ELITE 2022 Data Miner Melinda Haren of AstraZeneca

Melinda Haren

Senior Director Pipeline Access Strategy


Making the Complex Simple

In the complex world of healthcare marketing, understanding health economics and influencing payers to make access decisions for the benefit of your patient population is as daunting a task as climbing Mount Everest. Population-level health decisions are not made lightly and have ripple effects throughout the market, impacting HCP prescribing decisions, patient affordability, adherence to care, and everything in between. If you’re going to take on this challenge, you need the right tools: strong economic data, clinical information translated from PhD to MBA, compelling messages, and Melinda Haren.

Melinda was charged with bringing an innovative treatment option to an underserved patient group suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus, a rare, complex disease. Clinical trial designs in this disease area include highly statistical indices and markers. Many marketers would stick to their comfort zone of words and leave the stats to scientists, but not Melinda. She combed through research, analyzed the stats, and translated the complex into simple messages to educate payer decision makers. It would have been the easy road to assume the stakeholder understood well enough, but Melinda anticipated payers’ needs with a key insight: they just needed a more simplistic translation of the data, and she was there to supply.

And the data journey didn’t stop there. For every identified gap, Melinda looked for the most precise solution-rich insights that could only be found in the depths of data. She used this data to highlight the groups of people who are most impacted by this disease. When she needed to bring on help, she sought out experts and guided them to find the answers she was seeking. She customized messages and brought historically dry information to life by adding local prevalence data to increase relevance and importance to customers. She wowed payers with information they desired, but certainly didn’t expect to receive.

Melinda didn’t just mine data, she transformed the facts into a versatile toolkit and summited Everest; now, patients and their HCPs have access to a new treatment option for the first time in 10 years.


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