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Case Study 3

Research provides competitive landscape usage tracking and demand-forecasting updates and support

This company had great need for accurate forecasts of upcoming demand for an injectable drug in order to manufacture the appropriate amount of product and price it correctly. Previous forecasts proved to be highly inaccurate, costing the company enormous losses because of overproduction at times (product wastage) and underproduction at others (missed opportunity). 

The pharmaceutical company came to realize the need for a reality-based patient records/treating physician tracking system that would at timed intervals provide the company with a clear picture of the target market and its key drivers, including:

  • accurate landscape usage metrics rooted in the facts of actual patient records;
  • usage of target drug and competitor brands by treated disease/reason;
  • important changes in the target market and the emergence of new trends since the preceding study wave;
  • accurate predictions of how changes in key market drivers affect the quantity of target drug that should be manufactured in the next forecast period;
  • wave-specific purposes such as “testing effectiveness of newly executed strategies.”

The company retained us to design and implement its reality-based Tracker Plus
system that optimized use of existing knowledge and company-purchased secondary and primary data and outputs generated by the tracking system. This was a complex task because physicians from 25 specialties were prescribing the target drug for use in numerous treatment settings.

Each wave (round) of the patient chart-audit study involved obtaining a nationally representative sample of target patients (seen in the last 6 months) provided by a nationally representative sample of target-drug prescribing physicians. Hospital-based target physicians selected only patients who came to them directly for target-drug treatment or who were referred by non-primary target-drug physician specialists. This procedure avoided double-counting a patient seen by a primary target drug-treating specialist and provided the basis for estimating the proportion of target-drug patients seen by these non-primary specialists. When necessary, a specific patient segment of interest was oversampled to permit a more detailed examination of patients in the segment.  A multilevel weighting algorithm was applied to the diverse physician and patient segments to correct for oversampling and to ensure accurate generalization.


The tracking system was designed, pretested, implemented, and repeated successfully.  Client expectations were met or exceeded for each study wave. The tracking system was implemented over a 15-year period and played a central role in key strategic marketing and production decisions during that time. Of great importance was the success of the product demand forecasts.  Each demand forecast for the next six-month period proved to be within the expected margin of error, thereby minimizing product wastage and availability problems and yielding significant savings for the company. The brand team and its internal clients continually leveraged insights from the ongoing information flow into improved strategic decisions for the target drug.


A huge benefit provided by the tracking studies was gained from the use of information and outputs generated to help the purchasing company understand the potential value of the client company when it was sold.  Representatives of the purchasing company said that they had never seen such comprehensive information and insights into a target market.  Fortunately, the purchasing company retained us to conduct similar studies for it.

Case 1:  Current Treatments and Best Opportunities
for a forthcoming first-in-class treatment                
Case 2:  Move from Pre-Launch to Blockbuster
        in a crowded market
Case 4:  Mapping Patient Flow and Dosing Stage
         of a drug for a target condition

Case 5:  Measuring Adherence to Guidelines
for treating cancer; a 5-nation comparison