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Case Study: Opportunity Assessment


A large pharmaceutical company was approached to license a drug being developed to treat diabetic nephropathy. The company had less than two weeks to assess the business opportunity and determine if it was a venture in which they wanted to invest. To make that decision, the company wanted to know more about the marketplace for drugs in this therapeutic category and, specifically, if there were unmet needs that this new drug would address.

Business Question

Is the market viable enough to warrant a "yes" decision on the in-licensing opportunity?

The Answers & Insights Approach

To answer this question, Answers & Insights went to those most qualified to answer it: the physicians who treat patients with diabetic nephropathy. Using its proprietary database of more than 500,000 physicians, Answers & Insights identified physicians across the U.S. who commonly treat patients with diabetic nephropathy.

Answers & Insights scheduled IDIs, or in-depth interviews, with 30 physicians. Using web conferencing, an experienced Answers & Insights moderator – one with extensive health care experience and knowledge on this specific therapeutic category – conducted interviews to gather qualitative information on:

  • Patient population and how they generally come under care for this disease
  • Physician prescribing habits
  • Variance of drug therapy among the five stages of kidney disease
  • Physician satisfaction level with current therapeutic drugs on the market
  • Physician perception of patient compliance
  • Unmet needs

Additionally, during the IDIs, each physician reviewed a profile of the proposed licensing product and provided input on:

  • Pros and cons
  • Information they'd want to know before prescribing it
  • Use as a first-line vs. an add-on therapy
  • Patient age/type the drug is perceived to be most suitable for
  • How the product would fit into current prescribing habits
  • Pricing

Customer Benefit

With an already established understanding of the therapeutic category, as well as the ability to quickly identify and secure a sampling of physicians, Answers & Insights was able to recruit respondents, design and execute a research plan, and deliver a project report—and all within the short time needed. With the information in hand, the pharmaceutical company was able to confidently make a decision that was based on a sampling of qualitative data from experienced physicians.