Launching a new drug can cost well over $500 million. Is there a way to cut those costs using digital as the only channel? The short answer is; it depends on your audience and market.
The costs of launching a new drug are increasing as drug companies fight for attention. Launching a drug online IS possible, but you had better know your audience and where they are online.
What are the criteria for launching a drug online?
1ne: You have a very targeted audience of HCPs.
2wo: It’s not essential to reach patients or caregivers.
3hree: You have developed a comprehensive product website targeted at HCPs
4our: You know where your target audience is going online (Medscape) and can work with the site to measure reaching important HCPs.
5ive: You don’t have a salesforce with programmed college graduates. Your salesforce consists of people with medical backgrounds (i.e., Pharm D).
6ix: You have the budget to fly different messages to HCPs continually.
What about Journal ads? It’s been my experience that they can be practical, but digital is more effective because HCPs can get more information just by clicking. An HCP might see a Journal ad but forget to follow up later in the day.
The other critical component is to ensure that patients are not interested in your drug/treatment and completely trust their physician to recommend what’s best. Some drug companies thought patients would be interested in oncology drugs but in reality, their use is complicated and isn’t suitable for all patients.
So much money is wasted in product launches because managers are trying to cover their asses and use budgets to elevate their importance. The more you know about your audience, the more effective you can be.