Compiled By Traci Purdum Early market research investment in pharmaceuticals, which starts as early as the pre-clinical stage, drives long-term market preparation and competitiveness, according to a recent study by Cutting Edge Information, a pharmaceutical intelligence firm based in Durham, N.C. According to the study "Pre-Launch Pharmaceutical Market Research: Decision Support for New Product Development," the average support for a developing product is $7.1 million. Top-spending organizations dedicate more than $26 million to their market research initiatives. Despite the large support investment, pre-launch spending represents only 28% of overall market research investment. "Pharmaceutical market research teams are enjoying a rebirth in strategic responsibility," says Jason Richardson, Cutting Edge Information's CEO. "By holding back pre-launch budgets, however, companies are missing the opportunity to strategically position their products and grow the market years before launch." The study contains more than 250 metrics and details how top companies allocate resources, develop strategy and conduct effective market research activities. It also contains market research budgets, staffing, strategies and tactics from 17 top pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Aventis. To download the online summary of the 141-page report, visit www.pharmamarketresearch.com.