forecast first building blockForecast – the first of our 5 building blocks to launch success

In today’s uncertain times, we are challenged to launch and launch well.

At IE we know that delivering a successful local launch requires juggling resources and ensuring key launch activities are completed at a high standard. Through working with a diverse range of pharmaceutical companies and supporting teams to address their launch priorities, we have observed 5 Building Blocks to focus on to underpin a successful local launch.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing these 5 focused areas with you and sharing our experiences.

The first key activity that we bring your attention to is the forecast. Typically, an underrated activity, in our experience it is the bedrock of a local launch plan, driving the overall marketing strategy, allocation of finite local resources and of course, needed by cross functional colleagues from manufacturing to regulatory teams.

In IE’s experience of collaborating on the launch of over 12 new molecular entities (NMEs), we have seen that perhaps the greatest challenge in forecasting comes when launching a new drug class or mechanism of action (MOA).

Examples to illustrate this challenge include Enbrel (etanercept), which when launched was forecast both internally and externally with peak sales of $800M. Also, early forecasts for Viagra predicted peak annual sales of $500 million. In both cases, actual sales proved to be more than 4X that amount based on the case that a truly effective treatment can dramatically change the medical treatment of a disease and hence the market dynamics.

Innovative Edge working with our clients leverage the power of scenario planning to develop a range of forecasts that are pressure tested with key stakeholders to provide both a recommended and alternative options. This allows you to launch with confidence in your forecast.

For an informal discussion on how IE can identify and enhance your launch needs, contact us at

Stay tuned in to our 5 building blocks series for our next instalment on Launch Planning!