The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar business tasked with researching, developing, manufacturing and distributing drugs for human and animal use. The stakes are high; lives and money are on the line each time a new medicine is conceived. And because the process from drug conception to its delivery is a long one, it’s important that companies do the necessary research to insure that they are meeting a worthy demand and have the requisite tools and information that they need to succeed. Otherwise, they risk losing a lot of money and a lot of time on a product that no one wants or needs. Combine that with the changing landscape of the pharma industry – this point in time of American drug history when key drug patents are expiring (typically after a 20 year period) and more and more generics are hitting the market – and it’s easy to understand that pharmaceutical companies must find new drugs, as well as boost declining sales of their established ones, if they want to survive. Take a look at the top five basic ways that pharmaceutical market research can improve the drug industry from start to finish:
Identify Consumer Need
Big pharma doesn’t just serve patients, it also serves a host of other types of consumers, from the clinicians who prescribe drugs and the hospitals that buy and administer them to the distributors and pharmacies that stock and deliver them. With so many customer types, it’s paramount that drug companies learn as much as possible about each one so that they can identify the areas and people with the most profitable issues to address. They can do this through a variety of research measures. They can use established secondary research literature or conduct primary research (such as ethnographic studies and satisfaction surveys with physicians, hospitals and/or patients) themselves.
Assess the Market
Picking the right environment (both physically and generally) in which to market a drug is critical. Disease patterns, political turmoil, economic stability, as well as market size/segmentation and operating conditions, are just a few of the key factors affecting a company’s overall success with a product. Pharmaceutical market research can highlight any obstacles or opportunities that might disturb or encourage favorable outcomes.
Provide a Competitive Analysis
Emerging new products to the market are only one type of threat. Generic products can also severely impact a company’s bottom line. Thus, it’s imperative that pharmaceutical companies keep on top of the products that their competitors are developing, as well as improving. They can utilize SWOT analyses and sales force assessments to diagnose and treat deficiencies. Focus groups and interviews can be used to expose untapped technological innovations and other resources. Competitive analysis can save companies from reinventing the wheel. They can observe and use others’ successes for their own benefit instead.
Address Compliance and Other Regulatory Concerns
The pharmaceutical industry is strictly regulated. It must deal with patient and data privacy issues and comply with FDA and patent regulations. Pharmaceutical market research can help companies monitor developing patent laws and any changes to FDA legislation and gather consumer feedback so that they can protect or modify their practices as needed.
A good pharmaceutical market research project can reveal industry trends and help forecast market growth. It can describe how well a company is (or is not) doing with its consumer encounters, marketing efforts and distribution methods. It can provide the raw data needed for accurate benchmarking, and it can uncover unmet needs. These facts assist shareholders, who use them to focus and direct decisions, shaping their business’s future.
Need More Information?
If you need help with a pharmaceutical market research project, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We have over 12 years experience designing pharmaceutical market research studies (especially for agricultural and veterinary professionals) and can happily assist you with any questions you might have regarding how to use market research to get the answers you need and increase your ROI.