-by Veerle van Leemput & Greg Mills, Managing Directors at Analytic Health

We identified over 40,000 market opportunities to help pharmaceutical manufacturers, doctors and pharmacies deliver better patient care. 40,000+ opportunities related to new and innovative pack sizes, low competition products, Integrated Care Board (ICB) savings, generic shortages, and strategic portfolio development.

With numerous data sources related to prescribing habits, product registrations and shortages it’s sometimes hard to bind everything together and find the real business intelligence. And when you do find insights, quantifying them can be challenging to say the least.

Working with pharmaceutical data daily, we established that there is a need for specific, objective and effective recommendations. That’s why we developed our opportunities dataset: recommendations for a specific ICB, company, active ingredient, or brand that help to align doctors’, pharmacists’, and patients’ needs with medicine supply. These opportunities are interesting for manufacturers because they can gain market share, but they also help to develop a more robust healthcare system. That’s how we create a win-win situation ✅.

But what type of opportunities do we generate? And how do we do that? In this blog article you’ll find out all about it.

Opportunity Types

We generate different types of opportunities. Some opportunities are related to the number of manufacturers already in the market (low competition), and others are related to launching an innovative pack size to match GP prescribing habits. Our opportunities contribute to our mission to accelerate innovation in healthcare by identifying unique opportunities to deliver better healthcare and reduce the NHS cost burden 🏥 . We’ll explain all our opportunity types in this section.

Low Competition

Using the Dictionary of Medicines and Devices (DM+D) we identify products that are registered by a limited number of other companies. These are low competition and might be interesting to launch 🚀. By identifying the low competition products we provide an incentive to increase competition- which in turn supports healthy market functioning.

Low competition opportunities identify which products are registered by only a limited number of companies. This opportunity aims to increase competition and support healthy market functioning. We have over 2,800 of these opportunities.

New Pack Sizes

Using the latest England prescribing data we calculate the number of times GPs prescribe each product (Eg. Amlodipine tablets 10mg) in each quantity (Eg. 56). GPs don’t always prescribe medications in the exact quantity that are currently supplied by manufacturers- they prescribe to the patient’s needs. For example, a GP can prescribe 8 weeks of 1 Amlodipine 10mg tablet a day, meaning they prescribe a quantity of 56 in total. A medicine of company X might be available in a pack of 28 only, meaning two packs of 28 have to be dispensed or one pack of 56 from company Y. If there are enough prescriptions written in a quantity of 56, we make a recommendation to company X to launch a 56 pack as well.

New pack size recommendations are based on the company having a strength registered but not one of the pack sizes that are registered by other companies. It is a new pack size relative to the companies’ portfolio 💼. We label an opportunity as a green initiative when the suggested new pack size is the largest pack in the market ♻️. This lowers your carbon footprint while decreasing packaging costs and gaining market share.

New pack size opportunities identify which pack size(s) might be worthwhile to add to a company’s portfolio. The pack size might be existing in the market already. There are nearly 1,300 such opportunities to expand portfolios.

Innovative Pack Sizes

While the new pack size opportunities are all relative to a company’s existing portfolio, innovative pack sizes are about finding interesting pack sizes that currently no other company has registered.

By identifying the quantities that GPs predominantly prescribe, which have no associated packs registered in the DM+D, we provide an opportunity for a company to manufacture this pack size to gain market share and reduce packaging costs, whilst helping pharmacists to either avoid the need to decant packs into smaller quantities or avoid having to dispense multiple packs to fulfil larger quantities. Again, we label this as a green initiative when the recommended pack size would be the largest pack in the market ♻️.

Innovative pack size opportunities identify in which quantities GPs predominantly prescribe, which have no associated packs registered. This is an opportunity to launch a pack size that prevents decanting packs into smaller quantities and reduces packaging costs by avoiding the need for bundling multiple smaller packs into larger quantities. Almost 2,400 opportunities related to innovative pack sizes exist.

New Strength

A new strength opportunity means the company does have the product range listed in the DM+D but they do not have one or more of the strengths that other companies have. E.g., a company may have Paracetamol 200mg registered, but does not have the 400mg registered that their competitor has. Just as the new pack size opportunity, this a relative to a company’s current product portfolio.

New strength opportunities identify how companies can expand their portfolio by including a product from the same product range, but in a different strength that competitors do have registered. With over 1,700 of these opportunities, there are a huge number of options for companies to develop their portfolio, maximising the likelihood of gaining new accounts to better support customers and patients.

ICB Saving Priorities

There are often multiple brands (known as branded generics) available from multiple companies that are registered for the same indications, which are bio-equivalent to the originator product. Each company decide on their own list price which may be based on their internal costs, marketing, market share, or other factors 💡.

Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) define a formulary which is a document outlining the products that they have decided meet the demands of their patients. They may choose to encourage the use of certain brands over others to the GPs in their ICB, and can secure contracts with manufacturers to receive the product at an agreed price. This opportunity identifies which ICBs could benefit from switching to the brand of another company. This way we reduce the NHS cost burden while generating business value at the same time.

In Pharmly Analytics, we also have an interactive Budget Impact Model that provides more insights on this type of opportunity for each company. You can read our previous blog about it for more information about the methodology.

We have identified a stunning 32,000 opportunities related to potential ICB savings. These opportunities identify which brand switches could save ICBs and the NHS money while at the same time helping manufacturers support more patients by gaining market share. That’s what we call a win-win situation.

Generic Shortages And Alternatives

Over the last few years, there has been an upward trend in the number of products on the concessionary list. These are products currently experiencing a shortage and a higher reimbursement price. The generic shortage opportunity identifies which products are currently on the concessionary price list. The associated price increase can be an opportunity to fund the additional manufacturing needed to help increase supply.

In some cases, we are also able to provide an alternative. We do this by finding other products in the same therapeutic range. If manufacturers are not able to produce more of a specific product in the event of a shortage, they might want to increase manufacturing efforts for the alternative product.

⚠️ Alternatives must always be approved by a healthcare professional.

Opportunities related to generic shortages (concessionary listings) help to identify where there is a shortage and can incentivise manufacturers to increase supply. Since the number of shortages fluctuates each month, we identify 100 to 200 generic shortages and proposed alternatives per month.

Opportunity Value

We know quantifying opportunities is challenging, so that’s why we estimate the market value of an opportunity for you. Based on the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of prescriptions written in England for a specific strength or quantity, we attach a value to all of our opportunities.

Where To Find Our Opportunities?

We provide access to all 40,000+ opportunities in both our apps.

In Pharmly Analytics the opportunities are generated based upon your chosen set of products (called a View). This can be a company portfolio, therapy area or active ingredients you’re interested in. You are in charge of what is being displayed in your customised AI Console! And don’t worry, you can create multiple Views as well.

In Pharmly Analytics you can find all the opportunities related to your chosen set of products in the AI Console.

In Pharmly Cloud Data you can simply browse and download all the opportunities by searching for an active ingredient, brand, company or opportunity type. To make things easy we split out the opportunities into separate columns so you can analyse the data yourself.

In Pharmly Cloud Data you can search opportunities by active ingredient, brand, company or type and simply download the data to Excel for further analysis.

We know you are eager to take a look! And taking a look is simple: on both of the apps you can get access to a one-week free trial where you can browse through all 40,000+ opportunities. Simply book a meeting with us and we’ll make it happen!

The Data

All our opportunities are data-driven: they emerge from our data analytics model.

Below you can find some details on the data that is being used:

  • SourceEnglish Prescribing Data (EPD)
  • Update frequency: monthly, on the day after the NHSBSA release the latest prescribing data we process the data and update any calculations depending on that data
  • Source: Concessionary Pricing
  • Update frequency: multiple times per month, because of negotiations between PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care on an individual product’s circumstances.

All the data we use is made available as part of the Open Government Licence.

Feedback Or Questions?

Any questions after reading this blog article? Feel free to reach out and we’re more than happy to provide more details.