It’s common knowledge that the success of a launch sets the long-term trajectory of a pharmaceutical brand. In past decades, companies would double down on their research investments with massive sales forces, reaching every plausible potential prescriber, but in today’s environment, promotional resources often are limited. This means that targeting the right customers is increasingly important to ensuring that a new brand’s launch is successful.
Disparate uptake of biosimilars to date show that developing a biosimilar is far from a sure bet. Launching any new drug is challenging, but launching a biosimilar can be especially tricky because of the increased uncertainty across regulatory, legal and commercial spheres on one hand and an expectation that significant promotional effort will be required (without being able to differentiate on safety/efficacy) on the other. Is choosing between biosimilars (or an originator) making a therapeutic choice? In the eyes of the FDA, unless a biosimilar has been granted interchangeability, the product choice remains with MDs as the products have been deemed to have equivalent safety/efficacy without being identical. (Other key stakeholders are developing a range of perspectives on this topic.) To ensure commercial success, biosimilar developers (and defenders) need to have a strategic plan for forecasting and conducting market research to fully understand the market complexity. It’s also critical to align the incentives for providers, patients, payers, pharmacists and procurement—all of whom can play a critical role in driving or delaying a new biosimilar’s uptake.
new product launch,
In my last blog post, I used the pharmaceutical industry’s quest for patient centricity as a jumping-off point to discuss how pharma companies need to focus on customer centricity, rethinking their commercial strategies to better address their many stakeholders in the evolving healthcare ecosystem. But since patients’ wellness is the pharmaceutical industry’s reason for being, patient centricity should remain pharma’s North Star.
Paul Darling co-authored this blog post with Pratap Khedkar.
Patient centricity was the rallying cry at last month’s eyeforpharma event in Philadelphia, with many speakers echoing the sentiment that the patient is at the center of what we do. That’s great in theory, and it has always been true for pharmaceutical products, but here’s one of the main reasons why patient centricity remains more of a talking point than standard business practice: The pharmaceutical industry has little control over ensuring that a patient benefits from a particular medicine. The patient may be at the center, but pharma is at the periphery.
key account management (KAM),
reinvent go-to-market strategy