Using Prescriptive Analytics to Optimize Commercial Strategy in Pharma and MedTech

By John Pasinski, May 03, 2021

Within the pharmaceutical medical technology industries, bringing a product to market takes time. A significant amount of resources must go into research and development as well as intensive clinical trials, a process that can quickly add up to years of effort. 

Double-blind placebo-controlled studies are used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of products, and they also serve to establish a causal relationship between the new treatment and patient outcomes. However, no comparable methodology has previously existed for the pre-and post-launch commercial phases. 

To successfully create and execute product strategies, teams must capture a holistic understanding of the market of today and tomorrow using causal relationships.

A traditional understanding of the market

For commercial success within this industry, the stakes are high. 

When such a significant amount of time and resources go into developing a new drug, medical device, or therapy, a commercial strategy must be accurate and future-proof. 

Typically, this leads organizations to invest even more funding toward internal and external consultants to create and execute successful commercial plans. These teams draw from a wide array of data, including clinical information, competitive intelligence, research on patients and healthcare providers, the payer landscape, historical claims data, and insights from industry analogs. 

While this process helps to portray the market landscape better, it often leaves companies with fragmented and difficult information to apply with accuracy. This results in analytics teams that draw from a high volume of disparate data and manually weave together layers of assumptions to forecast and guide strategy.

The process not only requires additional time and resources but it introduces inaccuracies that lead to missed forecasts and suboptimal strategic business decisions. According to McKinsey & Company, half of the products achieve less than 50% of the sales forecasted a year before launch. 

To make business decisions and growing market share more effective, Pharma and MedTech companies must begin to utilize prescriptive analytics to optimize their strategic planning. 

The future of commercial strategy

To achieve commercial success, teams need a predictive solution that helps integrate disparate data and insights to generate more accurate forecasts. 

However, they will also require a prescriptive solution that goes beyond forecasting, allowing them to identify the strategic levels that will maximize their odds of successfully meeting and exceeding their sales goals and market share. 

Concentric’s prescriptive analytics software offers users both essential capabilities. Using causal approaches to emulate the rigor of double-blind placebo trials, commercial teams are able to establish causality in a virtual replication of their market. The software’s interface simplifies the process for users to integrate disparate data into a unified system. 

Market simulations produce a dynamic view of demand and market share through four steps:

  • Domain expertise. Users introduce their own knowledge of the complexities of the industry.
  • Model population. By validating subjective insights using historical data such as sales information, competitor data, and stakeholder research, the model is able to identify emerging trends and past patterns accurately.
  • What-if? Now, using the simulation, teams can answer questions related to the strategic levers they consider activating. 
  • Human behavior. Before ever going to market, the model will reflect the future behavior of key segments of health care providers, patients, and other stakeholders. This enables commercial teams to clearly identify the most impactful factors to market success.


the future of commercial strategy

Users are able to efficiently and frequently calibrate their models to in-market results to maximize their forward-looking accuracy. By running what-if scenarios, organizations can now understand how to best achieve and surpass desired commercial outcomes. 

Concentric’s software assists customers with strategies, including product launches, portfolio optimization, and communications plans. The simulation’s ability to incorporate a wide range of inputs enables various use cases:

Product launch

Previously, teams would need to try and apply historical data generated from comparable product launches to their future product. While similar, these analogs never align completely to their situation, introducing the possibility for further inaccuracies.

Using Concentric’s software, users are now able to go a step beyond finding analogous launches.

Instead, by building a simulation that incorporates existing in-market competitors and the behaviors, preferences, and perceptions of HCPs and patients, Concentric users can forecast more accurately and actionably.

Portfolio Optimization

Whether a team is trying to launch a product for an indication that another piece of their portfolio already treats or if they’re just trying to evaluate resource allocation between their in-market products, they need to create a holistic view of their offerings.

Rather than attempting to analyze products in isolation, companies using Concentric can model their entire portfolio and understand how each piece interacts with one another. By using simulation tools, users integrate data from their multiple products as well as competing ones into a single, unified model. This enables them to evaluate trade-offs, minimize cannibalization, and maximize share.

Communications Strategy

Typically, effectively reaching an intended target audience requires the utilization of several messaging platforms. However, performance is traditionally assessed in silos, making it difficult to determine success across multiple channels.

With Concentric, users are able to understand how detailing, patient and caregiver-focused media — as well as other marketing tactics — work together to contribute to commercial outcomes.

Getting started with Concentric

In Pharma and MedTech, commercial success has traditionally hinged on a significant investment of time and resources as well as the involvement of external consultants. Due to the amount of data involved and the complexities of the market, accuracy in forecasting is difficult to attain. This frequently leads to unsuccessful and underperforming products.

Using Concentric, teams can stop investing resources on strategies that are less likely to work. Instead, they can find clarity in holistic market insights that lead to the best strategies for success. Users can optimize product launches, portfolio optimization, and communications strategies, generating both predictive and prescriptive insights to maximize sales.

Learn more about how pharmaceutical and medical technology organizations use the Concentric platform to help guide their commercial strategy here, or contact the team for additional information.


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