Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics – 2018 Review and 2019 Trends

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The pharmaceutical industry began 2018, just like 2017, being very cautious as to how President Trump and his agenda were going to affect the commercial pharmaceutical industry. It was a slow first half of the year for commercial analytics hiring, and then in the second half of the year hiring rebounded dramatically. This growth extended into a significant number of new opportunities for 2019. Next year hiring started much earlier than last year—possibly because the job market is very tight for top talent. Salaries did increase slightly, but, remember, analytics is always in demand, individual opportunities depend on the volume of openings, therapeutic area expertise and geographic preferences.

Commercial Analytics Salaries

Very close to last year’s numbers.

Senior Analyst – $90,000 – $100,000
Manager –  $110,000 – $125,000
Senior Manager – $130,000 – $165,000
Associate Director – $150,00 – $175,000
Director – $175,00 – $225,000
Senior Director – $215,000 – $250,000

2018 Review

• M&A with big pharma were more obvious than in 2017.
• Several pharma companies decided to relocate their US Headquarters to industry hubs, i.e. Boston, Central NJ.
• Once blockbuster drugs were going off patent there was lots of shifting positions within the company.
• Add to Staff positions were seen in all therapeutic areas but oncology, specialty markets and rare disease saw the majority of openings. While candidates had more options, clients continued to wait for specific experienced individuals.
• Big data analytics is seeing growing interest throughout the industry. Big pharma and start-ups are realizing the value. Big data is driving decision making from clinical phase II and phase III, brand and sales teams. Advanced Analytic monitors the data and then recommends what to do from the analysis.
• Consumer/digital analytics has become THE focus for both sales and brand analytics. HCP’s are embracing this new channel.
• The consumer/end-user is more aware of drugs that are in the market place and there is a marketing shift taking place to educate them along with the HCP.

2018 Concerns

• New drug pricing & reimbursement. The end user is very concerned about the cost of both old and new drugs. They do not want the cost of the drugs to break the bank.
• 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.

2019 Predictions

• Individuals living longer is bringing positive excitement to the industry. The need for innovative, cost-effective medicines continues to rise.
• Growth in both relevant and add to staff positions. Likely to see more jobs/less candidates with specific requirements that are “ahead of the curve.”
• Data science and machine learning techniques will be in the position requirements for advanced analytics/commercial teams.
• Predictive analytics will be a major component in the pharmaceutical commercial spend.  In turn, this spend will be changing focus to a more consumer approach.


Interested in knowing more about opportunities in the commercial analytics space of the pharmaceutical industry?  Contact Smith Hanley Associates‘ Commercial Analytics Recruiter, Eda Zullo, at ezullo@smithhanley.com.

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