Reducing the cost of new drug launches

The cost of launching a new drug is high, averaging around $1 billion. That has to change. Pharma companies need to reduce the expenses of new drug launches to save money in an environment prohibiting expensive new drugs.

A client recently told me, “we know that 70-80% of the dollars we allocate to launching a new drug are wasted, but we don’t know where that budget money would best be allocated”. One billion dollars to launch a new drug is not sustainable, but there are ways to reduce the costs.

1ne: Optimize the drug development process. This can be done by streamlining the process, using more efficient technologies, and avoiding unnecessary duplication of work.

2wo: Focusing on high-value drugs. Companies can reduce costs by focusing on drugs that have the potential to be highly successful, such as those that treat serious or life-threatening diseases rather than me-too drugs.

Hand drawing increased quality, efficiency and speed but decreased cost arrows concept with marker on glass board isolated on white.

3hree: Partnering with other companies. This can help to share the costs of development and marketing and provide access to complementary expertise.

4our: Hard Negotiating with payers. Companies can negotiate with payers, such as insurance companies and government agencies, to get a better price for their drugs.

5ive: Is DTC suitable for your drug? Not all new drugs should utilize DTC ads to drive demand. Focus on the critical point-of-decision(s).

Here are some additional specific strategies that pharma companies can use to reduce the costs of launching a new drug:

  • Use adaptive clinical trials. Adaptive clinical trials allow companies to adjust the design of their trials as they learn more about the drug, which can help to save time and money.
  • Use patient-centered trial designs. Patient-centered trial designs focus on the needs of patients, which can help to improve the efficiency of trials and reduce the dropout rate.
  • Use innovative marketing strategies. Companies can use creative marketing strategies to reach a wider audience and get their drug approved more quickly.
  • Use data analytics to improve decision-making. Data analytics can help companies make better drug development, marketing, and pricing decisions.
  • Keep brand teams small. Implementing a minor change or adding to your marketing programs shouldn’t take weeks.
  • You can use real-time analytics to pivot your marketing direction. The marketing plan you spent months developing should be a working document.
  • Rethink the use of the sale force. I can reach your targeted HCPs better and more efficiently online than via salespeople for most categories.

The key is to rethink how YOU launch a drug and break the mold of “this is how we did it at..”