PMSA 2014: Where is the industry headed?


As I think back about the Pharmaceutical Management Science Association annual conference (held in May), I am continually impressed with how the group developed such a cutting edge agenda of where we, as industry commercial analysts, are going. We’ve all been to conferences that were focused on today’s traditional analytics – such as optimal reach and frequency, targeting or territory alignment and sizing, all leading to increased sales force effectiveness. This conference, however, pivoted towards the future – where are we going and what is to come?

The conference’s title, “Using Data to Build a Better Future,” really captures the flavor of the event. In tomorrow’s pharma analytics world, it will not only be about finding all of the Big Health Data (and there will be plenty of it) but using the right data to hone and focus your analytics.

In order to be successful in making this transition, it requires pharma to change its mindset and culture. We know that with the Affordable Care Act that times are changing, but has our organization made that leap? Within commercial operations, are we still managing fragmented, traditional data sets from various vendors and piecing them together into some type of meaningful report? Or, are we thinking about how to obtain a holistic, 360 degree view of the customer (be it patient or HCP) through dynamic models that integrate both old and new data sets? Pharma is moving beyond just selling a pill towards a customer centric view with networks of data focused on overall value and risk management.

It’s these types of analytics that will allow us to maintain relevancy and provide better value to the commercial team. At this point, leading companies are beginning to experiment with these new data sets: for example using APLD, diagnosis volume, patient and referral networks and system affiliations to develop a better targeting model. Soon, it won’t be enough to just decile physicians on market Rx. Being competitive will require more sophisticated analytics.

From predictive analytics (actually doing proactive analytics prior to an event, such as drug launch) to integrating with EHR data, the PMSA conference really set the stage for the future. Given that it now takes $1-2B to bring just one product to market and that only 2/10 drugs produce enough revenue to cover R&D costs, the pressure is on to provide meaningful insights that generate ROI. As commercial analysts, our role has never been more important. The future is here today. Are you ready for the challenge?

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