A career within Market Access consulting can be a rewarding and ever-evolving option for those looking to help patients gain access to new - and potentially life-saving - therapies. We often see Life Science graduates contact us looking for an entry-level Market Access job, but they're unsure of what exactly a career within this sector entails. This guide will hopefully answer all your questions about what Market Access is and how to go about starting your career within it.
What is Market Access?
Market Access is essentially the way pharmaceutical companies allow their products to enter the market, across various countries and regions, in order to reach and benefit patients. Market Access is focused on demonstrating the value of these products in order to gain access to and supply the national health service of a country, after which pharmaceutical companies are then reimbursed as the product is used by patients.
Market Access is a niche, yet ever-expanding market within pharmaceuticals. There is a growing need for strong talent within the sector and the only way to continue this growth will be to invest in graduate and entry-level Market Access roles. There are a couple of reasons for this, the most prominent being that Market Access is such a specific area of pharma that it can be quite difficult to transfer into the sector from a different pharma-based role, meaning the best way in is to start in an entry-level position and work your way up.
So how do I go about starting a career within Market Access?
We come across many candidates who are interested in working within Market Access but who don’t know exactly what the sector consists of or what degree / skill-set they need in order to get their foot in the door. One element the majority of pharmaceutical companies or pharmaceutical consultancies look for is a strong academic background and an interest in life sciences. Usually, an MSc, PharmD or PhD in a life science-related degree is required for an application, but not always.
Market Access, particularly when working on behalf of a consultancy, will usually involve working on projects from around the world. As a result of this, languages are always an advantage for a consultancy to have in-house, so if you can speak a different language or two this will stand you in good stead.
Relevant experience is always a plus when employers are looking for graduate or entry-level candidates. For example, if you have worked in a pharmacy, pharmaceutical company, pharmaceutical consultancy or in medicine previously this would be advantageous, but again this is not always essential.
Some of the main components of experience that will be beneficial are strong analytical skills, excellent communication skills, research experience, the ability to work with complex data and being able to deliver an excellent service to clients.
There are a variety of doors that will open once you begin your career in pharmaceuticals. The usual career ladder for Market Access is as follows:
- Junior Market Access Analyst
- Market Access Analyst
- Senior Market Access Analyst
- Associate Market Access Consultant
- Market Access Consultant / Market Access Project Manager
- Senior Market Access Consultant
- Associate Director of Market Access
- Market Access Director
- Market Access Senior Director
Visit our Market Access jobs page to discover more roles within in Market Access, HEOR and Health Outcomes:
There is no definitive tick list of experience or credentials that are required to get yourself into the Market Access space, but we hope this guide will give some help to people interested in a career within this exciting sector.
If you're currently interviewing for a role within Market Access, HEOR or Real-World Evidence, take a look at our handy interview guides:
Get in touch:
If you're looking for opportunities within Market Access, or you're looking for support with your recruitment, get in touch with our specialist consultant Emily Shaw on: