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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

Data Driven

EPC:What was your entry into the pharmaceutical industry?

Elizabeth Brooks: After receiving my PhD in Mathematics, I settled in as a college professor. After several unfulfilling years, I stumbled across a job advertisement for a scientist with a strong mathematical background to work within a growing health economics consulting business. I tried it, liked it, and stayed in the industry because it is so interesting and challenging, and lets me feel like I am making a contribution to improving world health.

Describe your business philosophy.

Decision Driver Analytics is built on my belief that health economics analysis can be both rigorous enough to stand up to peer review and practical enough to guide business decisions. We believe we can best serve our customers by providing comprehensive assessments of product value throughout the product lifecycle, to drive development and use decisions.

What should pharma be focusing on in the near future?

The era of big, blockbuster drugs is probably behind us – if the industry is to remain economically healthy, it is going to have to explore new ways of creating revenue and return on investment. Cognitive analytics is a way for developers and manufacturers to use data-driven insight to make economic and marketing decisions.

What do you think are the biggest barriers to successful drug and medical device product marketing?

In today’s market – in Europe, the US and the rest of the world – drug and medical device products will not be paid for and utilised if they cannot demonstrate both clinical and economic value. In particular, the US payer market is changing rapidly, and manufacturers must be able to demonstrate value for their products in the current ‘fee for service’ environment, while also having a plan to demonstrate value in the ‘pay for performance’ marketplace of the future.

How can businesses differentiate their product in such a crowded marketplace?

Developers and manufacturers that have a value-focused strategy, aimed at demonstrating both real-world clinical effectiveness and real-world cost effectiveness at product launch will have an edge in the market.

What is the most important business lesson you have learnt?

I have learned to trust my intuition. While I have always been very analytical, with time and experience I have learned that when an opportunity feels right, it usually is, and when it doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.

What are your goals for the next year?

With all the changes currently impacting the healthcare market, my goal – as always – is to help our clients work through development and marketing challenges with the help of data-derived insight. Having a firm understanding of a product’s value throughout its lifecycle is key to profitability and return on investment. Our goal is to provide that understanding in the most practical, usable way possible.

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Prior to launching Decision Driver Analytics in 2006, Dr Elizabeth Brooks led the health economics group at PPD, managing business and strategic development for its medical communications, health economics and late-stage study services. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and has published peer-reviewed articles on a variety of mathematical and health economics topics. She also holds a PhD in Mathematics from Duke University.
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