Shape Pharmaceutical Commercialization Strategies with Market Research and Competitive Intelligence

David Richardson, pharmaceutical commercialization and launch expert
By David Richardson,
Director of Research

Commercialization teams face tremendous challenges as they bring new pharmaceutical brands to market. Many of the decisions these individuals make ultimately determine a brand’s success or failure. With this great weight on their shoulders, pharmaceutical commercialization strategies teams invest a great deal on market research and competitive intelligence prior to brands’ launches.

Market research is necessary to understand the complexities of certain sales arenas. Companies spend money on market research to help understand the diverse subgroups of patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers and payer organizations present in individual markets. This research reveals unmet needs that, if addressed, translate into clear market opportunities.

The desire to understand such information leads to market research consuming the largest percentage of many companies’ pharmaceutical brand commercialization budgets as their developing products pass between Phase III and launch. As shown in the accompanying Figure, survey results from some of our latest research indicates that between Phase III and launch participating companies spend an average of 17 percent of their brands’ commercialization budgets on market research. Another 4 percent of these budgets are earmarked for competitive intelligence.

How Commercialization Teams Allocate Resources Between Phase IIIA and Marketing Approval (click for detail) How Commercialization Teams Allocate Resources Between Phase IIIA and Marketing Approval (click for detail)

Once brands launch, spending on decision support activities dwindles quickly as potential scenarios turn to real events and the need for this type of research decreases. During early commercialization efforts, however, interviewed executives emphasize the importance of understanding the markets for products when aiming to achieve a quick sales uptake. By focusing commercialization efforts on uncovered market opportunities, companies are able to hit the ground running once they receive FDA approval.