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Continuing industry consolidation, higher-risk decision-making with riskier pipelines, and pressure to succeed in your position amidst job cuts—yet there's still demand for strategic, primary market research in our industry.  

Where is there demand for strategic, quantitative studies with flesh-and-blood market researchers who consider implications and provide keen insights?  That need is increasingly focused on the survival of developmental agents. Less predictable pipelines and more stringent regulatory demands have resulted in an increasing need to weed out agents that cannot thrive in a rocky garden and enriching those that can break through the soil.

Demand is up for a robust understanding of which novel concepts in a therapeutic category are—and will be—needed to improve treatment.  The questions coming to us represent ideas that are so early-stage that they represent only a glimmer in the eye of the developers, including assessing a patchwork of concepts to discover which combinations of these ideas can enhance a therapeutic approach.

Demand is up for setting up physician- and patient-based decision rules derived from thoughtfully considered and executed quantitative market research prior to the next phase of clinical development.

These pipeline market research programs are not immune to technological changes and innovation and are embracing them.  Nor is the pipeline stage in product development the only area of current demand for strategic studies.  

Nonetheless market research on pipelines is proving more resistant to instant data dumps.  They still necessitate thoughtful insights and direction—even in the era where we now find ourselves.

Tom Nolte is VP, strategic consulting, Adelphi Research by Design
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