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Take a Look Into Our Market Access Work

Have you wondered what our Market Access work is like? Take a peek below at some recent projects.

If you have similar needs in your organization for our assistance, we’d be happy to hear what your needs are and discuss how we would approach addressing them.  Email Greg Hall at to find out more.

  1. Biosimilar coding scenario testing. Worked with a biosimilar company to determine the impact that various coding scenarios could have on product uptake at the time of launch and beyond.  Conducted a qualitative market research study with 20 oncology practice managers as well as a quantitative study with another 50 practice managers and developed a financial impact model.  Completed all aspects of the project (from proposal to reporting results) in less than 4 weeks!!
  2. Reimbursement hotline and patient assistance program service vendor contract review and input. Assisted two separate clients by reviewing their vendor contracts and provided input for improvements in terms of service level metrics, contract terms, performance evaluations of their vendor, etc.  One client garnered 10% annual savings moving forward with improved contractual terms based on our input and direction.
  3. Perceptions of marketed product. We conducted an in-depth market research study with pharmacists and clinicians regarding a product used in the hospital inpatient and outpatient setting.  We probed on clinical, cost and payment issues impacting product uptake.  Significant findings included how this class of products is evaluated both from a therapeutic and economic stand point and what are the key differentiators among this class of products given similar safety and efficacy profiles.

Reflections on the Legacy of Dick Fordyce

For the last eight years I have had the honor of presenting the R.R. Fordyce award at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group (PMRG) Institute held each fall.  As Dick Fordyce’s daughter, it is a highly emotional evening for me.

Established in 1999, the R.R. Fordyce award is PMRG’s most prestigious award.  It is given to the person who, like my father, exemplifies the principles of excellence, innovation, and integrity in pharmaceutical market research.  Recipients have demonstrated an exemplary level of character, ethics, and leadership in their professional and personal lives.  They have made an outstanding contribution to healthcare market research in their leadership, decision-making, and mentoring activities.

On the evening of the awards dinner each year, many of the people in attendance seek me out in order to share their stories about my father.  I listen with a mix of joy and sadness.  I knew him as a loving, family-focused father who I miss every day even sixteen years after his passing.  But it also warms my heart to hear about the impact he had in the industry that he loved so much.

I have heard stories about how he had a direct impact on people’s choice of market research as a career; how he made C-suite associates see the importance and value of market research; how he mentored others not just by what he said but how he acted; and how so many looked to him for leadership especially during difficult situations.  It is humbling to know that seventeen years after he retired, his legacy lives on.  He made a difference in the industry and in the people he touched during his career.

My father has undoubtedly influenced my inevitably career choice.  After spending ten years in other areas within healthcare, I started my own career in market research after his passing.  I have find similar joy in the industry working with others to make a significant contribution.  He continues to inspire me to learn new things, grow in the profession, and bring integrity to everything that I do.

Looking at the changing healthcare landscape, I can only hope others (and myself included) can continue to follow his example within healthcare market research.

Katie Fordyce

Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte and Why Medical Myths Persist in the Age of Information

September is almost upon us and with it, the sights and smells of autumn: kids in school, college football, leaves on the ground and for some, most importantly, the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). With its own Twitter account, Facebook page and an army of avid lovers, this seasonal drink is a rock star among lesser beverages. Recently, a friend of mine reposted a dire warning from a popular food blogger about PSL. The photo showed a close up view of the drink and listed nine different reasons not to drink it: everything from pesticide residue to potentially hazardous ingredients. Most ominously, Carmel Color Level IV leads the list with the claim that it is considered to be a carcinogen.

Almost two decades of being a market researcher has made me skeptical of any claim of medical benefit or harm. It’s too easy to be misled or to misunderstand data, especially any that involve provocatively scientific conclusions. In the PSL, the issue is the formation of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) in the manufacturing process of the caramel coloring. The claim cited a 2008 toxicity and carcinogenicity study by Chan, Hills, Kissling and Nyska ( as scientific proof of the chemical’s harmful effects and the company’s intentional disregard for the safety of its consumers. A little digging and a few keystrokes led me to a article that debunked the claims ( I also found that the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority have both concluded that consumers should not be concerned about 4-MI.

If the truth about this claim was so easy to find, why do this and other medical myths persist? The answer involves the way humans make decisions when confronted with overwhelming and conflicting information. Specifically, the shortcuts we use and assumptions we make in evaluating the credibility of data. In this case, I looked for data from information sources I trusted (e.g., and government sites). In evaluating the credibility of the data, I made three specific assumptions: 1) has the ability to correctly evaluate the claim, 2) information published on government websites are accurate, and 3) I have the ability to understand clinical trial information published in a journal article. Implicit in each of these assumptions, of course, are many more assumptions. When combined, they form a heuristic structure that helps to interpret the information I receive and decide what to do next. My friends’ assumptions were fundamentally different from mine, which led her to a very different conclusion. In identifying the assumptions, we quickly understood how two intelligent people could come to vastly different conclusions.

This same pitfall applies to marketers as they wade through a sea of potentially conflicting data about their markets, consumers and competitors. It’s not only the data itself, but also the lens through which that data is evaluated that can make all the difference between a successful and failed campaign. It is for this reason Cadence staffs projects with people from varied backgrounds: brand planning, sales, market research, regulatory, etc. It helps us to identify and (if needed) challenge the assumptions we work with as we design, execute and interpret research. For everyone from brand managers to consumers, a little skepticism and a willingness to identify hidden assumptions is the key.

As for me, I can sleep tight, knowing that my favorite Starbucks drink isn’t going to kill me anytime soon.

 —Sugata Biswas

The Cadence Concierge Experience

I often get asked why I joined Cadence and what sets us apart from other Medical Communications companies. For me, it’s a very obvious answer: we provide a concierge-level quality of customer service.

All agencies care about the outcome of each project. Each team stands a hundred percent behind what they do and are committed to each task at hand, no matter how big or small. But our clients have told us that we consistently go above and beyond that level. A few weeks ago, a client told me that he had just watched the film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and she couldn’t help thinking of how we made her experience feel like she was being looked after by Ralph Fiennes’ character. She said, “You know, you should call it the ‘Cadence Concierge Experience.’”

I knew exactly what she meant. Many hotels have someone that you can ask for advice as to what activities you could do, or where you should go and eat, and you will usually talk to someone who will pull out a city map start drawing circles. However, the very best properties have professional concierge who is genuinely thrilled to guide the guests’ itineraries and usher them through an exquisite experience. At Cadence, we only hire these concierge-level people, screening for individuals with good attitudes and who demonstrate the ability to truly care about our clients. This cannot be simply taught, nor can it be simply bought.

There are a number of unique situations we’ve found ourselves in over the years, and each time our team has gone above and beyond the letter of the contract. We pride ourselves of being one of the best medical communication companies in the industry, and all our team members are highly qualified with many years of experience in the field. As such, we know the extent to which careful attention to what others might consider to be minor or small details can make a major difference to our clients.

In one situation, our team was managing a European meeting and our client was looking forward to exploring the city once the meeting was completed. However, he was a bit intimidated by the public transport system, and mentioned that he was nervous about taking the local train. Our team researched the train lines, accompanied him to the station, and outlined how he could get to his destination and back to the hotel again. He arrived back that evening, full of stories and enthusiastically grateful for our assistance and the boost of confidence it gave him.

On another occasion, the meeting we had organized happened to coincide with a major storm that had moved into the area at the same time advisors were scheduled to arrive. Our client was extremely concerned about the participants getting to the meeting safely and timely, given the cancelled and delayed flights that resulted. To allay their fears, we posted team members in the hotel lobby until very late at night to personally greet each advisor upon arrival, to show them how grateful our client was that they still made the trip despite the delays and less than convenient travel experience. The next day, several of the advisors commented that this small gesture was greatly appreciated, and our client told us that we had made them feel taken care of at the end of a long and frustrating travel day.

One other situation occurred at one of the major European Medical Conferences, where in addition to supervising several projects for large clients, the Cadence team was also assisting in a smaller project for a start-up company. When the Cadence team landed on the tarmac, they found several urgent voicemails from the start-up client disclosing that there had been a terrible mix-up in the printed materials their internal team had prepared for another project, and they didn’t have the ability to fix the problem on their own. Our team jumped to action immediately and found a local printer who was able to recreate the materials. The Cadence team went to the printer, proofed them for accuracy, and then personally delivered them to the hotel where our client told us, “You really saved my bacon!”

Of course, small situations like this don’t make or break any event; however, it has definitely been our experience that if clients and meeting participants feel that all the details of the meeting are being handled professionally and that the organizing team truly demonstrates that it cares, it frees the client to focus on the big picture. Ultimately, our mission is to help our clients reach their short-term and long-term goals, and I think we have found that small acts of kindness go a long way.

Susanne Blassingille

What Does it Mean for a Vendor to be of Service?

Service, like so many words in the business lexicon, seems to have lost it’s meaning as it has become a ubiquitous marketing term.   At Cadence, service speaks to not only what we do but also how we do it.  Service means consistently providing outstanding work AND a providing a great client experience.  Client experience is the foundation of everything we do.  Having walked in our client’s shoes, we understand the dynamic nature of their work environment and the daily demands that are placed upon them that go beyond a single project.   As such, our aim is to be a collaborative partner that our clients can rely on to consistently deliver high quality service.   Our biggest compliment is when our clients tell us that they don’t have to worry about any project that we are involved with.  Giving our clients this peace of mind is what we strive for in every single project.

Sugata Biswas