How the industry forecasts

Date of publication: March 1, 1977

Author: John S. Burton

Abstract:

This paper describes the results of a survey of Pharmaceutical Companies that was conducted to investigate current procedures for 'long range' product and market forecasts. The survey was conducted by means of postal questionnaires that were kindly completed by Executives in 34 different companies. The results of the survey are shown separately for each of the categories of respondent company, revealing some differences in practice and treatment of data for forecasting purposes. The main inputs for forecasting examined in the survey were retail audit data,, medical index data and internal company data. The survey results suggest that there is greater variation in the sophistication of forecasting methods than in the uses to which the resulting long range forecasts are put. Whilst the survey provides a broad view of current long range forecasting in the Pharmaceutical Industry, it was not intended to examine the particular methods used by individual companies in great detail.

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