The Pharma Forecasting Course

Learn the evidence-based concepts, models and techniques that work best to forecast the sales of pharmaceuticals – Know how to build Market Access into your forecasts – Learn to distinguish reliable from bad forecasts and how to forecast cost-effectively – Get practice with an Excel-based forecasting tool that integrates all the techniques taught.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

  • The most down-to-earth pharma forecasting and pricing expert with superb training talent.
  • Founder & CEO of Inpharmation, Europe's most respected pharma forecasting & pricing specialist consultancy.
  • Renowned consultant for the world’s top 10 pharma companies, and many more.
  • Winner of a number of speaking and best paper awards.
  • Author of Sales Forecasting for Pharmaceuticals: An Evidence Based Approach and Value Pricing for Market Access: Evidence-Based Pricing for Pharmaceuticals.

By Attending This Course, You Will

  1. Learn the techniques and approaches that have been proven to work best for forecasting sales of pharmaceuticals – including pharma-specific drivers like market access, step-care, targeted therapies etc.
  2. Be able to challenge the forecasts others have produced for you, and build your own forecasts in most situations.
  3. Understand the concepts behind evidence based forecasting techniques for pharmaceuticals, which will be explained in simple, non-mathematical terms and backed up with real examples from the pharma industry rather than with vague illustrations.
  4. Be able to determine the right level of detail to include in your forecast and understand the reliability of the different data sources you will use.
  5. Receive an Excel-based forecasting tool which integrates all the techniques taught during the workshop. This ensures you leave with a hands-on ability to apply what you have learned over the two days.
  6. Receive Gary’s book Sales Forecasting for Pharmaceuticals: An Evidence Based Approach. This is an excellent resource which dives further into the content and examples covered during the course and will assist you in your forecasting activities.


Why You Should Attend

With every major business decision in pharma being based on a sales forecast, it is imperative that you know how to forecast (and challenge forecasts) accurately. Therefore, the focus of this course is on teaching the concepts, techniques and approaches which have been proven to work best for pharmaceuticals. 

The Content: Unlike other forecasting courses, this programme teaches a multitude of modelling techniques and how to combine them in order to generate the most accurate results, as opposed to focusing on one single complex model. It is also pharma specific, meaning issues like market-access are taken into account.

The Expert: Gary Johnson is perfectly positioned to deliver this course thanks to his combination of award-winning expertise, unrivalled experience in forecasting / forecast consulting, and superb training abilities. Gary won the EphMRA (European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association) and BHBIA (British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association) best paper awards and has authored the industry’s most authoritative books on pharma forecasting and pricing. Gary has consulted/forecast for every top 10 pharma company, in all leading countries and in every major therapy area and has trained over 1000 executives around the world, consistently receiving very high customer feedback scores.

The Pharma Forecasting Course is the only available public training course delivered by Gary Johnson on the topic of pharma sales forecasting.



Day 1


10:00     Welcome & General Introduction

10:30     The Right Approach to Forecasting

  • When to use models and when to use judgement
  • When to use extrapolation and when to use “causal” (e.g. promotional spend)
  • Whether to use a single forecasting model or more than one

11:15     Coffee Break

11:30     The Proven Rules of Good Forecasting

  • Why you should ‘divide and conquer’ when building a forecast
  • Why simple approaches work best (and what we mean by ‘simple’)
  • The other key rules that forty years of academic research into forecasting have proven

12:30     Lunch

13:15     Structuring a Forecast

  • What is meant by an ‘epi-based forecast’
  • What is meant by a ‘patient-based forecast’
  • What is meant by a ‘sales-based forecast’
  • Fitting market access into your forecast structure
  • When to use each of the above

14:30     Extrapolation

  • A simply totally non-mathematical explanation of how extrapolation techniques differ from each other
  • Which simple extrapolation techniques work best?
  • Which ones are built into Excel and which ones require additional software

15:15     Coffee Break

15:30     The Impact of Product Profile on Your Market Share

  • The key idea behind conjoint analysis (the most common research technique for looking at the impact of product profile)
  • How to build a simple conjoint-type model yourself, without a survey for forecasting

17:00     Close


Group Dinner


Day 2


09:00     Modelling Exercise – part 1

10:00     ECONOMETRICS - The Impact of Launch Order on Your Market Share

  • How and why launch order affects your market share
  • How to build a simple launch order model to predict the impact of your launch order

10:30     Coffee Break

10:45     ECONOMETRICS – The Impact of Promotional Spend on Your Market Share

  • How and why promotional spend affects your market share
  • How to build a simple promotional spend model to predict the impact of promotional spend on your market share

11:15     Modelling Exercise – part 2

11:30     Building Market Access and Other Pharma Specific Considerations into Your Forecast

  • How market access has different effects at different levels of your forecast
  • Simple market access modelling approaches
  • How co-prescription affects shares
  • How ‘lines of therapy’ affect shares
  • How off-label usage affects shares

12:30     Lunch

13:15     Forecasting How Quickly You Will Achieve Your Sales Potential

  • Why therapy class uptakes tend to be ‘s-shaped’
  • Why brand market share uptakes tend to be ‘r-shaped’
  • A simple non-mathematical explanation of how the famous Bass Model can help you predict the above
  • Flow/State models (new, repeat, switch etc.) and their role in forecasting uptakes

14:15     Modelling Exercise – part 3

15:00     Coffee Break

15:15     Where to Get the Data for Your Forecasts

  • Compliance and continuation/persistence
  • Epidemiology sources and accuracies
  • Diagnosis and prescription rate sources and accuracies
  • Events (which events really matter and why most forecasts are “over-evented”)

15:45     Close


Learning Methodology

The first day of this course takes the form of an interactive lecture, with the expert explaining theory around forecasting and forecast modelling. Gary’s storytelling approach to teaching helps make complex concepts simple to understand and easy to remember.

The second day is more practically focused and revolves around modelling a full epi-based forecast in stages using an Excel based tool (which you can take home). This exercise will be completed within groups and Gary will give further explanation of the techniques between each stage of building the forecast.

One of the most valuable aspects of attending any C.E.L.forpharma course is not only being able to have your specific questions answered by a leading expert, but also having the opportunity to share experiences and have in-depth discussions with your international peers.

info The typical audience size of our courses ranges from 6 to 24 (max) participants.

Who Should Attend?

  • Forecasters who want to build more evidence based approaches into their forecasts.
  • Marketers who want to understand how to link forecasts to their real-world concerns (like the competitiveness of their product profile, promotional spend, speed to market etc.).
  • Market researchers who want to know how to take data from surveys and audits and reflect them in forecasts.
  • Market access and pricing executives who want to break down the silos that exist between forecasting and other functions and to understand how their concerns should be reflected in forecasts.
  • As well as any other executive who has to produce or receive a forecast as a part of their professional role.

As this course is delivered by Gary Johnson, Founder & CEO of Inpharmation - a leading specialist in evidence based insights for the pharma Industry, executives from other professional service agencies should request approval prior to registering for this course. Please contact Annelies Swaan, Head of Business Operations, for more information (,  tel +32 (0)2 709 01 42).


Past Participants

Below is a non-exhaustive list of past participants who have benefited from attending this course.


Job Title



Business Unit Director Immunology Abbvie Norway
Business Planning & Analysis Manager Amgen Netherlands
Associate Brand Director Astellas United Kingdom
Manager Business Development AstraZeneca Germany
Business Information Manager Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Netherlands
Global Business Analyst Boehringer Ingelheim Germany
Jr New Product Planning Manager Chiesi Italy
Head of Business Development Chugai United Kingdom
Marketing Manager - Global Generic Drugs Fresenius Kabi Germany
Business Development Manager Galderma France
Business Planning and Analysis Manager GlaxoSmithKline Spain
Lifecycle Management Leader EMEA Janssen Denmark
Market Projection Manager LEO Pharma France
Regional Market Access Manager Lundbeck Denmark
Manager, Region Europe Market Research and Business Analytics Novartis Portugal
Market Research Manager / Corporate BD Onxeo France
Supply Chain Co-ordinator Otsuka United Kingdom
New Business Lead, Global Commercial Development Pfizer USA
Financial Controller / HR / IT Prostrakan Germany
Marketing Leader Rheumatology /AVM Task Force Leader Switzerland Roche Switzerland
Manager Global Analytics and Systems, Global Sales Forecasting Sandoz Slovenia
Decision Support Executive Sanofi United Kingdom
Directeur Evaluation Marketing Servier France
Business Insights Analyst Shire Belgium
Business Intelligence Manager Therabel France
International Brand Manager Tillotts Pharma Switzerland
Director, New Product Planning UCB Belgium
Finance Project Analyst Manager Vectura United Kingdom
CEO Will-Pharma Belgium
Forecasting Manager Zambon Italy



Dates & Locations

All C.E.L.forpharma courses are held in top-class four or five star hotels situated in easily accessible locations, either close to an international airport or near public transportation links in city centre locations.

  • 4-5 October 2016, Zurich

(Relocated from Brussels)

This course takes place at the Hilton Zurich Airport Hotel which is located just five minutes from Zurich Kloten Airport with the complimentary shuttle. Zurich’s vibrant city centre is located only a fifteen minutes’ drive away.

Hilton Zurich Airport Hotel

Hohenbuehlstrasse 10

Opfikon-Glattbrugg 8152


Tel: +41 44 828 50 50


  • 13-14 December 2016, London

This course takes place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington which is located opposite Gloucester Road Underground Station, with convenient access to three major tube lines, as well as to road, rail and air transport links.

Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington

4-18 Harrington Gardens

London, SW7 4LH

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7373 6030



Hotel Booking Assistance

Having built a strong relationship with each hotel, C.E.L.forpharma has secured preferential room rates for our delegates who book their accommodation three weeks or more prior to the course. Upon your registration, we will help you make your hotel booking. For any assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Nissen, Programme Coordinator (, tel +32 (0)2 709 01 46).

Included in the Registration Fee

  • Course Material (Digital & Print Versions)
  • Coffee, Tea & Refreshments During the Course
  • Lunch During the Course
  • A Group Dinner on the First Day
  • Certificate of Attendance Signed by the Expert
  • Book “Sales Forecasting for Pharmaceuticals: An Evidence Based Approach” by Gary Johnson


Group Discounts

Team discounts can be offered to 3 or more delegates from the same company. Contact Annelies Swaan, Head of Business Operations, ( for more details.


How to Register

  1. Click the "Register Now" button on this page.
  2. Choose a course date, then fill out your personal details in step 1 and company / invoicing details in step 2.
  3. Choose to pay via bank transfer / invoice or by credit card.
  4. Click "Confirm Registration". You will be sent an automatic email confirming your registration followed by a personal email containing a pro-forma invoice and further payment instructions.

For assistance in registering, raising a PO or invoicing, please do not hesitate to contact Britt De Cat.
(email: or call: +32 2 709 01 44)


Transfer & Cancellation Policy

Flexible Transfer

  • If a registrant cannot attend the scheduled course, he/she can avoid any cancellation charge by sending a suitable replacement participant.
  • Alternatively, the registrant can transfer once on a “space available” basis at no extra cost, until 1 week prior to the event, to another course held within one year of the original course date.

Participant Cancellation

  • Cancelling 5 weeks or more prior to the course: cancellation fee of €250.
  • Cancelling 4 to 3 weeks prior to the course: 25% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Cancelling 14 to 7 working days prior to the course: 50% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Fewer than 7 working days or if no notification received: registrant liable to pay invoiced registration fee.
  • If a registrant postpones his/her participation to a future course, and cancels again, no refund can be claimed for paid registration fees.

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