RARE feat. Kamran Maskin
For this episode of RARE, Laura welcomed Kamran Maskin to talk about his career journey so far within the pharmaceutical industry. Kamran is a sales leader with 20+ years of success in the pharmaceutical industry. He has varied commercial expertise in sales, marketing and pricing, and channel development and has led challenging market access projects within the rare disease space.
Kamran always enjoyed science at school, so he pursued an Undergraduate Degree in Physiology and Pharmacology. He discovered that Pharmacy was not for him but was fascinated by the effect of different pharmaceutical products on the body and had learned a lot about the process of bringing a drug to market.
Upon graduation, Kamran worked for Parexel, a large Contract Research Organization, in clinical data management on a large oncology trial being conducted by Novartis. The product was for Multiple Myeloma and Cancer Bone Metastases. This opened his eyes to the level of detail and time involved in taking a drug through the whole clinical trial process. Part of the data included a lot of Quality of Life questionnaires and seeing the responses coming through from patients as well as the difference it was making in patients' lives, although anonymized, meant he really enjoyed the role. Kamran was keen to get out in the field and so he made the transition into a commercial environment when he moved into sales.
Kamran talks about the challenges start-ups face and how they are similar across the board. He talks about how being a new start-up, a company is an unknown entity with physicians and KOLs and so you have to establish that structure. Ultimately, it’s about getting the right people into the organization. Having the right tools, the right people and the right experiences is key. One of the things he learned in the start-up environment, in a university spin-out, is to give yourself plenty of time before anticipating launch to establish the team structure and key functions and focus on mapping the patient journey.
Thinking about commercialization, Kamran goes back to the idea of how being a start-up, you really are an unknown entity so it is crucial to start building those networks around your therapy areas and of KOLs and key stakeholders in your space. He goes on to talk about how pharmaceutical companies are under real pressure to reduce prices whilst demonstrating greater value. This has to be done with value-based outcomes, now even more so with real-world evidence and how the data can be applied and savings can be made, with a lot of people involved in this from patients to regulatory authorities, policymakers and payers. The rare disease arena has become quite large in the last decade and some drugs are very expensive, and this market will continue to grow. That’s why you have to demonstrate that value-added quality.
Kamran goes on to talk about one of the key things he has learnt when setting up clinical trials, and that is to identify and build in the outcomes you are looking for at that time, aligning with the relevant national HTA’s and what they are looking for when they are looking at pricing and reimbursement for that particular drug. So, the journey starts well before you’ve actually got the license and is equally as important to demonstrate that value right from the clinical data you have produced.
Thank you to Kamran once again. If anyone has any follow-up questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the email address below.
Laura Hulley - email@example.com