global pharmaceutical sales are in a steady increase1 and over-the-counter sales are expected to continue strong growth, fueled by many social and governmental factors.2 but for pharmaceutical/life sciences companies the opportunity for growth comes with challenges. as one report put it at eye-opening length: “globalization, [a] shrinking new-product pipeline, increasing cost of new-drug discovery, shrinking Plc of existing products, ever-increasing demand by managed healthcare organizations, public and government to cut down the prices of patent-protected drugs, stringent safety rules of fda and entry of new players in the market are putting tremendous pressure on all pharma companies, especially the giants.”3
the report leaves out one more crucial pressure: building brand affinity in the wake of these other pressures. over- the-counter (otc) products have always had to rely on conventional marketing practices – and increasingly are becoming more “consumer” in their methods.4 and some prescription drug categories – such as antibiotics – are not free of the need to market to consumers. for every kind of regulated medicine, however, zero-error production of packaging and promotional/informational materials is absolutely crucial. there are powerful allies for pharma/life sciences companies in this marketplace. one is a business partner who understands their practical and creative challenges and offers solutions that promote efficiency and accuracy in the execution of packaging and other important brand materials. the objective is to guarantee compelling and consistent brand experiences for the increasingly involved and informed consumer. this paper describes how it’s done.
1 “2009 world pharma sales forecast to top $820 billion,” Pharmatimes.com, Jan. 12, 2009. 2 international marketing conference on marketing & Society, 2007, iimK. 3 iimK. 4 “otc marketing: a reality check,” expressPharmaonline.com, nov. 1-15, 2006.
Pharmaceutical/life ScienceS comPanieS and brand Point management: maintaining control in a changing world.
traditionally, pharmaceutical companies built their prescription business by developing a blockbuster drug, saturating the market with a sales force and marketing the drug heavily. but this model will not sustain future growth in the industry. direct-to-consumer advertising has failed to prove its efficacy for prescription drugs in the countries where it’s allowed, and major pharmas have correspondingly cut sales forces not only in those countries but worldwide.5 furthermore, the roles of otc (and a growing array of new health-related products) and prescription drugs will shift in the next decade. “by 2020, prescription therapies will be only one of the components in a collection of products and services from which patients can select,” according to Pricewaterhousecoopers. in addition to this broadening of products, medicines themselves will become more dynamic, launched with 2 “live licenses” and as a result “rapidly evolving labels” that reflect modifications in indications, and dosing and the results side-effect research. one source says this will require “assembled-to-order manufacturing.”6 this rapidly shifting landscape will put a premium on the ability to respond quickly with accurate, on-brand and on-spec packaging and product materials – globally.