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Myths of generic competition

A survey of US branded pharmaceutical and biotech companies has found that they need to improve their understanding of generic competition

A survey of US branded pharmaceutical and biotech companies has found that they need to improve their understanding of generic competition.

The white paper, entitled "The Five Myths of Generic Competition", states that interviewees either consider there is nothing they can do to prevent sales erosion by generic drugs, or they assume research is being carried out by somebody else in their organisation.

"The intelligence gathered and analysed by our researchers tells us that these attitudes are based on some false assumptions," says Claude Basset, vice president of specialty markets at Thomson Reuters, which conducted the survey with 27 executives, directors and managers from big pharmaceutical and small and mid-sized innovator companies. "Understanding and forecasting generic competition remains undoubtedly a serious strategic challenge for anyone with a brand product on the market. It's clear, however, that there is more originators could do better - and earlier - to prepare for generic competition."

The study discovered that:
• monitoring and analysis of generic competition in brand and lifecycle management is often an ad-hoc process, with poor communication and co-ordination across teams
• many assume that generics are inevitable, and employ standard information techniques too late in a product's lifecycle to be effective
• short planning horizons and rapid career progression may hamper proper understanding among senior management
• many brand teams lack the time, resources or incentives to conduct adequate analysis of generic competition
• senior management must empower brand teams, make them responsible for understanding the impact and timing of generic competition, and place it firmly on the agenda

In analysing the study findings, Thomson Reuters offers guidance on when and how best to improve competitive intelligence processes by focusing on more effective sources of long-range signals, and by providing brand teams with the resources and tools necessary to better understand generic competition.

1st April 2009

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