Case Detail

Case Summary

Forecasting Denosumab

Case Number: 5-111-004, Year Published: 2011

HBS Number: KEL531

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Authors: Timothy Calkins; Nayna Aggarwal

Key Concepts

Forecasting, Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing, Cancer Treatment, Healthcare, Marketing Firm, Biotechnology, Drug Patents


This case looks at an important business task: forecasting a new product. The case can be used to teach finance, marketing (new product introduction), and healthcare strategy. The product is one of Amgen’s most important new products: denosumab. On the surface, the case is fairly easy; students simply have to do some simple mathematical calculations. However, the challenges of forecasting quickly become apparent; every forecast depends on some critical assumptions and the answer can vary dramatically.

Learning Objectives

Highlight the importance of forecasting as a business task.
Give students the opportunity to create a forecast, using logical assumptions to generate an answer. 
Illustrate how dramatically forecasts can vary.
Demonstrate why sensitivity analysis and customer understanding are both critical when trying to forecast a new product launch.

Number of Pages: 15

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Finance, Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: California, United States

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Organization Name: Amgen

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: Project Manager

Decision Maker Gender: Female

Year of Case: 2011