The Growing Challenge of Product Differentiation

Posted by Emily Mandell on Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Joshua Hattem co-wrote this blog post with Emily Mandell.

The pharma industry faces a growing problem: The return on development investment is declining. The industry is compensating by pivoting to the next disease area (such as NASH) and technological frontiers (like cell and gene therapy). Pharma leaders may be disappointed if they believe that they can fix the problem by simply adding products to their pipeline that target these future opportunities. Take Gilead, which recently had to write down $820 million of its Kite Pharma acquisition as it cut Kite’s leading cell therapy for multiple myeloma. According to FierceBiotech, this decision to terminate the CAR-T’s clinical development “reflects the increasing competition in the anti-BCMA category.”


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Putting Agile Launch Into Practice

Posted by Ben Hohn on Wed, Mar 27, 2019

Judith Kulich, Mike Kelly, Christina Corridon, Mary Ann Godwin and Kapila Viges co-wrote this blog post with Ben Hohn.

Most large pharma and biotechnology companies have historically relied on a singular "best practice model" for preparing for launch. Highly structured and rigid launch readiness models made sense in a world where similarities between launches were significant. As pipelines and portfolios have evolved dramatically—now reflecting launches in specialty, rare disease, combination therapies, personalized medicine, and follow-on indications instead of mass-market blockbusters—a rigid, one-size-fits-all model for launch excellence isn’t sufficiently relevant for each launch. A new launch excellence model that’s more agile, flexible and reflective of the varied launches that a company faces should be the goal.


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Three Critical Moves for Getting Launch Targeting Right

Posted by Paul Hashemi on Mon, May 14, 2018

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.


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Decoding How Stakeholders Drive Biosimilar Adoption

Posted by Tucker Herbert on Thu, Mar 15, 2018

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.


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Discussing Patient Centricity’s Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Wed, Jun 21, 2017

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. 


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