Unarmed Self-Defense

Jun 01, 2011

Andy Pyfer, Partner | Fingerpaint Marketing
Analogs show us that first-in-class medications retain a market leadership position most of the time; however, first can certainly be eclipsed by better or at least the perception of better.

A first-in-class medication with a competitor right on its heels must focus on driving rapid uptake and acceptance. Develop an online patient community and staking out the search space. In addition, a standard but effective approach is to implement a corporate campaign highlighting advancements the company is developing in treating a specific disease. These campaigns begin to answer the questions "what, when and why" in prescribers' minds and raise awareness of both the company and the drug.

Creating a prescribing habit for a brand around a clearly defined patient type and patient benefit will help to secure market share. The caution is to avoid trying to be the answer for all patients in a specific disease category.

A blunting strategy also must be implemented to minimize erosion of prescriptions and market share. Communicating what is unique about your product and positioning the follow-on product prior to market entry can be done in a compliant and effective manner.

A second market entrant can actually boost sales of the first-in-class brand. An additional voice in the market can help raise the awareness and importance of diagnosis and treatment among prescribers and patients. Don't fight it—jujitsu it—and maintain a leadership position both in company perception and in market share.

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