Forecasting and Data Analytics Round Table Discussions – EphMRA 2019

Following the positive feedback from the inaugural Forecasting Roundtable Discussion from 2018, Erik Holzinger/groupH facilitated another 1-hour discussion together with Pascal Olier/Pierre Fabre on the topic of Forecasting and Data Analytics. There was a large group of attendees consisting of some very experienced individuals from both the pharma company and agency side, with regard to forecasting, as well as those who were hoping to increase their knowledge of this important business function.

The discussion focused on four key areas, supported by a separate handout to the audience with supporting analysis and case studies.

Key Take-Aways:

  1. US Long Term Outlook on Rx Spending. Cooling of Rx net price growth to low single digits or even decline across the board whereby list price growth will continue to outpace GDP growth. Roundtable participants from the US in particular agreed that politically there is consensus between parties that drug prices have to decrease for consumers. Forecasters are advised to focus on net prices and to allow for future US net price decrease scenarios.
  2. US Gross – Net Price Discounting to PBMs and other stakeholders creates complexity that makes the interpretation of audit or manufacturer reported revenue increasingly difficult. While manufacturers report these discounts on aggregate, they are unknown at product level. While this affects pricing, manufacturer initiated patient programmes can introduce another distortion to reported revenue through audit data because they are distributed outside of audited channels. This can lead to revenue under-reporting of up to 50%, according to one experienced senior participant of the forum. Forecasters should anticipate even higher gross to net discounts in future, particularly in contested indications, driven by marketing battles becoming fiercer and focusing on market access and contracting.
  3. The EphMRA META Analysis Project on Forecasting Accuracy / Patient Share Adjustments was discussed. The value of potential outcomes was confirmed, provided that after gathering suitable historic projects the scope of the analysis can remain manageable and meaningful. Roundtable participants suggested various ways of simplifying the analysis and structuring the projects, such as focus on patient share rather than revenue and the need to look at forecasts by type e.g. patient-based vs. market-based forecasting projects. The META analysis project will be further refined during 2019 and its next iteration presented on 11th October at EphMRA’s face-to-face forecasting forum in Ingelheim am Rhein.
  4. The Forecasting Clinic covered the topic of Predicting Time to Peak Share in Long Term Forecasting. Responses from the audience included the correct use of analogues matching as many of the product, indication and market characteristics as possible and the use of expert judgement ‘gut feel’.

For a more detailed summary with quotes please contact

Read the handout which set the scene for these four topics here

The Forecasting Forum continues to meet and discuss topics of interest on a monthly basis during 2019 and 2020. Participation is open to EphMRA members. Please contact Bernadette Rogers, for details. We want to hear from you!