Pharmaceutical Commercial Analytics Salaries, 2020 Trends and a Review of 2019

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The pharmaceutical industry began 2019 the same way 2017 and 2018 started; exercising extreme caution due to a lack of understanding how President Trump and his agenda regarding the pharmaceutical industry were going to evolve. Consequently, it was a slow first half of the year and then in the second half of the year hiring rebounded. We are seeing a significant number of new opportunities for 2020. This rebound started much earlier than last year, possibly because the job market is very tight for top talent. Commercial analytics salaries did increase slightly depending on where the job was. Remember experienced commercial analytics candidates are always in demand. The intensity of the demand depends on the volume of openings, therapeutic area experience and geography.

Commercial Analytics Salaries

Commercial analytics salaries are very close to last year’s numbers.

Senior Analyst-$90-100k
Manager- $110-125k
Senior Manager-$130-165k
Associate Director-$150-175k
Senior Director- $215-250k


What Happened in 2019

  1. M&A with BIG PHARMA were more obvious than in past years.
  2. Several pharma companies decided to relocate their US headquarters to two main hubs of the industry: Boston and Central New Jersey.
  3. Blockbuster drugs going off patent created significant job shifting within the patent-losing company.
  4. Add to staff positions were seen in all therapeutic areas; however, oncology, specialty markets and rare disease led in number of openings. While candidates had more opportunities to choose from, clients continued to wait for specific therapeutic experienced individuals.
  5. “Big Data” analytics is being respected throughout the industry in both big pharma and start-ups. Big Data will drive decision making from clinical phase II and phase III to brand and sales teams. Advanced analytics monitors the data and then recommends what to do from the analysis.
  6. Consumer digital analytics has become the main focus of both sales and brand analytics. HCP’s are embracing this new channel.
  7. The consumer/end-user is more aware of the drugs that are available in the market place leading to a marketing shift toward educating the consumer along with the HCP.

2019 Concerns

  1. New drug pricing and reimbursement is causing the end-user concern about the cost of both old and new drugs. They do not want their drugs to break the bank.
  2. Opiod drug addiction has been a HUGE focus.
  3. 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.

How Did I Do On My 2019 Predictions?

Prediction: Individuals are living longer bringing positive excitement to the industry. The need for innovative, cost-effective medicines continues to rise.

Result: Absolutely—many more molecules and clinical trials are in R&D phases across all therapeutic areas, with an explosion in oncology, hematology and immunology.

Prediction: Due to growth in both replacement and add to staff positions we are likely to see more jobs but less candidates with specific experience that is “ahead of the curve.”

Result: Absolutely-the trend is always to be ahead of the curve and bring innovation and enthusiasm to the team.

Prediction: Data Science and machine learning techniques will be in the requirements for the commercial advanced analytics teams.

Result: Not exactly – big pharma companies have separate teams for data science and machine learning techniques that collaborate with the commercial analytic teams. They are more of a COE that supports all areas of the business – research and development, finance, and commercial.

Prediction: Predictive analytics will be a major component in the pharmaceutical commercial spend as the focus moves to a more consumer approach.

Result: So True!!

2020 Predictions

  1. The 2019 predictions will be carried over to 2020. Scientific innovation is driving the industry. The pharmaceutical companies need to be ready to go with a commercialization strategy .
  2. New job opportunities will be strong again going into the new decade; however, matching job requirements to the viable candidate’s skills will be more than ever a MUST!
  3. Data science and machine learning have arrived in the commercial analytics area. This specialization will continue to be a COE supporting the brand and sales teams.
  4. Digital analytics will become a stronger function in the commercial analytics area. A strong expertise will be needed to reach the end user.

Interested in hiring a commercial analytics professional in 2020, or starting your own job search?  Interested in discussing commercial analytics salaries? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Commercial Analytics Recruiter, Eda Zullo at ezullo@smithhanley.com.

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