Power in the numbers: The role of epidemiology in early asset development

Developing health care assets is a collaborative art dependent on specialized partnerships. It takes many expert perspectives in healthcare consulting to identify and drive truly successful assets through the pipeline. One of these perspectives is that of epidemiology. All too often, however, statistical models are simply employed as an after-thought. Early asset development in particular is about telling a story of cause and effect – and solid numbers provide not only credibility and clarity to this story, but a foundation from which to tell it.

Harnessing a statistical driver for asset development

Statistical models provide more than just supporting evidence for healthcare asset development. In fact, they can become the drivers for this development. For example, much of determining a compound’s optimal market configuration and commercial profile relies on a solid clinical efficacy analysis, especially for projections five years into the future and beyond. Such longitudinal projections are vulnerable to common statistical pitfalls such as inaccurate conclusions based on p-values vs. confidence intervals. Therefore, an expert epidemiological perspective is invaluable to prepare an ultimate healthcare marketing strategy and position an asset for commercialization.

Mapping opportunities in healthcare asset development

Strong statistical analyses are an essential component of opportunity mapping. Well-researched projections of not only prevalence but incidence (both current and future projections) will help to formulate a solid business case at all stages of development, and serve as a very important driver both from a clinical and a marketing standpoint. Accurate and thorough literature reviews will support the precision of these projections, as well as help you filter through any foggy conclusions or vague data to determine exactly how (and why) your asset will perform in the future.

Building a strong, justified business case

Epidemiology is an important tool to manage fierce competition in asset development for healthcare. This is true for several reasons. First, statistical models can help you fit the asset with the audience, aligning the proposed development with your objectives and harmonizing with the future market environment. In other words, they can help you demonstrate brand potential and lay down the foundation for an impactful healthcare brand strategy.

Second, it’s important to remember that a precise forecast is only possible with good numbers. When building a business case, vague projections or equivocal numbers are no longer adequate. Boards and investors will not be impressed without a sufficiently strong case. An asset must have a strong scientific foundation to stand up to evaluations by pharma groups and beyond. Particularly concerning later phases of development, convincing your audience that your asset will fill a gap, address a need, and perform post-commercialization is only achievable with accurate projections.

Healthcare asset development relies on expert collaboration for better partnerships and better investments. Understanding the role of epidemiologists in early asset development can help you drive your strategies, accurately map your opportunities, and build a powerful business case. There’s power in the numbers of healthcare asset development, and in the fast-paced, ever-changing healthcare landscape, epidemiology is a keystone in laying the foundation for accurate and productive development.