Marketing perspective on the chemical manufacturers Pfizer, AZ, Novo Nordisk, four key points to improve the commercial success of innovative drugs.
The situation for China’s pharmaceutical industry has changed dramatically. Although generic drugs are still filling the mainstream in terms of number of variants, with the significant price reduction in centralized bulk purchasing, it can be expected that the market scale and profitability of generic drugs will become smaller and smaller. That is why more and more people are qualified chemical producers gradually shifting their focus to the field of innovative drugs or innovative devices.
Although they manufacture generic drugs, they prefer high-threshold generic drugs with certain technical difficulties. In essence, it is gradually shifting from the trail of homogeneous products to the trail of differentiated products. As we all know, research and development of innovative medicines not only requires high economic strength and technology, but also has a long time cycle and high risk of failure, and it is always the lucky few who can finally be approved by the regulatory authorities to listing.
And from a marketing perspective, not all innovative drugs are commercially successful for chemical manufacturers when launched. Development of new drugs involves many departments in the company, from project, preclinical research to clinical research and registration approval, each link is highly professional.
According to the latest official definition in China, an innovative drug is a drug that has not been marketed either in or outside China. In general, the demand for innovative medicines is huge, if not endless, as there are still too many unmet health needs. But in retrospect, not all innovative drugs have been a commercial success, and many have not reached their expected market size and profitability.
So what is the key to determining the commercial success or failure of innovative drugs? In addition to superior R & D technology and reliable clinical results, from a marketing perspective, insight into customers’ (physician and patient) needs, grasp of market opportunities, and leverage of customer benefits determine the fate of innovative drugs.
The establishment of a project is the first step in the development of a new drug. Due to the lack of specificity, they often fall into the quasi-homogeneity of competition and have difficulty liberating themselves. In fact, the shortcomings of existing listed drugs can be said to be many. Innovative drug projects that address the pain points of existing products and overcome their weaknesses have a significantly higher probability of commercial success.
New research and drug development is the process of “developing a product with a goal in mind, confirming it in trials and gaining approval”. In short, it is the process of developing a hypothesis, testing it, and achieving success.
It is important to note that innovative drug projects often face technical challenges and require companies to be the first to break through in terms of technology. The core principle is that market demand steers the direction of R&D, where advanced technology allows for realization. Unfortunately, in reality, there is no shortage of new drug projects that focus on technological advances at the expense of market demand and market value.
Development of new drugs is full of uncertainties. No matter how good a project’s hypothesis is, it ultimately requires scientific proof to prove it. Usually, if the results of a study do not live up to expectations, it means that the project has failed. But if we are wise enough to open our minds to the idea, the results may be reversed. If a new drug project study does not turn out well, it is possible to involve more people in different positions to see if there are other options.
Innovative drugs are by definition often different from the active ingredients in previous drugs, and this difference is common and obvious. But from a marketing perspective, stopping at this level is not enough to impress customers. It needs to be further developed and deepened to transform or deepen the differences into benefits to effectively impress customers and drive sales. Finding the difference between an innovative drug and its competitors (usually traditional or established drugs) is the first step to good marketing, and it is necessary to further clearly tell customers what the benefit is associated with the difference and that the benefit is valuable. This will greatly enhance the commercial success of the innovative drug.
As mentioned above, innovative drug development is extensive and usually led by R&D and technology departments. If we can see the project more from a marketing perspective at the time of project development, we may be able to identify more market opportunities, avoid technical pitfalls and increase the success rate of registration and commercial success.