New HRA Research Study Shows Relationships between Pharma and Payors Remain Lukewarm, Although Bolstered by Comparative Data and Contracting

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Research Study Reveals Various Unmet Needs and Opportunities

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HRA’s newest study provides a deep dive into the relationship between pharma/biotech and payors.

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According to The New Pharma/Payor Relationship in the Age of Value and Consolidation, a study published this month by HRA - Healthcare Research & Analytics, relationships between pharma/biotech manufacturers and payors remain tepid — although integrated delivery networks (IDN) may enjoy more positive engagements with manufacturers than managed care organizations (MCO).

HRA’s newest study provides a deep dive into the relationship between pharma/biotech and payors, as it explores features inherent to strong partnerships and provides insight into the data, information and support that are most meaningful in building relationships. It also covers trends in formulary coverage practices and decision making — as well as contracting — including prevalence and expectations for value-based/outcomes contracting. The comprehensive research program includes an extensive literature search and findings from in-depth qualitative interviews with MCO and IDN executives, as well as quantitative research to help identify trends and project findings to the broader marketplace.

Additional findings noted that although just one-quarter of the MCO decision makers participating in the research characterize their relationships as “extremely positive,” almost twice the proportion of IDN decision makers assert the same. Perceptions have mostly held steady, as a majority of decision makers contend that the relationships have become neither more adversarial nor more cooperative in the past few years, despite market changes that include consolidations/acquisitions, an expensive biologic pipeline and increased focus on “quality.”

The study reinforces that data quality and a willingness to engage in contracting that aligns with payor practices and policies are central to the relationship. It also notes that if these basic needs are unmet, other efforts at “partnership” are untenable. "The game is about demonstrating value…value of one’s service, device, drug…but it’s beyond that,” said a health economist/key opinion leader participating in the research. “The value relates to [treatments] in that space and to the larger care population. Drugs are being evaluated [on value] more so now than ever.”

Jim Callandrillo, EVP and GM of HRA, noted, “As the market changes, the payor audience is more critical than ever before. Our clients may have a glimpse of the bigger picture when engaging in product-specific custom research efforts with payors. But our study provides the full story, in one robust report, to serve as a guidepost for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to help them better engage with their key customers.”

More information on The New Pharma/Payor Relationship in the Age of Value and Consolidation can be found at

About HRA - Healthcare Research & Analytics
HRA is a consultative health care market research practice leveraging a flexible spectrum of solutions to support decision-making and strategy development across health care channels. HRA’s team of highly-experienced market researchers combines deep domain expertise in health care, science, business, and analytics with a passion for uncovering insights. HRA’s portfolio of offerings encompasses quantitative and qualitative, custom and syndicated market research services to support the business needs of the pharmaceutical, managed care, health systems, and medical device markets. HRA’s people and its products provide the health care market with actionable intelligence – facilitating better business decisions. HRA is part of Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc., a full-service health care communications company offering education, research and medial media.

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Michael J. LaCosta
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