The smaller the better
With the patent cliff and small molecule genericisation pushing towards more specialist and biologic products, global value growth for protected products has moved decisively towards specialist products.
Today, specialty pharma launches seem to dominant the excellence bar; they’re mostly successful when conducted by smaller to mid-sized companies, and when aiming smaller, more targeted populations (orphan drugs and biomarker defined populations). And, it’s no surprise, highly specialized therapies don’t need massive scale clinical developments, nor the huge marketing and sales efforts put into primary care products.
Moreover, because genericisation now enables cost constraints on drugs, more effective low cost therapies are becoming available, making the market for first-in-line treatment largely unavailable to other launches. This means smaller available patient population and smaller launches as a consequence.
High intensity means more and faster
In this reality of smaller, specialized launches by smaller companies, pharmaceuticals must prepare to produce a larger number of launches in a shorter time period.
In short – welcome to our high intensity launch market.
This intensity of launches offers pharmaceuticals the chance to improve with each launch, thanks to experience. But surprisingly enough, it seems the more a company launches new products, the less successful they are. Hence the high intensity launch has a negative effect on pharmaceuticals, and their launches suffer from a lack of focus, resource allocation problems and prioritization conflicts.
Image Source: “Launch Excellence IV: a new launch environment Planning for excellence in an environment of change”, IMS Health
But all hope is not yet lost, as this high intensity launch also offers an alternative, positive experience companies should embrace more: a large number of launches in a small time frame can provide a large number of individuals substantial launch experience fairly quickly, while also drawing conclusions and learning from mistakes in preparation for the next launch.
Should companies produce a better ‘lessons learned’ process, the high intensity launch trend could become an advantage, rather than a hurdle.