Business Information upgraded, smart CRM datasets, the Predictive Analytics silver bullet and other fairy tales
At a recent workshop on Data Exploration and Visualisation within the pharmaceutical industry there were some genuine insights that emerged during the discussion that have huge implications for the pharmaceutical industry and are worth repeating here. There were just five medium and large companies represented; nevertheless, the experience that delegates brought from previous employees must have doubled that tally.
A prescription for a better way forward.
Pharmaceutical companies should embrace “Data” and its associated demands as a core competence. To change affiliate mindsets it should consider pilot studies using leading edge analytical techniques, thus putting little at risk but offering huge upside in the event that these techniques prove useful. Business Analysts should be given more authority and resources to provide genuine insights to their sales and marketing colleagues and expect to have a valuable input into promotion allocation decisions. Ultimately business analysts should become so embedded within the commercial organisation that the traditionally reactive approach to ad hoc information requests becomes a proactive approach anticipating changes in the competitive and environmental landscape.
The backdrop for all this remains an industry that still spends more on promotional activities in their widest sense than on R&D. While product pricing in a resource-constrained payer environment remains such a contentious issue it seems incongruous that money should be wasted on activities that yield no return. The industry must remember its social contract and balance the desire to influence demand with the need to provide widest possible access to its products.
The author was a Pharmaceutical Analyst at Lehman Brothers for 23 years as well as being involved with the PharmaFutures projects www.pharmafutures.org but is now writing independently. Stewart Adkins is a Director of Pharmaforensic Limited www.pharmaforensic.co.uk
Stewart Adkins was a Pharmaceutical Analyst at Lehman Brothers for 23 years and was involved with the Pharmafutures projects.