The ongoing economic situation and the shift from prescriber to payer are continuing to raise concerns for the pharma industry when it comes to market access, but there is limited progress to overcome these obstacles, a new report says.

According to the report Market Access in Europe 2011, 87% of life sciences executives in Europe rated the shift from prescriber to payer as the major challenge for market access followed by the economic environment (81%).

The report, which is the second annual report on market access to be conducted by Cegedim Relationship Management, shows that almost nine out of 10 respondents (87%) believe it is important to change market strategy because of the challenges – a similar figure to last year – but there have been few signs of progress in 2011 if not retrograde steps.

The collection of stakeholder-driver information such as cost containment, for example, is down from 35% to 29% this year. Eighty-two percent of companies are collecting position/specialism roles of stakeholders – down from 87% last year; and 76% collect level of important or influence – down from 81% last year. In addition, two thirds are collecting type of influence/value to brand and 58% the role in the commissioning network – a similar result to 2010. Only 1% say their company has the ability to influence market access stakeholders very well.

Meanwhile, only 51% of respondents believe market access strategies are targeting the entire product lifecycle and a company’s ability to share information across departments has dropped from 43% in 2010 to 34% in 2011. And only 53% have embarked on initiatives to address the care pathway – such as education about the benefits of lifestyle changes.

However, some trends to address these challenges have been seen with seven out of 10 respondents reporting a shift towards return on investment based measurement and a rise from 25% to 31% in companies pursuing pay for performance strategies to gain approval for new medicines.

According to the report, companies must maximise information resources and share this between internal departments in order to overcome the market access barrier.

Cegedim Relationship Management also conducted another survey on the trends in customer database management in Europe. A key finding was database quality impacts targeting strategy, territory management, knowledge of HCPs at local and regional levels and sales force effectiveness. But with so much data becoming increasingly available there is a challenge to maintain quality and understand what the data means. The survey found that in the coming year many companies will increase their investments in data management.