Prioritizing Markets for Access Sustainability

Using APT, Axios assesses strategic, financial, operational and local indicators to help companies determine where best to focus their access efforts


Healthcare costs continue to increase around the world as pharmaceutical companies invest in developing innovative and specialized medicines to battle the 21st century rise in chronic conditions. These medications, given their cost, are frequently not fully covered by country governments or other payers, leaving patients with the responsibility for covering the cost of their treatment on their own.

To help patients cover the cost of treatment, alternative access solutions are needed. One multinational pharmaceutical company understood that their innovative oncology treatment was not reaching many cancer patients across the world because of issues of affordability, among other barriers. However, it was not possible to implement an access program in all 70+ markets where patient needs existed. The company was looking for support in helping to prioritize countries where an access intervention like a Patient Support Program (PSP) was likely to have the most significant impact.


Axios used its proprietary Access Prioritization Tool (APT) to assess strategic, financial, operational and local indicators to help the company determine where best to focus their access efforts. The tool evaluated countries based on four key indicators:

Alignment with current business strategy: Where is the company best positioned for greatest impact and what product-specific needs should be taken into consideration?

Operational feasibility: Axios considers factors such as the number of specialists and the number of specialty centers available to support the implementation of a PSP. This metric also seeks to evaluate what level of public corruption exists in that country, ease of doing business and potential risks.

Affordability and economic potential: Here Axios considers a country’s GDP per capita, its income distribution, and annual household income, among other factors to estimate the affordability of the patient population and the expected market size.

Level of unmet need: Using a range of epidemiological indicators, Axios worked to understand gaps at the health system and patient level.  In additional, by utilizing the Human Development Index (HDI), attention is given to the population’s standard of living, health development, education, and what percentage of the country resides in urban centers.

By using a prioritization tool validated on over 25 years of access experience, the company was able to considers the real market needs and gaps, proactively captures potential risks and opportunities for mitigation, enable more effective strategy development and facilitate access initiative sustainability.


Using insights from APT and primary research, 12 high potential markets were prioritized, and a country-specific strategic framework was created for each market to guide the development of PSP design and implementation.