Rethinking Your Market Access Strategy with Dinesh Kabaleeswaran, Sr. Dir. of Insights and Advisory at MMIT


    Today's episode we explore the ins and outs of market access strategy with Dinesh Kabaleeswaran,  Sr. Dir. of Insights and Advisory at MMIT. Learn more about how to improve market access strategy with better data, payer and buyer insights, and what the medical device side of life sciences can learn from pharma's approach and speed to market access. 

    About Dinesh:
    Dinesh Kabaleeswaran leads MMIT's Advisory & Insights teams, which provide market access context and a market research narrative for MMIT's data and technology products. Dinesh has more than seven years of managed care experience, advising large biopharmaceutical clients on pre- and post-launch strategies across oncology, non-oncology and immunology therapeutic areas. Dinesh holds a master’s in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.


    Recent articles by Dinesh:
    The Power of Partnerships: Why Pharma Needs to Redefine its Role With IDNs (Drug Channels)
    Market Access Speed Is the Next Critical Differentiator for Pharma Manufacturers (PharmExec) 

    About MMIT
    MMIT is regarded as a trusted go-to-market partner that identifies barriers to patient access and helps coordinate major stakeholders to move therapies from pipeline to prescription—answering the “what” of how payers cover therapies and the “why” behind those decisions. MMIT’s product portfolio has been built by listening to our clients, and with expert teams of pharmacists, clinicians, data specialists and market researchers who provide foresight, clarity and confidence. This is the hallmark of who we are and who we will always be.

    MMIT website:
    MMIT on LinkedIn:

    Show notes

    Press Release: MMIT Announces Game-Changing Solution for Life Sciences Companies
    MMIT's Reality Check series

    Previous episodes:

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    Music by keldez


    Transcript is automatically generated. Please kindly excuse any grammatical and spelling errors.   

    [00:00:16] Kelly Stanton: Hi everyone. Thanks for joining the show today. I'm Kelly from Qualio and I'm your host here at, From Lab to Launch. If you haven't already please subscribe and give us a review on Apple or Spotify. We'd appreciate that. If you want to be on the show, please see the application link to the show notes.

    We've had a lot of people reach out and we absolutely love connecting with you. Today's guest is Dinesh Kabaleeswaran, who is the senior director of insights and advisory at Managed Markets Insight and Technology or MMMIT for short. 

    Dinesh does team provides market access context and a market research narrative for MMIT's data and technology products. Dinesh is more than seven years of managed care experience, advising large bio-pharmaceutical clients on pre and post launch strategies across oncology, not oncology and immunology therapeutic areas.

    Dinesh holds a master's in bioengineering from the university of Pennsylvania .The people at MMIT believes that patients who need life-saving treatments, shouldn't face delays because accessing drugs can be confusing. As the leading provider of market access, data analytics and insights, they're expert teams of clinicians, data specialists, and market researchers provide clarity and confidence to help their customers make better decisions.

    They are the trusted go to market partner for more than 1300 biopharma and payer customers. Today, we'll get into market access strategy and how it can be a major differentiator. 


    [00:01:42] Kelly Stanton: So for you to Dinesh welcome, can you give us a quick overview of what you and your team are up to at MMIT? 

    [00:01:50] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Great. Thank you.

    Thank you, Kelly. Thanks for the introduction. It's an absolute pleasure to be on this podcast and to be speaking to video and Managed Markets Insight and Technology is is a trusted go-to partner for several pharmaceutical manufacturers and ensuring that they receive and act upon the market access data.

    We are, we are focused on data technology and around market access and, and my team's mission as, as MMIT's mission is to ensure that we smooth access to therapies from pipeline to prescription, by providing and producing actionable insights for pharmaceutical manufacturers to go out there and take action based on the market access data that they receive.

    [00:02:31] Kelly Stanton: Nice. How do companies typically approach their market access strategy post launch? 

    [00:02:37] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: No, it's a really good question. And it really depends upon the variety of different factors. It's going to change based on the therapeutic area that you operated in and oncology manufacturer with very different strategy of go to market.

    Post-launch from a rad disease manufacturer who will begin have a very different uh, plan of action. From a, from a manufacturer who's been working in immunology for several years and now. A slew of biosimilars that are launching and those strategies are very different. So it's really, it depends upon the therapeutic area that they are operating in and that would influence the dynamics based on the competition in the therapeutic area.

    For example, let's say that you're the ninth. Drug to launch in rheumatoid arthritis. Now, now that's a very different plan of action and expectation setting that immunology manufacturer would have from someone else who's launching probably the first therapy in a completely new therapeutic area, aware there's a huge unmet need and, and theaters react very differently.

    based on therapeutic area to payers have much more open access in oncology and in rare diseases that in highly competitive categories, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis or society or credits. So all of these factors really influence how a manufacturer would go to these payers post-launch right after FDA approval.

    [00:04:02] Kelly Stanton: Interesting. Are there things you see them doing from that strategic perspective that you think they should consider doing differently? 

    [00:04:10] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Yeah, absolutely. And I, and I think one of the one of the things that you're, you're seeing evolve in the market access basis is help. Manufacturer has actually had this conversation with peers and most of the Bible pharmaceutical manufacturers, and only by stage tech companies are really, really good at having these conversations post-launch and a few months prior to launch, but where the industry is uh, leading us towards is having these conversations much earlier in the, in the pipeline planning process.

     and some of these conversations now tend to happen even in phase one and phase two in. That's fantastic because that just opens up a lot of opportunities for all forms of stakeholders in the in the value proposition change. That's right from payers to physicians, to clinical trial experts, to manufacturers and ultimately to patients.

    And and that is something that we are seeing change. And we would really like to influence the change in a positive direction over the course of the next few years. 

    [00:05:12] Kelly Stanton: I've worked in both device and drug development in my career, and it's an area that medical device, I think actually does a better job of considering in the design control process.

    Very early on, we talk about reimbursement and what's our strategy to get paid. And, and it's amazing to me that a drug can get all the into the market and nobody has talked about what happens, how do we get paid? That's, that's great. I love, wow. I really love to hear that you guys are uh, focusing on that because I think it's something that the pharma and biotech industries could do better than they do now.

    Well, And I think kind of opens up the next question a little bit there life sciences as an industry is becoming increasingly competitive. Why should companies introduce market access strategy earlier in the commercialization process? 

    [00:05:59] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Of course, Kelly. And I think it's a really good point that you, that you made as well in terms of some of the trends that we've seen in the medical devices and what drops into Facebook could learn from their counterparts in medical devices, because.

    The world has really changed . In the last five or six years. And I never get tired of telling the story, but in 2015 and 2016, when they were life-changing hepatitis C products at the launched to the market prior, prior to that particular inflection point, largely biopharmaceutical manufacturers would take access for granted.

    And when you think about that at any, when you're launching your high cost therapy, that's. So solving for a huge unmet need in the industry, you would expect naturally you would expect your therapy to be covered. And that's what used to happen. And most of these drugs, when they launched to the market, they would be covered through a new drug launch policy.

    That would say that you're launching this market only need us to fill out this form, or you would be covered a lot of prior authorization because ultimately you're going to get cured and there's going to be a reduction in downstream hospitalization costs. But what's really changed since that launched in 2015 and in 2016, was that it really impacted the impact, the budget impact models for a lot of theaters.

    And they were like, Hey, wait, wait, let's take a step back. And let's think about this. And let's not approve drugs to be reimbursed or covered immediately after launch. And what they did was very interesting because the landscape completely shifted post 2016 and 17, they started imposing much more restricted.

    Interim policies. Now these are not final right authorization policies that would ensure coverage for drug, but in post interim policies. And their intention was not really to deny coverage per se, but rather to the lake up on it so that they can buy time and and ensure that they can count the budget impact models and, and, and work and provide access for the, for these therapies.

    Ultimately based on a certain set of restrictions of Panama. And now we are in a position where manufacturers have to get some manufacturers that are stay on top of it, and now they need to have these conversations much more earlier in the process in order to ensure that these drugs are getting powered right off the launch within the first three months or the six months or nine months.

    And that is something that's, that's, that's a key change that we've seen in the last few years. More importantly, Kelly and I think this is why it's pretty important to have these conversations early in the, in the pipeline. Planning process is not only to ensure that your drug gets reimbursed or covered because that's, that's always the million dollar question with payers, right?

    It would always want to make sure that your drug gets covered in. But more and more payers are having a position and ensuring that, ensuring how clinical trials are being, even designed a Bayer would expect to see that if you need this particular

    or let's see a progression-free survival rate, and that's when we would cover your drug on top of these five other therapies now, And that kind of feedback from a or from position or from anyone else in the stakeholder group becomes very influential in designing those clinical trials so that those end points are met and ultimately these drugs are reimbursed and patients get access to therapies.

    And and that's why it becomes very imperative that market accidents, stakeholder group is a. The pipeline planning processes at every single stage in the, the whole writing prompt chain. 

    [00:09:40] Kelly Stanton: Definitely. Definitely. I couldn't agree more. Yeah, lots of experience in that space with getting partway through trials and then having additional questions answered that we didn't consider and given the number of drugs that drop out in that phase two space and never see the light of day.

    That, that could, that could be a part of the influence, I think, to help solve some of those pipeline problems to. So tell us a little more about recent patient access analytics launch. We'll link to the press release in the show notes, but give us your version of the story. 

    [00:10:13] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Oh, it's, it's a, it's a game changer.

    That's and that's fine. That's fine for word, for word response to the patient access analytics. It's, it's it, there's this, the instead of the holy Trinity of the healthcare system, right? You really need to make sure that you have access to. Are claims information, you have access to your access data, and how do you bridge that together?

    And then I'll and none better than 10 algos up platform, patient access analytics to help bring those data sets together. Because now you're not only solving for those access westerns, but you're also buying and tying it with respect to claims data and answering and providing responses. Instantaneously saving loads of time or for a lot of the pharmaceutical manufacturers, I'm really excited and thrilled that this is in the market.

    And and I can't wait to see how it's going to change the game of, for a lot of biopharmaceutical manufacturers. 

    [00:11:11] Kelly Stanton: That's awesome. Are you guys measuring some of the, like keeping an eye, on those trends from a before and after perspective or. We be able to pull some measurable insights you think from the, Hey, if you would put this data in your trial, we'll go faster, smoother, better.

    [00:11:29] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Yes, of course. And, and, and, and I think the, the beauty of patient taxes, analytics, it's not just in solving for a particular use case with a clinical trial or a particular use case with respect to bringing together axes and teams data, but, but really solving for a variety of different use cases. And and we are starting to have conversations with a lot of pharmaceutical manufacturers who have expressed.

    And anticipate a lot of promise from the, from the patient access analytics platform. And and very soon, I'm sure you're going to start tracking a lot of the the impact, tangible impact that it's going to create for pharmaceutical manufacturers, because, because he had ultimately at the end of the day, it's all about impact.

    And when you think about impact, you can measure it through a number of different ways. But I think with patient access and. The key word is the impact is tangible and can be measured and, and and ultimately creates a positive influence in the in the industry of solving market access needs.

    [00:12:30] Kelly Stanton: Definitely. I can see it affecting valuation as well in some of the startups, if and I'm sure there are ways to get it such things and probably. At least in my experience, I've seen some interesting sort of creative ways to get at some of that valuation, but to have this real data to drive some of that, I feel like that's, that's you're right.

    That's a game changer for sure. That's exciting. 

    [00:12:53] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Yes, it isn't. And I think I'm like these, it's a very exciting phase and its evolution as it unites with and I'll go the group and the evaluate business because now you're not only solving for. From from manufacturers, but also solving for questions from a financial firms, from valuation companies, from investors and and get not only operating at a particular phase in, in the pipeline process, but you really go from pipeline to prescription.

    And and definitely opens up opportunity to learn more from the market, not just from a particular stakeholder group and also to provide provide more positive change to across all of these different 

    [00:13:34] Kelly Stanton: Nice. Nice. So I'm on your website. I noticed a, you've got MMIT reality check series, lots of great insights there.

    We're also gonna provide that link in the show notes. What are some interesting trends you're seeing in health care that that you guys are speaking to in the, in the insights series. 

    [00:13:52] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: It's of course. And, and MMIT is a reality check series and he also recently lost its its thought leadership program where maybe provide a lot of different maybe cover a lot of different trends from different parts to be a part of the industry.

    In 2022, the landscape is continuously evolving and, and 2022 is going to be an exciting year for healthcare. For a couple of reasons. Number one is the launch of a lot of different, I cost therapies in the market. And and when you, when you have all these high cost therapies in the market or something to react, and whether the reactions are going to be positive challenging or neutral is going to be something that's going to be interesting for us to monitor.

    And and with, with the launch of all these different high cost therapies, whether it is in oncology, whether it is in genetics it's going to, it's going to change the. Payers operate not only in 2022, but also into the future. And that's the only thing that's going to be exciting for us to monitor.

    Number two is the launch of a lot of different biosimilars in the market. And we, we saw several different biosimilars launching apology, but expecting immunology bias from the nurse to launch. And that's going to set a series of trends that if you're already learned from. And that's really, that's really exciting for a lot of us.

    The other key trend is really the evolution of a lot of different copay, accumulator programs and patient assistance programs. And some of which are really evolving to dig deeper into the pockets of the pharmaceutical manufacturers and pockets of. And thereby eating into the cost of these specific stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.

    And and that's just something that's going to evolve and, and, and I see it becoming more and more restrictive over time. And and that's also going to be interesting to monitor. So 20, 22, overall, I think we're also seeing a lot of digital therapeutics and, and, and, and genetics and and those are very interesting spaces to operate.

    And it's interesting because no one, everyone has a view. And if you look at it overall, no views really consistent from from one person to another. And, and, and that's going to be interesting for us to evaluate and assess and see how this. So together, these are some of the three or four trends that I'm particularly interested and excited about and added to the fact that we have all of these market research solutions that solve for these issues day in and day out.

    Just makes it a very just makes it a big proud woman for us to really operate in. 

    [00:16:27] Kelly Stanton: That's exciting. All right. On a more personal note, if you could go back and tell yourself something at the start of your career, what would that be?

    [00:16:36] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: So an interesting question, and I think we'll go as we, as we, as we look at the next 10 years I really strongly feel that The key to success in healthcare, or, and this may be applied in a different is interdisciplinary knowledge. And and, and that is something that I'm looking to recalculate for every single time and every single conversation.

    And that's why I'm a big fan of these podcast skills, because you have so much, so much diversity in each of the conversations that you have with different guests that you invite. And and the reason for the importance of interdisciplinary knowledge is it's just going to be the application of that of, of of all these different skills and your day-to-day learnings.

    For example, I would have never thought that. Eight years back when, when I first joined managed markets in the site and technology or seven years back when I first find the organization that there's going to have a big say in clinical trials and clinical trials is not your final focus as a, as a function or as a, as a study material for you.

    Now, it's really important for, for you to know all about, all, about helping yourself. Eight years back. I, would've never thought that my research in neuroscience models will come in handy as I prepare a models of analogs and forecasts. But now we understand that there's, there's a lot of importance that goes into application of mathematical modeling from neuroscience into, into an analog or a forecast of that you prepare for drug debts model launch.

    So if I had to go back in time and I would, I would reiterate with myself that interdisciplinary learning is going to be pardoned and that's something that they should always look into the future 10 years from now, when we maybe have this conversation, Kelly will probably be operating in a very different world of healthcare.

    And, and we might think that, Hey, what are we speaking to? It looks like a conversation from the 1950s. So that's the. We are changing and we are evolving and I think it's really important to keep abreast of and drum and run at the same time. 

    [00:18:45] Kelly Stanton: Yep. Totally agree. Totally agree. It's it's been quite an evolution time in industry.

    I was joking with someone when I talked to recently that I, I remember when I first started my career, we were still using carpet copy paper to record all of our lab results. And, and now people are like carbon copy. What is that? Like she's just asking a kid to dial a rotary phone, right? But man, it, it has, it does change.

    And, and again, the, the whole learning about clinical trial space and the importance of these kinds of things and having that input into the trial, it's it's a small world and it's just getting smaller. It feels and the more we know, the better decisions we can all make about all of it.

    So where can people go to learn more follow along? 

    [00:19:34] Dinesh Kabaleeswaran: Oh, so you can connect with me on LinkedIn, my last name to spell check. Kelly, I hope you would, you would provide the right spelling of the byline on the podcast, and you can also learn more about MMIT at MMIT and, and connect with us and engage with us.

    And we're happy to have. 

    [00:19:57] Kelly Stanton: Great. Thank you so much. Dinesh really appreciate your time.