers, but it did work out in the end.

It’s something that I’ve carried through, to really try and understand what’s going on for the people that I’m working with, because, you don’t want to lose good talent because people are being forced to make choices between things that might be happening outside work as well as inside work.

I think it’s important that we do have these conversations so we can keep a well-balanced, diverse workforce of people, of all experiences.

Q.14 If you could go back in time to the earliest stages of your career, what advice would you give yourself? Is there anything you'd do differently knowing what you know now?

I think if I could go back in time to the earlier parts of my career, I would’ve leveraged the opportunity of working in a global company to embed myself in different countries and local operating companies.

I’ve done that a bit. Obviously I’ve moved to the UK and I’ve settled here, but I think I’d love to go to somewhere completely different like Japan or something, and really embed myself in there and just have some great experiences traveling a little bit more.

Like I say, that door is not closed. It just becomes more challenging when you’ve got family and other commitments to make those moves…but you never know!

Q.15 What's on the horizon for market access from your perspective?

There’s a few things on my mind. We’ve talked a bit about the policy shifts. I think there’s a lot going on in that space in some of our major markets that are going to impact, of course, those markets, but globally how we engage with our policy, colleagues and how we engage with our LOC‘s just to make sure that we’re part of that conversation and really understanding the implications of some of those policy shifts.

The other thing that I’m personally interested in is how we leverage the role of digital and data and analytics and how we’re thinking about that. How we leverage tools to help our ways of working and operating and becoming more efficient, but also in the data that we’re generating to increase the value of our assets. There’s obviously tons going on in that space, but I think there’s more to come and more to do.

Finally, I think it’s about the role of market access. As we’ve talked a couple of times through this podcast, there’s an integrated core function within the organisation.

We need to be developing leaders that have both technical competency but also the business acumen to be successful in the role. I think that’s really exciting because we start to see that at enterprise level decisions are being made and market access can influence those with an access lens.

For the complete interview with Clare, click here. Explore other episodes in the Women Leaders in Market Access podcast series here or search ‘Market Access Matters’ on all major podcast directories.


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