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Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-06-01-2011
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The three components of the NicVAX launch challenge

The NicVAX launch challenge has three components: economic/publichearth concerns, scientific credibility, and personal lifestyle issues.

If the client's objective is universal uptake, the pre-launch strategy should emphasize the economic/public health argument Demonstrate the cost and health burden of tobacco use to payors, policy makers, healthcare professionals, and consumers. Have independent third-party groups issue reports highlighting the scope of the problem and projecting the savings achievable with a nicotine vaccine. Solicit the support and endorsement of national advocacy groups like the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Easter Seals. Educate on the likelihood of becoming a smoker for special populations, such as children of smokers.

Michael McLinden, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer | MC|K

Scientific credibility is crucial—the concern over Gardasil for human papil-lomavirus stemmed from the belief that the company overstated both the risk of cervical cancer and their product's efficacy in preventing it. A clinical trial plan and publications strategy should advance understanding of the MOA and product efficacy. Safety should also be highlighted, especially since NicVAX appears to have a more favorable profile than Chantix. Behind the scenes, professional advisory boards can shed light on the market opportunity, cultivate KOLs, and uncover any potential hidden reason physicians would not be thoroughly supportive of the vaccine.

Even with extensive pre-launch work, however, uptake will ultimately depend on whether consumers see value in the vaccine. For the consumer, it will come down to lifestyle issues and disease prevention.

Market conditioning will be needed to access the adolescent market, which includes teens and preteens who have not yet started smoking, as well as their parents. Professional targets may include writers of Chantix and similar products, pediatric and adolescent medicine practices, and middle and high school nurses. Insurers may provide incentives to their members who receive the vaccine. A multichannel marketing campaign can help reach diverse audience segments. Post launch, a support program can track success and help validate efficacy, leading to continued uptake.

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