miércoles, 4 de marzo de 2015

The End of Pharma Marketing — or a New Beginning?

FDA licensing approval is often touted as the essential marker of a new drug's success—but what counts far more is the skill of the developer in ensuring physicians, patients, and insurers know about the product to the point they are willing to do three things:
  • prescribe it, 
  • pay for it, and 
  • use it. 
Making this connection is the function of the marketer, whose arts of persuasion are being tested by 
  • intensifying therapeutic class competition,
  • disclosure rules on promotional spend, and
  • access and reimbursement controls driven by a selective—and often contradictory—definition of "value." 
In the following Q&A, Pharm Exec Editor-in-Chief William Looney talks to two prominent commercial marketing experts, Susan Schwartz McDonald and Sanjiv Sharma, on how this mission critical function must change to stay relevant in bringing the next generation of therapies to the patients who need them.

PE: Posing questions about the "end of marketing" suggests you both are a bit pessimistic about the future of traditional practices in marketing new medicines. 
Is there a right philosophical and tactical approach for an industry confronting challenges like these? 

 Sharma: Our question is inspired less by a sense of pessimism than by a recognition of opportunity, and at the same time, a concern that marketers may not be adapting fast enough to some of the new realities. The signs are everywhere—we're in a period of transition even more profound than that shift 30 years ago from the sales model to the marketing model. The industry is already bidding farewell to 

  • the "blockbuster" as we once defined it—i.e., drug therapy for common ailments or widespread prevention—and 
  • embracing the concept of niche market products, often priced at a much higher premium. 

We also know that the regulatory environment will be increasingly inhospitable to drugs that have small incremental benefits; it's clear that payers are looking for differentiating value that they can measure right out of the gate. That explains the swelling ranks of orphan drugs (nearly 200 of which could be approved in the next few years alone), and it also accounts for a new interest in drugs that work very well on only small sub-populations of diagnosed patients. Everyone understands that they need to reframe what commercial success looks like and rethink how to get there

It's not so much that we are defining unmet medical need differently; it's that we are defining solutions differently, in terms of a higher certainty of benefit or showcasing a solution that carries a unique value proposition.

McDonald: We actually think there is plenty to be upbeat about. One cause for optimism is the science—which ultimately drives everything. Strides in cell biology and advances in proteomics are helping us reconceive big diseases as a series of smaller targets that we aim to hit with greater precision. Science, social policy, and economics are all leading us fundamentally in the same direction—toward a new way of thinking about the drug-value proposition.

 "Marketing 2.0" in the pharmaceutical industry is no longer about just saying that our product is different and hoping customers will see it that way. It's very much about making it so—and then about finding our way at launch to customers with a "conversation" that actually helps create the value rather than just promoting it. All of which means we need to develop new, end-to-end processes that shape both the "genetics" of our new drugs and the "epigenetics" of the launch environment.

Mucho más...

Ver también:

Orphan drugs are going "gangbusters..."?

 2014 Biggest Launches (I) _ EvaluatePharma / Del blockbuster al “nichebuster”

Susan Schwartz McDonald, PhD, is President and CEO of NAXION, a Philadelphia-based marketing and research firm. She can be reached at smcdonald@naxionthinking.com.
Sanjiv Sharma is President of InflexionPoint LLC, which specializes in commercial strategy and launch support. He can be reached at sanjiv.sharma@inflexionpt.com.
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