Market Research Tool Predicts the Impacts of Multiple Product Launches

Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - January/February 2009,

Modeling technique analyzes how order of entry and time to market affect sales

Market forecasting for drug products is perhaps a more complicated exercise than for

many other types of products, given lengthy and complex development efforts, the

vagaries of the regulatory process, the threat of generics competition, and now the

apparent slowing of prescription drug market growth (see

“Prescription Drug Sales Decline Foretells Shifting Regulatory/R&D Balance,”

Pharmaceutical Commerce,

December 2008). But a new analytic technique promises forecasters a more accurate

assessment of the effect of launch sequence and time to market on peak market share.

A statistics-driven model, Sequencez (pronounced "sequences"), has been unveiled by healthcare and pharmaceutical market research consultancy Ziment (New York). “Now we can assess the benefit received by brands that come first to market, and the potential disadvantages suffered by brands that face delays in launch,” says Josh Rossol, PhD, chief methodologist.

Rossol says that Ziment has partnered with “several clients” to produce the SequenceZ

model. “It has helped inform their forecasts, their choices of clinical trials to pursue, and

to gain insight into a future with many unknowns about whether certain competitor

products will launch, in what order they might launch, and the impact of such launches.”

Ziment, which has operations worldwide and is a subsidiary of the U.K.’s WPP PLC

organization, has an overall modeling and analytical approach that it calls “compound to

profit.” The company helps pharma researchers analyze disease states and therapeutic

classes, identify key product attributes, and, now, the effects of multiple new product

entrants. Other modeling offerings are Ideaz, Trialz, and Demand Calibration. Another

component of its research capabilities are physician and patient panels, with hundreds of

thousands of members each, to sample product attribute responses.

According to CEO John Tapper, PhD, modeling order of entry has always been

problematic. “It is just too difficult for respondents to estimate how they will react when

a product that has not yet launched enters a future market containing other products that

have also not yet launched, but are expected to have been available for, say, 6 or 12

months at the time the product in question is approved. We are just asking doctors to do

too much,” he concludes.