There has never been a more challenging time for product launch in the pharmaceutical industry.
Approvals are at an all-time high, the market is more competitive than ever, and there is an urgent need to refresh revenues as a wave of products go off-patent. Centralised reimbursement and formulary decisions mean success at the point of launch is binary. The future looks tough. And the industry’s recent track record with product launches is poor: two thirds of pharma launches between 2003 and 2009 performed below forecast. In addition, sales are down (with peak sales 30% down on 1996 levels) and 90% of launches in Europe face restrictions from government or payers.
This means a dramatic rewriting of the rules for a successful product launch. How can pharma companies learn from their past and from other industries to respond to the new rules for success?