Learn From What Follows

June 1, 2011

Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-06-01-2011, Volume 0, Issue 0

With a first-in-class compound marketers can potentially leverage long-lasting market advantages

To market a first-in-class compound is an amazing opportunity. With that built-in advantage, marketers can potentially leverage long-lasting market advantages, including the ability to:

  • Set price

  • Create relationships first, both with key opinion leaders and with payers

  • Create the nomenclature for a category

Jay Carter, AbelsonTaylor | Senior VP, Director of Strategy Services

When done strategically, each of these facets helps your brand to remain the market leader once a competitor enters the arena. At AbelsonTaylor, we just finished one first-in-class launch, and are closing in on a second. But to be honest, we learned the lessons of building first-in-class brands by capitalizing on the opportunities afforded us when we launched some well-known follow-on compounds, which has occurred several times in the agency's history.

For Prevacid, even though Prilosec had been on the marketplace for six years, the total PPI marketplace was only about 11 percent of acid disease prescriptions. The goal was not to take business away from Prilosec, but instead to grow the overall PPI business by differentiating from Prilosec while reinforcing the definite advantages of a PPI.

I predict that several new followers coming soon will follow this strategy, as the time between first mover and second brand is now measured in months not years. For Actos, one of the key victories was the ability to shave the lead time that GSK's Avandia had on the brand to only a few months. The other key factor, decided upon before launch, was a long-term strategy to scientifically assess the role of the product in the cardiovascular component of diabetes. Clinical trials began early in the brand life cycle for Actos and resulted in clinicians feeling comfortable with its safety and efficacy even when Avandia, the other TZD in the marketplace, was buffeted by clinical concerns. Today, the life cycle plan for a brand is a part of the launch strategy ... and rightfully so.

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