Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics – Review of 2017 and 2018 Predictions

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2017 Overview

The pharmaceutical industry began 2017 very cautiously.  It was unclear how President Trump and his agenda were going to affect the industry. That lack of clarity led to slow hiring in the first half of 2017. As it became clear that President Trump’s attention was going to be focused elsewhere, the second half of 2017 saw hiring rebound quite nicely and we see that trend continuing into 2018. On a positive note salaries did increase slightly depending on the geography of the opening. Pharmaceutical commercial analytics remains an in-demand career path with the number of opportunities available dependent on therapeutic area expertise and geographic requirements.


Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics Salaries by Title

Senior Analyst – $90,000 – $100,000
Manager – $105,000 – $120,000
Senior Manager – $125,000 – $160,000
Associate Director – $125,000 – $175,000
Director – $165,000 – $225,000
Senior Director – $205,000 – $250,000


2017 Trends

  1. M&A continued to slow down in 2017 predominantly due to the changes in US Federal Laws but also due to the amount of M&A consolidation that has previously taken place.
  2. Blockbuster drugs going off patent created increased intra-company career shifting.
  3. Add to Staff positions were seen in all therapeutic areas but more were available in Oncology, Specialty Markets and Rare Disease. While candidates could choose to pursue multiple opportunities, clients held out for specific experienced individuals.
  4. Big Data analytics is a hotly sought expertise throughout the industry. Big pharma and start-ups alike are realizing the value. Big Data will drive decision making from clinical, phase II, phase III, brand and all the way to sales teams. Advanced analytics monitors the data and then recommends what to do from the analysis.
  5. Digital analytics has become VERY important. HCPs are embracing this new channel.
  6. The consumer/end-user is more aware of drugs that are in the market place thus a marketing shift is taking place to educate them along with the HCP.

2017 Concerns

  1. New drug pricing and reimbursement. The end user is very concerned about the cost of both old and new drugs. They do not want the drugs to break the bank.
  2. The end user wants more transparency between the clinical team and the HCP relationships with the pharma company. The end user wants access to the ‘new’ data.

2018 Predictions

  1. As individuals are living longer the need for innovative, cost-effective medicines continues to rise. This brings positive excitement to the industry.
  2. Growth in both relevant and add to staff positions. We are likely to see more jobs with fewer candidates that have the “ahead of the curve” skill sets companies are looking for.
  3. Predictive analytics will be a major component in the pharmaceutical commercial analytics spend. There will be a change to a more consumer focused approach.


Have any hiring needs for 2018?  Interested in seeing what your options are as a candidate in this exciting career path?  Contact Smith Hanley Associates‘ Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics Practice Lead, Eda Zullo, at ezullo@smithhanley.com  or 203.319-4309.

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