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Life Science Marketing Radio
Market Shaping and Staffing Commercial Pre-Launch

Market Shaping and Staffing Commercial Pre-Launch published a study in 2020 of 25 first commercial launches. 48% of them missed their first year forecast for sales (<70% of forecast).

Almost a third of them outperformed (>130% of forecast). Outperformers started commercial planning more than 2 years ahead of approval and typically spent more on SG&A.

It has to be difficult for a CEO or CFO to devote resources to commercializing a therapy when approval is still uncertain and far away. I invited Maureen Franco and Mike Hodgson to talk about the activities that make these launches successful and who is brought on to make it happen.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the market, customers and market access is important. If it’s misunderstood or unappreciated, even the best product will struggle to get traction.

  • Positioning your drug, the disease and your company is key. Those things have to fit together. And when they do, it becomes easier to make decisions and attract the right employees to carry your vision through. Strong positioning is the beginning of establishing a culture.

  • Your first commercial hire will do a lot of educating the founder and others on the value of commercial planning. It can be a lonely position.

As an example of shaping the market and positioning a disease, Mike shared the story of how Pfizer repositioned impotence into erectile dysfunction which made a huge impact on the success of Viagra.

In essence, Pfizer launched two products, right? They relaunched the disease with a totally new name and then they launched their drug…We think that's applicable to just about any condition in any therapy you're launching. You've really gotta… you don't necessarily have to rebrand the disease, but you should understand its perception and its relationship to your product.

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cc: Life Science
Life Science Marketing Radio
I interview marketing leaders inside and outside the life sciences (and an occasional scientist) to share the best ideas for making your marketing more effective.