Global Insulin Strategy

Developing a global insulin strategy for a major pharmaceutical company.


  • Health Advances worked closely with a large multinational organization with an established diabetes franchise to develop its 5-7 year insulin portfolio strategy. Health Advances has continued to support them through the execution of this strategy.
  • The need to reevaluate our client’s global position was driven by the changing market dynamics in Asia and other emerging markets. Markets such as India and China have the highest expected prevalence growth with well over 75 million people expected to be diagnosed with diabetes by 2017.
  • Our client was also investing extensively in new insulins and insulin delivery systems and wanted to understand what the demand for these would look like in different markets in order to optimize manufacturing capacity.

Critical Questions to Address

  • What are the incidence and prevalence estimates from 2007-2017 in each of our client’s top 20-25 target markets?
  • What will be the demand for insulin and insulin delivery systems in each market?
  • What can be done to influence the type of insulin used in each region? What factors are key to determining insulin mix (i.e. pricing pressures, treatment paradigms)?
  • What will the competitive landscape for insulin look like in 5-10 years? Will other drug classes increase or decrease the demand for insulin? How will the increased scrutiny on true outcomes data influence prescribing habits?
  • How can costs be reduced by maximizing manufacturing efficiencies?

Health Advances Approach

  • Leveraged several sources, including Health Advances internal knowledge database to develop a detailed demand forecast
  • Worked with our client’s country managers to accurately profile local country dynamics
  • Designed a user-friendly model that could dynamically optimize for top-line and bottom-line growth as new data are gathered over time
  • Led multiple cross-functional planning sessions


  • Health Advances projects that by 2017, the insulin demand in Asia and other emerging markets would equal the demand in the US.
  • Demand is expected to increase as insulin utilization rates increase in these regions, since a far smaller percentage of patients with type 2 diabetes are currently being treated with insulin than seen in other regions.
  • While countries in Asia had been slow to adopt the 3rd generation insulin analogs, these countries had started using new delivery systems, so planning for these was critical.
  • Health Advances recommended a strategy that actively allowed for first-in-class insulins and delivery systems to be launched outside the US by designing products specifically for these key markets and optimizing manufacturing costs.