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employee stories

Life as a Senior Director in Market Access

Alison | Senior Director | Hampshire, UK | 9/24/2023

Alison, based in Hampshire, UK, is a Senior Director in Market Access at Avalere Health. Here, she discusses the rewards of a career in market access and how she is helping to transform the team’s learning and development offering.

What drew you to work for Avalere Health?

I originally joined one of our legacy agencies after a period of freelancing, carefully wrapped around the demands of being a parent. It was time to return to the workplace and be part of a team again. This was the perfect next step in my career, as Avalere Health has the feel of a small workplace when it comes to the supportive relationships I have with my co-workers, alongside business aspirations that drive big achievements, and push us as a consultancy to constantly move forward.

What does it take to succeed in your role?

Our team is wonderfully diverse, and I think that is critical to our success. We have all sorts of backgrounds, personalities, skills, and ambitions under one roof. Of course, our clients are the sun we revolve around, and it is important to enjoy working as a team with your internal colleagues and clients on a variety of parallel projects. I am also pleased to still be able to refer to my experience as a practicing pharmacist, as well as the myriad of projects I have worked on over my career. But for new team members, the senior team is here to coach, mentor, share their experiences, and bring them along for the journey.

What impact has your work made on the organization?

I really enjoy training and ‘watching the penny drop’ when learners take what you have taught them and apply it in real life. Having historically conducted internal training via our internal learning platform and responded to clients’ training needs on an ad hoc basis, I am delighted to now lead a new offering called MALCOM (Market Access Learning COMpendium). This is a digital e-learning platform hosted in a learning management system. It will be used to train internal colleagues across the whole group, and the content will also be accessible to clients later in the year. We have managed to pour years of senior consulting experience into this and engaged our global payers to ensure relevancy. I am very excited about the launch of this platform!

What inspired you to pursue and continue a career in market access?

It’s fair to say that when I left clinical practice in a UK hospital, it was a bit of a leap of faith for me as I was uncertain whether I would adapt to a commercial environment, but the key driver for me staying in market access is the variety of work and being able to stay ahead of the curve in healthcare innovation. Healthcare has remained my passion, but these days I get to contribute to patient care in a different way.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Having a family certainly shifts your priorities and challenges your time management skills. I want to look at myself in the mirror and know I have done my best work and been the best mum I can be. This requires setting careful boundaries between my personal and professional lives, with respect for the demands of each. I don’t always get it right, but over the years, I have become well-practiced at giving my full attention to one or the other.

What do you most value in your team?

Variety. It is such a joy to work with lots of different people with complementary skill sets. I am constantly delighted at just how skilled our junior team members are, and I love it when I can learn from them too!

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