November 12, 2019

Biopharma Commercial Leaders Share Views, Learn How TRINITY and TGaS Combine Capabilities at Summit Event

Waltham, Mass., Nov. 12, 2019. The TGaS® Advisors 2019 Fall Summit, "Becoming Indispensable Business Partners: Overcoming Obstacles in Today's Challenging Healthcare Environment," brought together nearly 150 pharmaceutical professionals representing 66 companies. The invitation-only event, held October 30, 2019, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, featured breakout sessions in 10 of the firm's client solutions.

TGaS President Gary McWalters spoke about the company's expanded capabilities since becoming part of TRINITY, a global consulting firm providing evidence-based solutions to the life sciences industry. He cited TRINITY's Launch Excellence, a suite of benchmark-based launch offerings geared to small and emerging companies that builds on the TGaS Launch Excellence Advisory Database (LEAD). In another example, the TGaS Incentive Compensation (IC) practice now incorporates TRINITY's analytics capabilities and automated platform to provide advanced, comprehensive IC services.

McWalters announced that TGaS 2020 Summits are scheduled for May 19 in San Francisco and November 10 in Philadelphia.

Health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, founder of THINK-Health and The Health Populi Blog and author of HealthConsuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen, delivered the keynote: "The Retail-ization of Health/Care: Implications for TGaS Stakeholders." A health economist, advisor, and "trend weaver," she spoke about the "patient as payor" and the entry of consumer companies and technology into healthcare. Relationships are moving from "what's important for patients" to "what's important to patients," she noted, discussing implications for adherence and the reputation of the industry.

Sarasohn-Kahn concluded with advice for industry executives: 1) Bake trust and engagement into products and processes; 2) address consumers' omni-channel life-touch points; 3) collaborate with consumer-trusted health/care ecosystem partners in the community and cross-industry segments; 4) serve up actionable data of value to providers and patients that bolster physical and financial health (build up data and analytics capabilities); and 5) embrace both consumer and traditional payors' sense of "value + values."

Breakout session highlights:

Executive Commercial Operations

Executive Commercial Operations leaders joined the CCOs in a forum with keynote speaker Sarasohn-Kahn to further explore the implications of "Retail-ization" of healthcare, digitalization, and a more consumer-facing world. Executive Commercial Operations leaders then attended a separate track to discuss evolving roles and capabilities across commercial operations, what is occurring in their organizations, and the challenges they face in prioritizing capability development.

Chief Commercial Officers

Chief Commercial Officers of emerging life sciences companies discussed the challenges of recruiting, retaining, and motivating talent. Participants debated which positions could work remotely, which are most critical to hire, and how soon before launch. Participants also discussed the importance of Market Access and working with payors. Other topics included managing relationships with Boards of Directors and convincing them that a successful launch requires more than just Medical Science Liaisons.

Commercial Analytics & Insights

Attendees identified time management as a major challenge. The group discussed several ways in which teams are prioritizing and managing their time. Skills and Training was also a hot topic. Organizations are taking measurable steps in identifying and providing training for skills gaps. Data Science work is mixed among pharma companies. Competition with other pharma for this expertise is a credible challenge.

Field Operations

Field Operations leaders discussed the current and evolving regulatory environment and the impact on processes, systems, field teams, and internal teams. Conversation quickly moved to the changing landscape of field-facing teams, the emergence of new roles, and the evolution of existing roles. With these new and changing roles, the importance and need for coordinated efforts across field teams and the use of account planning and effective account management were explored.

Incentive Compensation Excellence (ICE)

The morning session included both Field Operations and Incentive Compensation Solutions attendees for a joint presentation of the TGaS Advisors 2019 Incentive Compensation Landscape. IC leaders then adjourned to a roundtable discussion focused on those issues most critical to their business, including plan design, goal setting, and contests. The day concluded with a session on the challenges associated with designing IC plans for a growing number of non-traditional field support roles, including Clinical Nurse Specialists, Thought Leader Liaisons, and Reimbursement Managers.

Learning and Development

The Learning & Development Solution featured interactive sessions with some of the most respected pharmaceutical and biotech training leaders discussing current and future trends in Commercial Training and Development. Attendees engaged in discussions around The Learners' Journeys and Experiences, Onboarding Innovations to Welcome (and Retain) the Best and Brightest, and It's Complicated: Leadership Development Scope and Practice.

Marketing Operations

Marketing Operations leaders came together to discuss how to build and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders, operate as a strategic partner, and enable change within their organizations. Attendees also engaged in an in-depth discussion on the evolution and effectiveness of speaker programs. The day also included a session on the value of agency management and how Marketing Operations can do this effectively within their organizations. Interactive discussion on hot topics submitted by attendees prior to the Summit occurred throughout the day. One client stated, "The material covered is always good...I've taken learnings from these Summits and implemented improvements in my of the most fruitful trips I take all year - very valuable."


Medical/Regulatory/Legal (MRL) leaders held an interactive discussion on hot topics related to the review process, supporting technology, and governance. Participants shared many ideas on achieving a productive and efficient live team review meeting, including establishing meeting ground rules, creating and displaying a team mission statement, and affirming meeting participant roles on an annual basis. Expedited reviews were identified as a key pain point for many companies, but others have alleviated it by enforcing senior leadership approval as a requirement for allowing an expedited review.

Omnichannel Marketing

Multichannel and omnichannel marketing leaders discussed the evolving priorities and challenges of current digital operations teams in support of multiple stakeholders. Attendees engaged in in-depth conversations around capability evolution, the influence of the changing social media landscape, and the impact of the agency model on their organizations. The day also included an interactive session with guest speaker Sarasohn-Kahn regarding the new retail health model and the impact of tech companies on the industry.

Pricing, Contracting & Analytics

Pricing, Contracting & Analytics leaders discussed the impact of existing and potential government policies, including State Pricing Transparency laws, International Price Index and the long-term impact of the Safe Harbor Protection Removal proposal on PBMs and payers' business models. TGaS also presented current trends in Contracting Analytics, Value/Outcome Based Contracting, and Robotics/Artificial Intelligence. Other key topics included rebate aggregators, pharmacy exclusion management, 340B validation, medical claim processing, and payer audits.

About TGaS Advisors

TGaS Advisors, a division of TRINITY, is the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry. With a roster of large, emerging and precommercial life sciences companies, TGaS provides robust comparative intelligence and collaborative network membership services. The team includes more than 50 experienced professionals, most with senior-level experience in the life sciences and related industries.


TRINITY is a trusted strategic partner, providing evidence-based solutions for the life sciences. With over 20 years of experience, TRINITY is committed to solving clients' most challenging problems through exceptional levels of service, powerful tools, and data-driven insights. TRINITY's range of products and solutions includes industry-leading benchmarking solutions, powered by TGaS. TRINITY, together with its subsidiary TGaS® Advisors, has 5 offices throughout the US, including Boston, New York, Princeton, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as Toronto, Canada, and Gurgaon, India. In July 2019, TRINITY opened its first European Office in Widenmayerstr. 50, 80538 Munich, Germany. To learn more about how TRINITY is elevating life sciences and driving evidence to action, visit