The dismal science

Although it should be obvious, the ability to identify a market opportunity doesn't guarantee that a company will be able to sell a product or make a profit.

And as the health care environment is restructured, proof of efficacy will not, in and of itself, provide that guarantee. As health care providers come under increasing pressure to make trade offs between spending options, companies will have to know not only their own drugs, but the economic and clinical strengths and weaknesses of the competition, as well as the economic and clinical concerns of the buyers.

The conventional wisdom is that many biotech companies are loathe to tackle pharmacoeconomic issues, possibly because such analysis is expensive, or complicated, or both. Such reluctance results in wasted opportunities to build convincing economic cases throughout the clinical process, and the inability to provide a persuasive case to investors who want to know how the company will provide an ROI.

Where's the beef?

In our meetings with biotech companies, we're spending more time