Pharma market intelligence: finding the next blockbuster drug buried in your data

Pharmaceutical professionals are drowning in an overwhelming amount of information – struggling to navigate through medical records, market trends and patient needs. In this article, we’ll walk through steps these companies can take to optimize their data.

Revenues are shrinking due to patent expiration of blockbuster products and fewer new product approvals. Because of this, the pharmaceutical industry has adopted a “lean and mean” business model. Mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and layoffs are reducing overhead. Meanwhile, the operating profile of some companies is more like that of private equity firms, where the mantra is “buy low, sell high.” To excel in this new game, companies need to develop next generation market intelligence capabilities to identify, acquire and develop the next blockbuster drug. In order to do so, pharmaceutical firms must set their sights on fulfilling five key requirements for success:

“…the pharmaceutical industry has adopted a “lean and mean” business model.”

1.   Cut through the noise – The life sciences industry has a pressing need to capture, access, compare and track market intelligence from a multitude of disparate, unrelated data sources. For example, internal scientific databases, external journal articles, meeting abstracts, demographic information, geospatial and personal network maps, press releases, news coverage, patient history and social media, all provide a wealth of information. However, their piecemeal presentation consumes your valuable resources, causes data overload, and leads to suboptimal decision-making. In order to make data-driven decisions and drive business results, companies must leverage a solution that integrates all pertinent content sources to identify, track and compare emerging products while surfacing only relevant data. The result? A high signal to noise ratio.

2.   Know your customer – While every pharmaceutical or biotech company is familiar with this from a regulatory perspective, most have only a rudimentary understanding of client satisfaction, interests, likes, and dislikes. To deepen their understanding, firms need to conduct sentiment analysis across multiple communication channels, both internal (email, IM chats, surveys, phone transcripts) and external (social media, blogs, online resources). Furthermore, effective analysis of “markets” requires the ability to consider ever-changing stakeholders, like patients, regulators, payers and prescribers. The ultimate solution must include real time correlation and analytics, and put the ability to modify searches in the hands of the users so the discovery process can change as customer needs change. This takes market intelligence to a whole new level and allows companies to pivot from traditional product “push” methods to well-informed market “pull” strategies.

“Break down silos – Life sciences institutions already have a tremendous amount of information about their industry at their fingertips.”

3.   Break down silos – Life sciences institutions already have a tremendous amount of information about their industry at their fingertips. Unfortunately, many are unable to leverage this content because it resides in multiple disparate systems. Providing your market intelligence teams with a technology solution that integrates structured data (such as database, transaction, claims, clinical trial data, and product information), along with text-based content (such as emails, patient encounter progress notes, discharge notes, images, and website portals), offers a true 360° view of the market, product or competitor. This type of holistic intelligence management not only improves business results but also drives increased confidence in systematic, data-driven decision-making. Next generation market intelligence platforms readily unify these sources and provide a complete view of each opportunity.

4.   Don’t expect legacy tools to achieve space age performance – Firms need to equip business and product executives with newer technologies that are more agile. They need all of this functionality in a single portal to decrease the time required to analyze opportunities, to enable data-driven decision-making and to react quickly to ad-hoc stakeholder inquiries and requests. Next generation market intelligence solutions integrate customer relationship management (CRM), patient information, analyst research, communications, product information, transactions and more.

5.   Prepare for the future – Five years from now your market intelligence requirements will be far different than what they are today. Whether driven by new technologies, additional products, a merger, or a change in market focus, the data sources and functional requirements of your market intelligence solution will change over time.

Once pharmaceutical firms incorporate these five steps into their business strategy and capture the data necessary to develop the next blockbuster drug, they’ll be on the road to success. That’s a destination both patients and pharmaceutical firms will benefit from.

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About the author:

Sid Probstein is the Chief Technology Officer of Attivio, responsible for product and technology strategy, implementation and delivery. Sid has over 20 years of experience in managing R&D organizations and delivering award-winning, high-value enterprise software and solutions. Previously, he was CTO at GetConnected, Inc. (GCi), a market-leading transaction processing platform enabling the sale of digital services. He was also Vice President of Technology at Fast Search and Transfer, a global enterprise search company that is now part of Microsoft Corporation. Prior to Fast, Sid was Vice President of Engineering at Northern Light Technology, where he was responsible for production of the first enterprise version of the search engine.

Closing thought: How will your market intelligence requirements change over the next five years?