A survey of 50 pharmaceutical industry senior managers found a majority of companies had either overestimated or underestimated demand for new drugs by up to 25 percent, with some reporting instances of forecasts being off by more than 50 percent. The survey was conducted by ORC International and sponsored by Patheon, a leading global provider of high-quality drug development and delivery solutions to the pharmaceutical and biopharma industries.
When a company fails to meet its forecasted demand, the lack of inventory can result in loss of sales, product risk and overworked employees. It is estimated that a delay in launch costs an average of $15 million per drug, per day, and research shows that a blockbuster drug will lose $1 billion in revenue annually until capacity is developed to meet demand. Generally, underestimating resulted from not having enough background data to support forecasting information.