5 Self-Check Questions for Pharmaceutical Products Market Access in Singapore

Embarking on the journey of pharma market access requires a strategic approach to distribution—a decision that can significantly influence a company’s trajectory. Our previous article highlighted that the most common approach is to partner with a distributor who is well-versed in the territory to handpick products that resonate with their expertise and portfolio.

TRC based on some on-the-ground experience and insights from expert interviews, presents the 5 self-check questions for your consideration:

1. What is the therapeutic focus of your product meant for?

Most companies have multiple product lines in a single therapeutic area or have multiple therapeutic areas with limited product lines or multiple therapeutic areas and multiple product lines.  The best way to delve into the selection of the key product is to conduct a market analysis to check on:

  • The occurrence of the disease in the country
  • The “gold standard” treatment for that disease
  • The prescribing manual of the physicians
  • The competitors’ marketing strategy in the country

This will enable you to grasp the “gaps” where your product could potentially gain market access. Based on our experience, pharma companies that conduct their own market research in this area have a higher success rate of gaining more market share when they launch their product.

2. How common is your product?

The motive of this question is to allow you to delve into the pharma market access strategy by examining the marketing platform, consumer and price point where your product would be able to enter. For generic drugs, it is generally about price, especially if your product is commonly prescribed medications for common ailments such as colds, headaches, coughs or long-term chronic health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.  For innovative products, you must consider the current alternative treatment if available in the market in the case of medical devices. For example, if you have a gel that treats scars or wounds, how competitive are you in terms when compared to aesthetic applications of a one or two-off treatment?

3. What is the best operation model in this country?

When you have a product where you are able to get access to a wide distributor list, you might want to consider leveraging on them while not forgetting to be self-reliant and supportive of them by offering co-joint marketing schemes to build your brand, which is lacking in many of these relationships established.  For products where that are innovative and have many selling points, it might be worthwhile in terms of pharma market access to consider engaging a third party to register the product first while establishing your own presence locally. In this way, you are able to use Singapore as a HQ for the ASEAN market to reach out to the various countries as Singapore has established many foreign companies’ friendly initiatives that will make it easier for you to kick start first.

4. What would be your marketing strategy?

The most common marketing strategies for healthcare products are either through door-to-door visits with clinicians, congress or participation in exhibitions or even through giving out freebies (health supplements or cosmetics) and e-commerce. This will help you to focus on the right audience: The general public or professionals. Note that for healthcare products that involve the general public, control of advertisement is regulated and highly supervised to avoid any misleading presentation of information facts that will harm the well-being of the public.

5. What is the best price?

Price point requires analysis of competitor products or, rather, gold standard treatment. It could also encompass a low price to high volume (Tender) or small volume but high price (Private). While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for the best price, the focus should be on delivering value and addressing customer needs, which is important for successful pharma market access.

By analyzing the above 5 questions, it will enable you to put forward a plan that will best suit your market entry into Singapore. For any potential research or regulatory support, please feel free to get in touch with us or consider our plans which might cater to your business needs.

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If you have any specific regulatory questions pertaining to entering the Singapore market or require assistance with pharma regulatory services and medical product registration, feel free to reach out. Your success in the pharmaceutical industry starts with us!

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