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Life science companies launch new pharmaceutical products on a regular basis.
That doesn’t make the process easy. There’s a lot that goes into a successful pharma product launch.
Done correctly, a new product launch will boost your R&D investment, elevate your product in the eyes of KOLs and increase your income for years.
But bringing a new drug to launch isn’t always simple – and there’s a great deal at stake.
To ensure excellence in your pharma product launch, consider the strategies in this article. Together, let’s look at what a pharma product launch entails and discuss the top eight pharmaceutical product launch strategies. With the following tips in your toolkit, we’re confident you’ll be on the path to success.
What Goes into a Pharma Product Launch?
Pharmaceutical product launches are complex. They are the result of years of research – and these launches open the door to remarkable commercialization opportunities.
But what does a pharma product launch entail? The process consists of several stages:
• Research and Development
Pharma companies spend years researching and developing new drugs. This process begins by focusing on a medical need, identifying compounds with potential therapeutic value, and conducting preclinical studies. The goal of R&D is to test for the drug’s safety and effectiveness.
• Clinical Trials
When a drug shows promise, it undergoes clinical trials that further confirm its safety and effectiveness. These studies typically include smaller-scale trials on healthy volunteers, larger-scale trials on patients, and post-marketing studies that examine the drug’s long-term safety.
Pharma companies must ensure their manufacturing processes are reliable, safe, and cost-effective. Team members should comply with strict quality control standards. The overarching goal here is to maintain safe and consistent manufacturing practices.
• Regulatory Approval
Before a drug can be marketed, the manufacturer must seek regulatory approval from government agencies. In this phase, companies must submit data from clinical trials, manufacturing process insights, and product labeling information.
Government agencies may include the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products (MHRA), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the EU.
• Marketing and Distribution
Once a drug is approved, the manufacturer must develop a marketing strategy. The idea here is to educate healthcare professionals about the drug – and to create patient awareness. From here forward, a clear distribution process will ensure the drug is available when needed.
Every stage is crucial to the success of a drug product launch. Try not to overlook any aspect of bringing a pharma product to market.
Pharmaceutical Product Launch Obstacles
Product launches face a range of complications. Rising R&D costs and manufacturing challenges are just the beginning. The pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive, and there is always a risk that a competitor may launch a similar product.
Pricing and marketing your pharma product may present certain challenges as well. Life science companies need to recoup their development costs while still offering an affordable product. And without marketing the product to the correct demographic, there will be no sales.
Then there’s communication – or miscommunication. Inconsistent communication strategies can create chaos and completely derail a company’s pharma product launch.
Adverse events are yet another obstacle pharmaceutical companies may face when launching a new product. Even after launching the drug, there is always a risk of adverse events or side effects. Companies should prepare to respond quickly to any concerns that arise.
Every pharmaceutical product launch includes certain risks. The right launch strategy can mitigate these potential roadblocks before they become actual problems.
8 Pharma Product Launch Strategy Tips
A well-thought-out launch strategy is vital to the success of your pharma product. Consider the following pharmaceutical product launch strategy tips:
1. Prioritize Training
In-depth training is an integral part of any pharma product launch strategy. Every team member involved in launching the product should undergo comprehensive training. Employees must be knowledgeable about the drug’s mechanism of action, indication, dosing, and side effects. Personnel should also know how the pharma product compares to others on the market.
2. Leverage Data
Data plays an essential role in pharma product launches. Life science companies must track sales, prescribing patterns, and patient outcomes to confirm their new product meets expectations. By leveraging data, life science companies can make adjustments to their launch strategy when necessary. A reminder that these organizations should report any adverse events if and when they arise.
3. Connect with KOLs
Key opinion leaders can help promote a life science company’s new pharma product. These influential healthcare professionals have large followings and can influence drug prescribing patterns. To drive the success of your product launch, you’ll need to connect with KOLs early in the process. Invite them to join advisory boards and facilitate in-person or virtual events when possible. The goal here is to build trust.
4. Create Performance Expectations
By developing metrics for success, you can evaluate and monitor your communication strategies and marketing activities against key targets. Performance expectations should be measurable across all stakeholder groups so that company leaders can drive behavioral change if needed. Market research, interviews, and analytical tools will help you achieve the consistent communication you need.
5. Look Beyond Sales Reps
Sales teams play an important role in any pharma product launch – but these employees are not the only ones who can promote a new product. Life science companies should also work with physicians, pharmacists, and patient advocacy groups. Leveraging digital marketing and social media will allow you to reach an even broader audience – and hone your communication accordingly.
6. Gather Patient Feedback
Patients offer valuable information about how they respond to a pharma company’s marketing. More than any other group, they can share how it feels to live with a specific health condition. Pharma companies should connect directly with patients when possible and include relevant findings in their launch plans.
7. Set Clear Timelines
Without a planning timeline, your company might not know what gaps need to be filled before launch. Clear milestones like clinical data readouts and regulatory submissions are critical to your drug product’s success. Make sure to designate each milestone to the appropriate person or department and communicate expectations accordingly.
8. Partner with an Insight Manager
Instead of relying on individual emails, disorganized documents, and other disparate communication channels, you may decide to partner with an insight management vendor. The right platform will work with you to build a custom portal so that you can access your materials all in one place – and speak with experts in the process.
To achieve product launch excellence, pharma companies must invest their time, resources, and expertise. The above tips will help you maximize your investment and excel.
Strengthen Your Launch Strategy with Techspert
If your launch strategy is disorganized or inconsistent, your pharma company risks falling off course – but this doesn’t have to be you. A central hub with tailored healthcare insights can make pharma product launch roadblocks a thing of the past.
Our seamless platform connects vetted experts with the people who need them. With us as your trusted partner, you can collaborate, share the right insights and accelerate your product launch.