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May 11, 2012
Competitive Intelligence: Too Much or Too Little?
Drug companies are very attuned to competitive intelligence. There's a lot of information sloshing around out there, and you'd be wise to pay attention to it. Publications in journals are probably the least of it - by the time something written up for publication from inside a pharma company, it's either about to be on the drugstore shelves or it never will be at all. Patents are far more essential, and if you're going to watch anything, you should watch the patent applications in your field.
But there's more. Meetings are a big source of disclosure, as witness the Wall Street frenzies around ASCO and the like. Talks and posters release information that won't show up in the literature for a long time (if indeed it ever does). And there are plenty of other avenues. The question is, though, how much time and money do you want to spend on this sort of thing?
There are commercial services (such as Integrity) that monitor companies, compounds, and therapeutic areas in this fashion, and they're happy to sell you their services, which are not cheap. But figuring out the cost/benefit ratio isn't easy. My guess is that these things, while useful, can be thought of as insurance. You're paying to make sure that something big doesn't happen that you're unware or (or unaware of in enough time).
So here's a question for the readership: has competitive intelligence ever made a big difference for you? Positive and negative results both welcome; "I'm so glad we found out about X" versus "I really wish we'd known about Y". Any thoughts?
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