THOUGHTS

Steps in Competitor Analysis of Pharma Companies

Apr 29, 2018

It is no new knowledge that the present scenario in the pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive. In recent years, the pharma market has become even more competitive due to the availability of branded and generic product segments. Despite evidence to the contrary, several pharmaceutical companies perceive their competitive world as a relatively flat landscape. Consequently, numerous pharma companies and professionals still resort to outdated and superficial competitor analysis that limit their perceptions of competitors’ product and corporate profiles, particularly promotional spending and sales force allocations. These simplistic, often short-sighted approaches place pharma companies at risk from competitive threats and dangerous blind spots.

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As the pharmaceutical industry transitions to a shorter and less profitable life cycle model, competitive planning for brands and companies have become critical for growth. The foundation of this planning is competitor analysis, which is essentially the process of assessing and understanding the competitors to help design winning strategies and tactics. The drug development process is not only a process to formulate the most successful product or treatment for a particular condition, but also to research the market and successfully identify the competitors. Other key benefits of undertaking competitor analysis include targeting the right customers, market potential forecasting, and matching the competitor pricing. Here are some of the steps involved in conducting competitor analysis:

Finding the right team

The first step involved in conducting a  systematic, insightful and multidimensional competitor analysis is to find the right team. For any analysis, it’s imperative to have the ideal frameworks, processes, and tools. This could include a multidisciplinary team of internal consultants and external professionals if required. Firms should not solely depend on competitive intelligence dealers, who mainly focus on the accumulation of data and competitive surveillance. Instead, they should use people with expertise in elaborate competitive analysis, planning, strategy, and implementation. With the help of these professionals. Companies can gain access to proper methodologies, tools, and structures to lead and assist the development of a competitive analysis process.

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Competitive Personality Analysis

Many pharma companies make the mistake of assuming that their company is not a part of the competitive mix. However, corporate self-analysis is an indispensable part of competitor analysis. Every company has its own distinct personality, and competitive personality analysis involves unearthing the personality of a company. It addresses critical questions like how a company thinks and acts, what is the competitor’s product profile, what salesforce will be used to back the competitor’s product, what will be the competitive differentiation, etc. Based on corporate presentations, executive profiles, competitive intelligence, and other information gathered by addressing such questions, pharma companies can penetrate into a competitor’s head and decipher their way of thinking and also their future course of action. 

Strategic stakeholder analysis

In today’s market, when physicians prescribe a particular drug and patients want that drug, sometimes they end up buying a different brand. Prescription power is now being transferred from patients and physical care providers to other strategic stakeholders. These stakeholders include regulators, governments, professional societies, policymakers, the media, health technology evaluation groups, retailers, etc. As stakeholders play an essential role in the adoption and use of particular brands, a detailed analysis of strategic stakeholders should be a critical aspect of every competitor analysis.

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis helps to identify and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a company faces. The information gained is used to analyze the position of a company as well as that of its competitors. A SWOT analysis informs the upper management what the industry is outshining in, the improvements required, exploiting growth opportunities if possible, and the preemptive measures that need to be taken to safeguard a company or shareholder value.


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