Inês M Tenente shares what drives her passion for market access, why she chose to join the Mtech Access Global Market Access team and what she has experienced in the first few weeks in her role.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you into a career in Global Market Access?
Yes! Well, I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and completed my studies there in Molecular Biology and Genetics. I was then fortunate enough to be selected for a life-changing PhD Programme by the University of Porto, Portugal, where I was one of just a dozen students awarded a government grant to pursue their research anywhere in the world.
So I moved to Boston, USA, where I did my PhD research in rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare paediatric cancer, at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School for five years.
Living in Boston, that rich medical research and biotech/pharma innovation ecosystem triggered my curiosity about healthcare systems and the barriers preventing patient access to innovative drugs . Simply put, I was frustrated with the fact that I could see all around that healthcare innovation is greater than ever before, but we have not yet seen this translated into novel therapeutic options and better long term outcomes for certain rare diseases, including the paediatric cancer that was the subject of my research.
I can trace my interest for improving access to innovative medicines in areas like rare diseases and cancer back to these times. It is an interest that has developed into a passion, a mission even, that has driven my career to the present day.
Whilst studying for my PhD, I took healthcare commercialisation courses and lectures to know more about these issues and realised that my background and strengths were valuable for a career in consulting, where I could help clients identify and overcome those barriers.
I joined an international consultancy firm in Manchester, UK, where I found my niche in global pricing and market access strategy. I understood pricing and market access issues permeate decision-making at all stages of Research and Development and commercialisation of medicines, and my international experience and interest about inequalities in healthcare access between countries meant that this is an area where I could have an impact.
What motivated to you to join Mtech Access? How do you expect Mtech Access will support your own personal development and career pathway?
I was excited to be part of the Mtech Access team because of three main aspects:
First, Mtech Access’ strong technical acumen in all areas of market access. Whilst I have worked on global pricing and market access issues from a strategic perspective, I wanted to gain in-depth exposure to technical aspects of local pricing and market access evidence development and decision-making, e.g. health economics modelling, HTA submissions, systematic literature reviews, and value communications. Mtech Access provides services from strategy to implementation with senior team members performing the work. The collective level of expertise and experience is excellent, and I believe this is the right environment for my continued growth in this area.
Second, Mtech Access’ structure, culture and leadership. As you can probably tell by now, my work is driven by a purpose and passion around market access. So, in addition to an environment of people with great expertise in this area, I was looking for a team…
- That shared a sense of mission in an environment where each person’s motivations, strengths and skillset are embraced and leveraged
- Where one can go from idea to execution and from planning into action very quickly and with little ’red-tape’
- Where collaboration is key and people are put first
- Where one can truly partner with clients from beginning to end, with flexibility and a tailored approach to each engagement.
Third, Mtech Access’ strong and unique partnership with the National Health Service (NHS) in UK and global experts to access relevant insights that inform their work. Even before joining Mtech Access, I enjoyed watching the NHS Whispers webinars where I heard directly from their NHS Faculty and Associate network about several topics. In the ever-changing world of healthcare (COVID-19 and beyond!), we can only truly impart value to our clients and the public if we provide them with real insights coming from people inside the healthcare systems. From a global perspective, Mtech Access is now also in a unique position of being able to collaborate and tap into partner stakeholders to discuss and learn about market access issues and trends across global markets.
Since joining Mtech Access in August 2020, what have you been doing over the last few weeks? How has it been to onboard remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A lot of my time was spent meeting people from all teams of Mtech Access (e.g. Health Economics, Systematic Review, NHS Insights & Interaction, Medical Writing) and across all levels (from the founders to more junior team members). I have also been doing some necessary administration, of course; as well as compliance and relevant training. I have jumped right in to support the team with business development, thought leadership, knowledge-sharing and resource-building activities. I am starting a new project soon for an orphan therapy that will include strategic and technical/implementation work, which is exciting!
Working remotely has been fine, really. I quite like the flexibility of having a bit of both worlds. I hope we can go back to an office setting some days of the week once it is safe to do so, but I also enjoy the advantages of working from home. Everybody has been fantastic, and we even have an optional daily coffee break meeting to catch up so we can stay connected!
What have you learnt from the first interactions with the Mtech Access team?
It has been amazing to confirm and often exceed my expectations of the environment and the people at Mtech Access over the last weeks. I have already learnt immensely from them! I have noticed that every single person I speak to seems to have one foot in one area and one foot in another e.g. value communications and digital platforms; or medical expertise and HTA submissions; or medical writing and global payer research. One person can speak ‘multiple languages’ and although they may have very specialised technical strengths in one area, they are able to understand the challenges, motivations and requirements of another. I believe this is central to the truly unique, flexible, cross-functional and collaborative environment at Mtech Access.
When you are not at work, what are you doing?
I am spending time with my husband and baby boy of 10 months, my family and friends, preferably out in nature; travelling (something I’ve missed greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic); singing and listening to classical music; doing household chores (yay!); reading, watching Netflix or playing board games to name a few things.
We’re delighted to welcome Inês to our global market access team. If you’d like to know more about how Inês and her colleagues can support your global market access strategy please email firstname.lastname@example.org.