Aiming to flourish in the pharmaceutical marketplace, it’s crucial to stay up to date with all the developments in one’s industry and every industry aspect that can affect one’s business. Furthermore, firms compete fiercely to keep their pipelines strong in the face of rapid innovation, changing patient needs, and patent expiration. Therefore, in such a dynamic environment, keeping a constant eye on the competition is imperative. However, effective pharma competitive intelligence must be extremely comprehensive, reliable, and tailored to meet the needs of the specific organization.

A competitive intelligence program’s primary objectives are to help the industry understand its market, make strategic decisions, and eventually enhance revenue. Company executives and other leaders require timely insights to make decisions that steer product development and determine the route to corporate success. The key to success is identifying the challenges and bottlenecks of the area and evaluating them to find solutions.

In the fast-paced competitive environment of the Pharmaceutical or Healthcare industry, development or commercial teams should consider constructing a customized competitive intelligence (CI) program to monitor key competitors, as well as undertaking specific one-off projects to clarify issues and opportunities to better compete in the market, along with gaining a deep understanding of competitors’ strategies and tactics.

Competitive Intelligence: A go-to-tool for the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry

Competitive Intelligence is future-focused in a way that it possesses a forward-thinking and a predictive approach to analyze the future moves of any competitor. Some Competitive Intelligence examples include analyzing the competitor’s R&D strategy, specific product development strategy, business development strategy, product marketing strategy, pricing strategy, etc. 

Competitive Intelligence, by being present-focused, plays a major role in analyzing the current scenarios to reshape personal growth.

Benefits of Competitive Intelligence:

  1. Enhanced Due Diligence in Licensing, Mergers, and Acquisitions: For pharmaceutical companies, proper due diligence before any kind of licensing or acquisition agreement is extremely important. Competitive Intelligence in pharma can help analyze and bring about valuable insights which help in discovering the Research and Development (R&D) synergies between the partner companies or understanding the combined operational metrics or risks involved with any kind of agreement.
  2. Improved Research and Development: Competitive Intelligence helps in keeping track of industry failures, eventually preventing the pharma companies from making the same errors in drug development and saving precious resources. Competitive Intelligence also helps pharma companies be updated regarding the latest breakthrough therapies and trials, and gives them a good direction to re-establish and scale up their drug development plans.
  3. Tool for diving into new markets: Entering into new markets, especially the emerging economies, poses many challenges for pharmaceutical companies. Here, competitive intelligence tools help in quickly getting the measure of the new market environment and creating opportunities to penetrate the market and deal with the challenges.
  4. Powerful Portfolio Management: Effective portfolio management is essential for pharmaceutical companies to maximize the output based on selected clinical, commercial, and regulatory criteria. The key components where competitive intelligence plays a major role are managing the pipeline assets, prioritizing research & development, and ensuring optimal resource utilization. A drug maker must constantly keep an eye on the latest trends and developments in the market, especially concerning the competition. Eventually, powerful portfolio management will ensure a steady and encouraging pipeline, attuned to the current and future market scenarios.
  5. Stronger marketing and commercialization of the drugs: Competitive Intelligence assists pharmaceutical companies with key decisions related to drug marketing and also enable them with better solutions for market positioning of their assets. The product management and the sales & marketing teams need to be always aware of the competitor brand messaging, key target audience, geographical coverage, sales, marketing, and promotional activities, and sales team structure. Competitive Intelligence provides this knowledge ahead of time and helps the companies prepare an effective brand strategy for quick market uptake.

Download our Insights Story on the Analysis of Competitive Activity in the AML, Multiple Myeloma and ALL Indications

How CI plays an essential role in Pharma Growth?

Competitive Intelligence to analyze the past:

Several Pharmaceutical and healthcare firms are leveraging competitive intelligence processes to understand the industry better. Through various competitive analysis strategies, the pharma companies can analyze the past trends and ready themselves to better respond to new challenges, making their enterprises resilient. 

Competitive Intelligence to assess the future:

Several Competitive Intelligence strategies support in predicting the likelihood of a scenario that may happen. Having a good conversation with the regulatory personnel and the company representatives may help in anticipating the future responses of the regulatory authorities to the outcomes of new initiatives taken by companies. Moreover, competitive intelligence has become such an important pill in the healthcare industry as it assists the companies in identifying and adapting to the changing standards of care, which may promote their growth in the future. CI is helping fuel the growth of many industries as the companies can understand the mistakes to be avoided in plans.


Strategies that a pharma/healthcare firm can adopt for Competitive Advantage

Keep a sharp lookout on the competitors

Starting with competitor information is the first step in any competitive landscape study. One should always identify the direct competitors as well as the indirect competitors. Competitive Intelligence enables systematic monitoring of your competitors’ actions to determine what they’re doing now – and what they’re likely to do in the future.

Many subscription services aggregate competitor asset information in addition to numerous sources of competitor information (e.g., company websites, clinical trial websites, and researchers, etc.). By acquiring this type of data, the company can improve its strategic and tactical decisions, as well as gain a better understanding of its competitive position. Analysis of development timelines, filings, approvals, and launches, as well as assessments of product differentiation and weaknesses, can turn information into intelligence.

Consult with the KOLs

KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are an important source of competitive intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry. They help in understanding the real-world scenarios that one might be unaware of. This necessitates the identification of KOLs who specialize in specific markets, the monitoring of their published work, and the investment of resources to maintain long-term relationships with them. KOLs help pharma companies find market potential by providing information on diagnostic or treatment discrepancies and other unmet needs.

It is important to connect with industry KOLs, ranging from healthcare practitioners and diagnostic specialists to corporate executives, and from funding VCs to patient support organizations, legislative affairs, and government commissions to widen the scope of gaining information.

Deploy technological advancements to improve time & speed-to-insight

By gathering data and insights faster, technology can help firms gain an advantage over competitors any day. Machine learning/AI algorithms in cloud-based platforms automate data collection from a wide range of sources, including databases, publicly available reports, company websites, social media, and other internet assets, among others. Whether acquired or developed internally, technology and innovation can provide a very strong manifestation of strategic direction. More modern tools offer easier insight development by providing greater flexibility and customization in the manner stakeholders want to receive competitive intelligence. 


A coordinated and technology-backed CI procedure can give a step more in the drug development process by utilizing previous historical data to recognize drug development processes and acceptance rates. It also makes it easier for corporations to forecast drug deadlines and change their production processes and strategies accordingly. Automated CI processes deliver actionable insights to R&D teams promptly, assuring commercial success. In essence, this would have far-reaching implications for both company viability and patient outcomes.

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Monitor development milestones of competitors to back R&D progress

Tracking changes in competitors’ clinical trial data can also help in strategizing one’s drug development plans. It’s critical to keep track of unforeseen outcomes in relevant trials related to each therapeutic field. Keeping track of FDA applications as well as those from other nations where each therapeutic area has designated testing centres provides an understanding of the plans of a particular sponsor. CI professionals can do this by gathering data from various clinical trial databases. They can analyze both the competitor’s high-level objectives, such as the channels they are investing in and the tactical aspects using the large quantity of data available from databases and press releases, as well as the company’s strategies to analyze how to best benchmark development strategies. It’s also crucial to keep an eye out for new technologies, qualities, and treatment processes employed in clinical trials by the competitors, as they could potentially shift the market.

Tracking Industry Progress through Conferences, congresses, and trade shows  

CI professionals help Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and healthcare companies stay up to date with the latest developments through real-time analysis of companies in various conferences, earnings calls, investor presentations, and trade shows through customizable sources which send real-time alerts to notify key team members. There is a pool of valuable information that can be gathered from the conference intelligence and provides an opportunity for onsite coverage. Undoubtedly, this strategy ensures a full capture of strategic events and competitor outlook.

Embrace Social Media

Social network intelligence is a very helpful tool in analyzing the sentiments and the real-time reactions of competitors. Audience intelligence, which includes analyzing the followers of innovations and new entrants in the market, is another aspect for the predictions of future trends. Social media networks allow CI professionals to live test opportunity analysis. Industry players must take direct feedbacks about the innovations in the market from the users, KOLs, and HCPs for a better understanding. Companies can also perform primary research through several social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc., where they connect with the audience and gain intelligence about the competitors’ profiles.

The finish line: Strategic Analysis of collected information 

The last and most important Competitive Intelligence strategy involves the assimilation of all collected data and interpretation to understand its significance. In addition, insights must be translated into actions that will aid in the strategic decision-making process. Techniques, including SWOT gap analyses, benchmarking, competitor profiling, financial analysis, future planning, mind mapping, and A.T. Kearney Strategy Chessboard, among others, are used by CI professionals to assimilate and create insights These methods aid in determining what the intelligence gathered implies for the firm and what may be done to address it. Thus, this is the most crucial strategy in successful drug development and thereby, rising pharma growth.

DelveInsight’s Competitive Intelligence Services provide real-time and actionable research insights through operations that are reinforced by a fundamental goal of securing best-in-class intelligence and provide analysis and insights through our team that results in significant contributions towards the consulting goal of our partners. Our services help our partners stay ahead by drawing out implications and suggesting outcomes for the business to act upon.

To Learn How to Grow the Business through Competitive Intelligence, connect with us!


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Competitive Intelligence is Important?

Competitive intelligence is important because it assists businesses in understanding their competitive environment, as well as the opportunities and challenges that it presents. Businesses analyse data to develop effective and efficient business practices.

2. What are key components where CI plays an important role in pharma?

The key components where competitive intelligence plays a major role are managing the pipeline assets, prioritizing research & development, and ensuring optimal resource utilization. A drug maker must constantly keep an eye on the latest trends and developments in the market, especially concerning the competition.

3. What are the Competitive Intelligence tools?

There are several competitive intelligence tools such as Crunchbase, Talkwalker Alerts, Ahrefs, Owletter, SimilarWeb, Moat, Hootsuite, and others that assist companies in gauging the competitive landscape.

4. What are the advantages of Competitive Intelligence?

The advantages that competitive intelligence provides to an organization include: 
Predicting your’s competitors moves
Refining your marketing strategy 
Understanding customer sentiments
Figuring out your company’s direction