Are you part of the RWD conversation?

Real-world data (RWD) may be seriously fashionable right now but how can it deliver on its promise if the commercial, HEOR and R&D sides of pharma don’t talk the same language? Jacky Law reports on a growing conundrum.

Whatever the hype surrounding real-world data (RWD), no-one doubts it is the principal means by which healthcare systems will be revolutionised over the next 20 years or so. This is because it enables an outcomes-centred approach to take root so everyone can have a better idea of how well healthcare money is being spent.

Despite this critical importance to everyone in healthcare, relatively few people from the commercial side of pharma can even enter the RWD conversation. This would not matter so much if RWD was simply about gaining or defending market access, the early traction point for most pharma companies to get involved. But, as Simon Hammett, CEO of Monitor Deloitte Europe told a RWD conference this summer, pharma should be thinking in terms of the impact of RWD on whole health economies rather than how they can get their medicines onto formularies. “We hide behind products and how they are assessed but there is a huge amount to learn about patient care,” he said. “The technology platforms are there but we should be thinking in a longer time frame. We need bigger ambitions. The data will get used in the future.”

“We hide behind products and how they are assessed but there is a huge amount to learn about patient care”


The truth is that ‘reality medicine’ embraces every aspect of healthcare, embracing as it does all the human aspects of medicine that are so rigorously deleted from randomised clinical trials. As such, it opens up a whole host of opportunities to enter into partnerships with healthcare organisations, charities, patient communities, physician communities, payers and more. For this reason alone all departments in pharma companies need to have a feel for the rapidly changing healthcare economies they work in, the shifting mindsets among regulators and payers, and a considered view of how RWD can help them achieve their departmental aims.

A new report from pharmaphorum addresses this need by focusing on how RWD is currently being used by payers, regulators and pharma companies from the perspective of people who are not necessarily trained in health economics and outcomes research.

Entitled ‘Reality medicine: How payers, regulators and pharma are working with RWD‘, it provides an overview of why RWD is important to pharma, how the landscape is evolving and the critical importance of building bridges between the commercial and R&D sides of the organisation. It also serves as a guide to the basics of RWD, such as the rapidly changing market for data, the strengths and weaknesses of the growing number of datasets, how they are currently being translated into insights and the difficulties of striking an appropriate balance between methodologies and cost.

Given that brand teams and marketing managers are tasked with presenting their products in the best possible light, it makes essential reading to ensure not only that they can do their jobs properly but also contribute their skills and insights to working with this entirely new dimension to medicine.

To find out more and order your copy, click here.

About the author:

Jacky Law has been writing about pharmaceuticals since joining Scrip Magazine in 1998, before becoming a regular columnist for Pharmaceutical Executive. From 2010 to 2013 she wrote industry reports for FirstWord.

At pharmaphorum Jacky is leading the production of unique and insightful research reports covering the key issues impacting the global pharmaceutical industry.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Have your say: Why is ‘reality medicine’ too important to be left to HEOR?