PharmExec Blog

Past Performance Is No Indication Of Future Results

Patrick HomerSponsored Guest blog post by Patrick Homer, Life Science Practice Principal, SAS.

The lingo that accompanies every financial investment prospectus has never been more apt in our post meltdown economy. Yet when it comes down to directing the billion dollar investments in sales and marketing spends, the pharma industry has been firmly entrenched in this belief. Top deciles are purely past prescribing performance.

Pharma has been targeting the top decile physicians for far too long, thinking this technique delivered the highest prescribing potential.  But consider this thought… a physician targeting strategy that is based upon this approach is equivalent to buying an investment stock at its peak price. Some stocks may continue to soar, while others – well, I think I make my point.

Top decile gives no consideration for physicians who have peaked prescribing and are on the downhill slope in terms of ROI for a sales call – and conversely gives no consideration for potential diamonds in the rough.

The industry could get away with this in the blockbuster days and the lucrative margins were forgiving. Not anymore. In the new commercial model we have to search everywhere for operational efficiencies.

The industry is now on the verge of a major revolution in physician targeting – driven by the latest technology that brings the availability of predictive analytics to deliver a better understanding of future prescribing potential.  Technology that is tried, tested and proven in the financial, retail and telco industries and by pioneers in pharma. Coupled with the generation of real-time physician intelligence and delivered as an “easy on” through Software as a Service (SAAS), predictive analytics is set to be a game changer for commercial pharma.

As with all revolutions,  a battle has  started  across the  ranks of commercial op’s, analytics and management science  The lines are divided between the traditional hold outs for the decile against the visionaries who believe that predictive analytics will contribute towards transforming our industry.

Which side are you on?

To hear other perspectives and help make up your mind, check out the recent Pharm Exec Webcast in which I participated recently with Deloitte’s Scott Evangelista and PMSA’s Daniel Feldman.

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