Developing rare disease and oncology drugs is intricate work in itself, but getting these drugs successfully to market has its own hurdles. Constantly shifting sands with payer policies, government legislation, FDA approvals, pharmacy benefit managers, and medication affordability all make this biopharma space convoluted at best (and a big, hairy mess at worst).
So what’s a manufacturer to do? In order to profitably maneuver these muddled waters, drug makers must rely on sound business intelligence (BI) to provide up-to-the-minute data and analytics. Well-curated and analyzed BI holds the key to understanding the market’s historical context and present climate, as well as allowing us to paint a clear picture of what’s to come. And, most importantly, the data shows us exactly what we need to plan a successful launch and bright future for an emerging biopharma product.
But here’s the problem: just like the market, BI also comes with its own set of layers and complexities. And there are as many different ways to capture and analyze info out there as there are people on this planet.
In fact, a lot can go wrong when it comes to gathering the right data and making sense of it. And with more than two decades of biopharma BI analysis under our belts, we’ve rounded up the top five most common BI blunders in the rare disease and oncology space so you can steer clear.
1. Providing data without context
Gobs of numbers, graphs, and charts may look impressive on paper, but without context around the data, the raw data alone is often useless (and certainly overwhelming). Some consultants aim to impress with a lot of facts and figures simply pulled from computer algorithms, but at DKP, we know numbers only tell part of the story.
Not only do you need the data, but you need real experts drawing conclusions from a deep knowledge of the industry, outside resources, trends, historical context, and more. If your team isn’t equipped for this level of research and understanding, find a consultant who specializes in this area. They should provide you not only the BI you need, but an in-depth analysis with a straightforward executive summary and clear action steps.
2. Using general market data analytics for an oncology or rare disease drug
Ever tried to fit a square peg into a round hole? It’s easy to see why that wouldn’t work. But that’s exactly what happens when data from other biopharma industries is applied to oncology or rare disease drugs.
For instance, the oncology space is unique and has its own quirks, nuances, and legislation that make it incomparable to any other healthcare market, including mainstream pharmaceuticals. Don’t be duped into paying for BI services that aren’t specifically geared for the rare disease industry. Instead, look for reputable experts who exclusively specialize in the oncology and rare disease drug market and know this space inside and out.
3. Thinking more is always better
Many BI services impress clients with large data dumps, but then what? While so much information may look profound at first glance, the illusion is quickly over once drug makers start chasing numbers and stats that don’t apply to their specific needs—a waste of time and precious resources.
Our BI team does things differently. First, we only pull data from relevant resources handpicked for each client. Then, we organize the analytics into a user-friendly dashboard for at-a-glance understanding. Finally, we go over our in-depth analysis for clients in a way that gives them exactly what they need to know to make sound decisions—no more and no less. We like to think of our comprehensive approach like using a scalpel versus an axe—precise, accurate, and detailed.
4. Subdividing services
Gaining valuable holistic industry insights is a top goal for BI, but too often we see clients taking a fragmented approach. They sometimes hire multiple vendors thinking they can compile spliced analysis to create something understandable and actionable.
Unfortunately, this approach leaves serious gaps, especially when it comes to getting the full picture of the market. Look for a consultant who takes an integrated approach from the start. BI services should encompass everything a drug maker needs to make smart decisions like laser-focused analytics, useful interpretation of data, and strategic forecasting.
5. Foregoing BI altogether
While having poorly done BI is a hefty issue, completely omitting BI from your launch plan is an even bigger no-no. This industry can be arduous and ever-changing, and it’s mission critical to stay on top of the latest changes in commercial and private payer policies, state and federal laws, drug pricing, patient outcomes, and so much more. Without a solid handle on the proper data points and context, it’s difficult to create a strategy to get a drug from just an idea to the people who need it.
A successful rare disease or oncology drug launch can’t be done well without BI analytics guiding and forecasting strategic moves. Think of it this way: going without BI is like steering a sailboat on the open ocean without GPS, a map, compass, or even stars in the sky—a shipwreck is far more likely than hitting the destination.
When done right, BI is an invaluable tool to take your product from vision to reality. But many drug makers skip this step altogether or are lured into poor BI services with fancy diagrams and pages of useless data.
Don’t settle for anything less than efficient, practical, and tailored analytics created just for your needs by experts who live and breathe in the rare disease drug market. At DKP, rare disease drugs and oncology treatments, including gene and cell therapies, are our specialty. If you need guidance launching your product in this space, let’s chat.