About Us

“Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry” Helps Drug Makers Make More Informed Predictions in an Unpredictable Market

New Book by ZS Forecasting & Pipeline Strategy Expert Provides Insights into Common Issues and Methodologies on How to Achieve A Robust Forecast

EVANSTON, Ill.April 22, 2015 — How will sales for a blockbuster drug erode once a comparable (but cheaper) alternative hits the market? To what extent will increased competition impact orphan drugs in the pipeline?

Pharmaceutical companies constantly try to predict – or “forecast” – answers to these and similar questions; answers that affect crucial business decisions today. Financial groups make R&D investments based on anticipated sales for a new drug. Marketing teams forecast success ratios of various tactics when planning a go-to-market strategy. Members of the C-suite look to forecasts to provide accurate direction in product portfolio decisions.

But while forecasting quantifies revenue potential and drives a number of tactical and strategic decisions at pharmacos, almost everyone struggles to make accurate, fact-based predictions.

In response to this impasse, global forecasting expert Arthur G. Cook writes about the inherent issues with legacy forecasting practices and ingenious solutions to overcome them in, “Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry: Models for New Product and In-Market Forecasting and How to Use Them” (second edition) (Gower; 2015; $149.95 Hardcover).

As the only book available on the market today with a 360-view of how forecasting affects key pharma stakeholders, “Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry” provides a thorough exploration of the forecasting process for products in development as well as currently marketed products. This includes an investigation into the challenges and (often) inaccuracies of forecasting. It also delves into tools, methods and analytics available today along with detailed approaches and algorithms on how to forecast successfully.

“Forecasting is a key tool in pharma business decision-making and planning, and pressure is incredibly high that predictions be accurate,” said Cook, leader of the pipeline strategy practice at global sales and marketing consultancy ZS. “There is no magic eight ball when it comes to making predictions, but in my 30 years of working with premier companies, my colleagues and I have developed thoughtful methodologies that help various stakeholders strategize efficiently, effectively and insightfully.”

Book Addresses Biosimilars, Specialty Markets

In this new edition of the book (first published in 2006), Cook provides fresh and unprecedented insights into forecasting pain points for all leaders at a pharmaceutical company. In particular, he responds to marketplace challenges by adding content specific to specialty topics – including a new chapter on biosimilars and orphan drugs.

“Biosimilar versions of blockbuster drugs are about to make a grand entrance as nine of the 10 largest and highest revenue drugs go off patent in the next 10 years,” said Cook. “Pharmacos are keen to learn a) what the financial losses will be once blockbusters lose that protection and b) how they can protect their bottom lines when biosimiliars hit the market.”

Cook also notes that increased demand for orphan drugs (i.e., drugs that treat rare diseases) also spurs new challenges for the industry. Just last year, the FDA granted 293 orphan drug designations (13 percent more than 2013) in the U.S. and approved 49 orphan drugs (53 percent increase from 2013).

“The orphan drug market is estimated to reach $127 billion by 2018, but this is still unknown territory for much of the industry,” added Pratap Khedkar, leader of the global pharmaceuticals practice at ZS. “New competition and changing market dynamics associated with orphan and biosimilar drugs will challenge pharma’s conventional ways of forecasting future market share and adoption. It’s a key reason why Art’s insights and expertise in this book are indispensable for forecasters as they make predictions that have a critical impact on key business decisions.”

A Pragmatic Guide to the Future

Cook’s book provides a comprehensive overview of the subject and sets pharmaco leaders on the right path by addressing:

  1. The history of forecasting, and lessons for the pharmaceutical industry;
  2. Tools, methods and analytics available to forecasters;
  3. Detailed approaches and algorithms that can be used in new product and in-market forecasting;
  4. Current challenges to pharmaceutical forecasting, such as biosimilars and orphan drugs; and
  5. Thoughts on the future of forecasting.

“Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry” is available on Amazon.com. For more details, visit http://bit.ly/1OBLiWp.

About the Book


Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry: Models for New Product and In Market Forecasting and How to Use Them (second edition)


Arthur G. Cook


May 28, 2015









About the Author

Arthur G. Cook is a principal at global sales and marketing consultancy ZS and leader of the firm’s Pipeline Strategy practice. Previously, he was Director of Global Forecasting for Syntex Pharmaceuticals. Art has been involved in pharmaceutical forecasting for more than 30 years. He has worked with many major pharmaceutical companies on their forecasting processes and has created forecasts for more than 150 therapy areas. Art has written and presented widely on the subject of forecasting, portfolio management, market research and pricing for the pharmaceutical industry.

He is the author of the second edition of, “Forecasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry,” to be published in May 2015.

About ZS

ZS is the world’s largest firm focused exclusively on improving business performance through sales and marketing solutions, from customer insights and strategy to analytics, operations and technology. More than 3,000 ZS professionals in 21 offices worldwide draw on deep industry and domain expertise to deliver impact where it matters for clients across multiple industries. To learn more, visit www.zs.com or follow us on Twitter (@ZSAssociates) and LinkedIn.

Greg Austin
Director, Marketing & Communication, ZS

Anahita Wadia Khan / Kyle Adams
Sikich Marketing & Public Relations