Engaging Advocacy Groups – Critical Factors
Engaging advocacy groups is vital to a strong stakeholder network. Snowfish has worked with multiple life science companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to aid their commercialization strategy by helping to build their communities of advocacy organizations. Through these efforts, we have analyzed hundreds of organizations and identified shared goals with our life science clients.
A keen understanding of the unique attributes of organizations empowers your commercialization strategy as each plays a unique role. When we tend to think of advocacy organizations, patients come to mind. However, there are those that focus most of their efforts on professionals or policy as well as a combination. Regardless of their main objectives, we often find that advocacy groups share common goals such as creating awareness or a given condition or spreading the word about new treatments. They may engage in outreach efforts to inform lawmakers or regulatory bodies about the need for funding or disease-specific factors that should be considered when adopting new policies and rules.
10 Areas That Advocacy Groups Support Life Science Companies
Below are the top 10 areas for collaboration with advocacy groups but clearly there are more:
- Identifying patients for clinical trials, especially when dealing with rare diseases
- Create awareness about a newly approved treatment
- Lobbying for policy or regulatory changes
- Build coalitions to support key initiatives
- Develop guidelines that affects practice and patient care
- Conduct clinical research
- Provide a human face on a given disease state to policymakers
- Holding meetings and events to inform the industry, patients, policymakers and healthcare professionals.
- Publishing articles and information for clinical and consumer audiences
- Understanding the viewpoints of key constituencies.
Evaluating Advocacy Groups on Critical Metrics
Another critical factor is how various attributes of an organization with commercialization efforts. This involves taking a detailed look at the advocacy universe around a given disease state. We recently reviewed over 55 organizations around the world for a global product launch. Snowfish looked to understand the relative strengths of each organization, policy priorities, key opinion leaders (KOLs) and the alignment between the advocacy organization and our life science partner. We also segmented them based on potential areas where our client might collaborate. Such factors used to assess the viability of the relationship include:
Based on a solid understanding of the needs of our client and what the organizations brought to the table, we were able to narrow down 55 organizations to a handful that merited further engagement. Commercialization strategy is multipronged, however there is virtually no single organization that can serve as a partner for every activity. For example, certain advocacy groups only cater to physicians and allow for limited industry involvement. Others focus solely on the patient and have limited to no research. Some only have a national office while others boast regional offices that can collaborate on local activities. The basic idea is to understand the unique strengths of each organization and segment your strategy.
Snowfish has been partnering with leading life science companies to bolster their stakeholder strategies for almost two decades. To learn more, please reach out to us.