Pharmaceutical Drug Launches

AscellaHealth Family of Companies -- Including Subsidiary Optime Care -- Brings Integrated, Customized Approach for Specialty Drugs, Underscores Value of Effective Launch Strategies
· 15 min read

The AscellaHealth subsidiary, Optime Care, a specialty pharmacy and patient management organization, takes pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers through the launch milestones -- from start to finish.

Getting a drug launch right requires careful planning and disciplined execution to ensure long-term market success, a process that should get underway well in advance of real-time market entry, usually 12-18 months prior to launch.

In today’s competitive environment, a winning, fail-safe launch strategy is more important than ever, especially with increased payer influence, steep standards for coverage and ongoing issues such as safety, efficacy and pricing. Manufacturers now recognize that our provider and payer insights contribute to an informed go-to-market strategy that supports not only drug company business goals, but also the special needs of patients with orphan, ultra-orphan and rare diseases.

With an experienced partner that can clear the hurdles, dispel any unpredictability and avoid missteps that can be costly setbacks, manufacturers can approach the launch process with increased confidence for market acceptance and product uptake.

Collaboration Every Step of the Way

Pre-Commercial Pathway: 12-18 Months Before Launch

Differentiated positioning begins on factors established in clinical trials, such as efficacy, unmet needs, safety and target patient population. Early on, the Optime Care team collaborates with its biotech partners that are focused on data readouts and dossier preparation to develop patient/physician ad boards and map the patient journey. This includes identifying and engaging key opinion leaders (KOLs) to develop effective strategies that reflect therapeutic area needs.

This timeframe allows Optime Care to provide knowledgeable and skilled support in the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) – enabling manufacturers to make smart business decisions. We help to define services and the needs of stakeholders, working alongside the manufacturer’s internal staff to assist with program development and implementation.

3-6 Months Before Launch

Optime Care’s established relationships and deep bench strength experience with payers ensure optimal reimbursement at launch. This includes maximizer and accumulator exposure analysis with expert consulting and pricing guidance to ensure billing accuracy. Professional expertise positively impacts contracting, rebates, 340b programs and wholesale strategies.

Competitive market analysis and regulatory consulting complements the activities of our partners as they hire field team staffs, develop materials and implement formulary and payer interactions. During this time period, Optime Care’s dedicated care team provides disease state training that empowers biotech partners to address the nuances of targeted patient populations.

Our capabilities for robust data capture lead to real world experience reporting that supports dissemination of findings through publications or abstracts. We know which physician and specialist segments to target with specific types of education since they may require different product education approaches. We create content, messaging, programs, disease state awareness information, and education that help physicians accurately identify the patient types that are best suited for a therapeutic area. Specialized key stakeholder education allocations align with the changing roles of payers and patient advocacy organizations that are gaining influence.

Post Launch: Ensure Patient Access

Our model offers turn-key contracting processes and ensures out-of-network exclusive overrides, with an overarching commitment to providing a reliable source for market and payer insights.

Years of experience in market access and an understanding of the specialized needs of rare and orphan patients clearly differentiate our end-to-end solutions from other organizations. We are highly recognized for capabilities that foster patient adherence to treatment, improve patient outcomes and build brand loyalty.

Optime Care’s track record for engaging payers on product value cannot be overstated since payers are critical to launch success. We speak to their interests on price and reimbursement and are able to convert price-based conversations into value-based discussion, elucidating health outcomes, comparative effectiveness and most valued label attributes. These activities enable our team to develop health outcomes and create pharmacoeconomic models that demonstrate a new product’s value to public and commercial payers.

Partnership Benefits

Key differentiators of our nimble, consultative model and some of the important reasons that pharmaceutical companies choose Optime Care as a long-term, single-source product launch partner are:


  • Financial model focused on services
  • Service fee model allows pharma to realize all product profitability
  • Provide back-office support

Service Offering

  • Service offering flexibility, customized solutions
  • Proven model increases retention and compliance
  • Dedicated brand team
  • Program continuity


  • Robust market and patient journey insights
  • Insights to inform go to market strategy
  • Data to drive positive outcomes

Each manufacturer’s commercialization journey is unique and Optime Care believes that traditional approaches aren’t enough to move the process forward.

By leveraging deep relationships with payers, distributors and others across the continuum to bring novel therapies to more patients, faster than ever, we solve pricing, distribution, reimbursement and patient utilization challenges along the way.

Our industry-leading combination of consulting, analytics and technology gives each manufacturer the perspective and insight needed to make the best decisions at every step -- including ongoing measurements of tactics that optimize gross to net.

That’s what we call the Point of Progress.

To learn more about Optime Care’s full suite of services, visit

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