Steve West, Cambridge BioMarketing

June 2, 2008

Marketing biologics is smaller, leaner, and more data-driven than traditional pharma. With the focus often on specialist physicians and on patient populations in the tens of thousands-or even thousands-direct and digital media are the primary outreach channels over advertising and print. In our experience with biologics, advertising is a low priority compared to the Web, medical meetings, and alternative media. Sometimes there's no advertising at all.

Marketing biologics is smaller, leaner, and more data-driven than traditional pharma. With the focus often on specialist physicians and on patient populations in the tens of thousands—or even thousands—direct and digital media are the primary outreach channels over advertising and print. In our experience with biologics, advertising is a low priority compared to the Web, medical meetings, and alternative media. Sometimes there's no advertising at all.

Biologics are expensive, so the ever-present challenges of access and patient adherence become magnified. Payers want hard data—not a form letter asserting medical need—before they pay for biologics, even for first-ever compounds. Patients need hands-on guidance in navigating insurance and other access options, as well as continual reinforcement to stay on a product that represents five- or six-figure revenue per Rx. A full-service agency for a biologic has to help create solutions to these issues, not just execute them.

If the biologic discovery company is comarketing the product, the client relationship can be very different. Bringing 12 people to an input meeting is a good way to alienate a biologic company partner. Bringing an intriguing idea—however rough, untested, or unasked for—is a good way to gain the respect and support of both partners.

The Skinny

Cambridge BioMarketing is a full-service healthcare marketing communications agency located in Cambridge, MA.

Telephone: 617-225-0001

E-mail: info@cambridgebmg.com

Web site: cambridgebmg.com