By John Pasinski, May 17, 2021
Launching a product in the healthcare industry is complex. A significant amount of time and resources are required for research and development, in addition to the need to run clinical trials. To reduce risk and optimize spend allocation, organizations must generate a strategy that accounts for many variables within the landscape before going to market.
In addition to influential external factors, such as competitors and the strict regulatory environment, teams must also consider an array of stakeholders, including patients, health care providers (HCPs), caregivers, and payers.
To overcome all of these challenges, your organization should consider these ten key factors when forecasting your launch and creating a strategy that will maximize sales.
1) Market size. The first step in accurately forecasting demand is understanding the potential size of your target population. Epidemiological data can help determine the number of people with the disease or condition your product is indicated to treat. Additionally, the frequency with which your treatment is used will also be necessary for calculating volume.
2) Disease state awareness. What proportion of the market is aware of the disease you seek to treat? While conditions such as diabetes have a high level of awareness and treatment within the population, more obscure ones may be less likely to be addressed. Building awareness campaigns will help drive patients and caregivers to seek information and treatment when necessary, which will grow your potential market.
3) Access considerations. Whether or not insurance providers cover your product is a significant determinant of its success, particularly for more expensive drugs or treatments. Depending on which providers will and under which specific patient circumstances, demand may be constrained.
4) Competing treatments. One of the leading factors that will influence your launch is the competition that already exists in the market, including potential alternatives in your portfolio. You’ll want to consider how your treatment is differentiated as it relates to efficacy, side effects, ease of administration, access, cost, and other relevant attributes.
5) Human behaviors. Insights related to patient and healthcare provider behavior patterns will guide you in generating strategies that will drive demand. For example, how much inertia is there in terms of sticking with current treatment options? This will help you gauge both HCPs and patients’ willingness to switch. Another helpful metric is the rate of adherence depending on whether multiple doses or a series of treatments are necessary.
6) Perceptions. Reality and perceptions don’t always align. Even if your product is objectively better than existing alternatives across several dimensions, behavior and demand will be primarily based on how your brand is perceived. Research related to your target population can help you gauge where the competition stands, and you may also be able to glean insights on your product before launch.
7) Marketing channels. With so many channels available, your strategy must directly address which touchpoints will make the most sense for your unique brand and product. You’ll also need to consider sales efforts through detailing, as the shift toward online interactions and e-detailing has become increasingly impactful.
If you need to drive patients to action or raise disease state awareness, you’ll likely need to activate levers across direct-to-consumer channels. The resources you invest in throughout a mixture of touchpoints will determine the reach and effectiveness of your campaigns, ultimately supporting or limiting your launch potential.
8) Messaging on attributes. Aside from the channels you use, you’ll also need to hone a specific messaging strategy for each launch. While you’ll likely use your key differentiators as a platform, it’s essential to address the tradeoffs in prioritizing one message over another.
9) Targeting segments. As you begin to craft your message, you’ll quickly learn that each segment will respond to your strategy differently due to their unique motivations and needs. Some patients, HCP specialists, and other segments of the population may be more receptive than others. The combination of channels, messaging, and targeting you apply will contribute to how much of an impact you make at launch.
10) Ongoing market shifts. The industry landscape is constantly changing. You may encounter new competitors with future launch dates, and payer dynamics will likely change as access shifts over time. HCP and patient attitudes could also fluctuate in response to new research or educational outreach programs. Anticipating these changes and incorporating them into your forecasting and strategies is key to hitting objectives post-launch and in the years that follow.
Given the number of variables that go into a product launch at the commercial stage, healthcare companies often find it difficult to successfully generate a comprehensive and accurate forecast to build their strategy.
Concentric can help. Our software incorporates all of these varying inputs into a holistic, accurate, and actionable model of your unique market landscape. Users can construct simulations representing each of these factors and test for causal relationships that will drive commercial outcomes. This unified model can integrate inputs that include market size, awareness, access, competition, human behavior, and perceptions.
Equipped with a comprehensive view of the market, you’ll achieve more accurate forecasting and be able to test product launch and marketing strategies before ever executing them in reality. Rather than trying to combine disparate insights or irrelevant data into your launch plan, you can populate the simulation with your exact circumstances.
From there, you’ll be able to test strategies and adjust accordingly to activate the right levers and achieve commercial success. Reach out to our team to learn more.