The pharmaceutical industry is a highly competitive space, and staying on top means knowing what your competitors are doing. However, a comprehensive competitive analysis is often back-burnered, as there is always enough to do to fill a 30 hour day for most of us in this industry!
This is one item that should NOT be ignored, as keeping and maintaining an ongoing, complete competitive analysis will alert you to key industry trends, customer trends, and areas of need that have not yet been met by any other company. These create areas of opportunity for you and your company.
A good competitive analysis can save many man-hours of research work - and there is no recouping costs for work that has been done to create the wrong solution.
A pharmaceutical consulting firm can help supplement your staff by creating these analyses for you. As they are not part of your organization, they will prepare an analysis that is unbiased and representative of the true state of the market based on their experience and inside knowledge.
A good competitive analysis will include price points, the mechanism by which a problem or medical condition is addressed, cost estimates, distribution and sales channels, and any strengths or weaknesses of the competitive solution. It will also include solutions that are used by consumers in lieu of any pharmaceutical solution.
It is also important to keep your competitive analysis updated on a regular basis, as market conditions are highly dynamic - and larger competitors can change strategy very quickly. Doing a quick review of conditions once a month and making needed changes should be sufficient for keeping up to date.
Price points and the price elasticity of similar products may need to be watched more closely than once a month, as many companies drop pricing in an effort to gain market share when results are not what they would have wanted to see. Missing a competitive price reduction can lead to losing market share unexpectedly.
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