Assessing The Opportunity For A Digital Launch Of A Cancer Drug
Assessing the opportunity for a digital launch of a cancer drug in East Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is battling a “double burden” of disease: infections still take a monumental toll, while non-infectious conditions are increasing rapidly. In parts of the continent, cancer is now the third highest cause of death after infections and cardiovascular disease, and cancer incidence is expected to double by 2040, to more than 1.6M cases per year.
Yet less than a third of Africans with cancer have access to treatment. Effective and affordable drugs are sorely lacking and there is an acute shortage of healthcare providers with oncology training.
Tech Care for All was approached by a European biopharma company with an innovative anti-cancer drug for one of the three deadliest cancers. The company wanted to launch the drug in an African country—but only if it could devise a feasible means to enter the market differently than the competition.
Tech Care for All Approach
In this advisory assignment, Tech Care for All was able to tap our deep expertise in leveraging digital technology to help innovative drugs go to market in challenging settings. The team performed a comprehensive analysis of the current treatment landscape, unmet needs, key players present, market size, availability and distribution of health professionals, and other variables. To understand cancer patients’ needs in detail, we mapped patient journeys without and with the support of digital health solutions. This enabled the team to identify specific points where digital health solutions could help. Finally, the team devised business models, constructed launch scenarios and identified decision points for the client.
TC4A’s research revealed some constraints and a number of factors conducive to a digitally powered product launch. For example, the level of government health coverage was quite good, allowing patients to obtain reimbursement for treatments through a publicly funded oncology benefit package. High mobile phone and internet penetration in the country meant that digital solutions would be feasible—from marketing of the drug to engaging with patients. By integrating digital learning to build providers’ cancer management skills and a taking holistic approach to patient’s treatment journeys, TC4A was able to recommend a go-to-market strategy that works for the target country and can be replicated and cost-effectively scaled across other countries.