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Marketing Strategy

What life sciences marketers need to know about RWD

By November 1, 2022No Comments

In the last two years, has there been an industry newsletter or conference that doesn’t mention the importance and value of integrating real-world data (RWD) into your pharmaceutical product strategy?

It’s an explosive topic—and if you Google it—you’ll find varying answers and definitions.

That’s why I put this RWD 101 for marketers together.

Lean into our experience as a life sciences marketing agency working with companies offering RWD expertise, sources, research, consulting, and analytics.

Now, let’s dive into the basics.

What is real-world data (RWD)?

  • Real-world data is patient data collected from various sources outside clinical trials.
  • Pharmaceutical companies analyze this data to inform strategy across the lifecycle and other specific use cases.
  • The patient data from multiple sources can be synthesized to give organizations a complete picture of patient health for further analysis.

How is RWD used?

  • RWD can be used to target and analyze by therapeutic area, disease type, diagnosis, etc., to answer questions around market assessment, trial design, market access, HEOR, and launch plans.
  • RWD typically represents a large portion of a company’s budget. For example, pharmaceutical companies often allocate 50% or more of their budget to purchasing data.

What are some examples of RWD sources?

  • Electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Laboratory registries
  • Open and closed claims
  • Diagnostic results
  • Rx data
  • Wearables
  • Provider, specialty data, and more

How can organizations get access to RWD?

There are typically two ways companies acquire the data:

  1. Health analytics and data vendors consolidate various RWD sources and make it available to companies to purchase more efficiently and cost-effectively.
  2. Buy directly from the data source. Historically, this has been the most common way pharmaceutical companies purchase data. However, this model has challenges such as duplicate buying, time-to-value due to differing de-identification tokens, lack of integration, and the ability to link with other data systems.

Who uses RWD?

  • Pharmaceutical companies buy and use RWD throughout the product lifecycle across many departments. For example, HEOR teams can use it to support real-world evidence or commercialization teams may use it to inform marketing and sales strategies.
  • Companies in the pharmaceutical industry, including CROs, payors, research, and consulting firms also buy and use this data.

RWD is incredibly powerful in helping the pharmaceutical industry answer questions and accelerate decision-making.

For life sciences and biotech marketers, your buyers and influencers are likely well-versed in the value of RWD—and developing content marketing strategies that speak to its role are a business imperative.

Are you interested in working with a marketing agency that speaks fluent healthcare, life, and biotech? We can’t wait to meet you.

Lindsay Groth

Author Lindsay Groth

Lindsay Groth was an Account Director at Clarity Quest from 2020-2023. She spent 15 years as an in-house marketing leader before joining the agency world.

More posts by Lindsay Groth