Commercialization of Pharmaceuticals: Overcoming the Challenges of Marketing New Therapies

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Incredible breakthroughs in research and technology have translated into equally incredible advancements  in modern medicine. From HIV-eliminating gene editing therapy to an artificial pancreas for diabetes patients, we’re seeing revolutionary strides in treating patients with acute and chronic conditions.

It takes years and often millions or even billions of dollars in resources to develop special therapies, but the challenge doesn’t end there. The commercialization of pharmaceuticals requires comprehensive and forward-thinking strategies to ensure that these breakthroughs move from the lab to the world’s clinics, pharmacies, and treatment centers.

Today, we’ll discuss a few strategies for marketing a new drug and ensuring that brands are able to secure their position in the market while building strong, effective relationships with the individuals who are critical for a new therapy’s success.

Making Therapies More Accessible to Patients

As any healthcare provider will say, a significant part of the outcomes battle is ensuring patient education, accessibility, and engagement with their treatment regimen. In the digital age, all the information we could ever need is literally at our fingertips.

That means it’s important for innovators and providers to ensure that patients have simple, streamlined access to information surrounding their treatment. It also means that every stage of the patient’s treatment journey should be well-documented, consolidated, and readily-available to all appropriate parties. This is especially true for specialty therapies, where each treatment journey typically goes through multiple touch points and individuals.

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An electronic service hub can help you to fulfill virtually all of these needs in a single place, allowing you to seamlessly:

  • Educate patients, as well as providers and payers
  • Evaluate and minimize risk
  • Support and monitor patient adherence
  • Offer patients copay and financial aid
  • Gather and analyze outcomes data
  • Automate prior authorization
  • Streamline claims processing

Marketing a New Drug through Physician Evangelists

For successful commercialization of pharmaceuticals, it’s critical to have the right partnerships and alliances in place to build relationships with your brand. These include credible early adopters who can leverage their expertise and clout to generate buzz and interest in your therapy.

Specialty pharmaceutical innovators may not realize that while their treatment is in the clinical trials phase, they can build invaluable relationships with the physicians and providers who have access to their therapy.

These providers have developed a familiarity with how it works and the potential benefits it offers. After your therapy is approved by the FDA, these individuals can help drive faster adoption and secure its competitive position in the market.

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Consider further building these relationships through high-touch programs, like providing their offices with educational and administrative support. You can also help to provide financial assistance to their patients to further encourage accessibility.

Tell Your Story to Build Strong Relationships

In a marketplace cluttered with innovation and brands trying to be “the next big thing,” it’s imperative to break through the noise. Brands can stand out against competitors by building unique, powerful relationships with providers and patients.

That’s why you must communicate your story. Otherwise, how else will they know what your brand stands for and why it’s the better choice over the competition?

When communicating your story, consider your company and therapy’s relationship with similar products or services in the marketplace. Can the therapy be positioned on a backdrop of more commonly-known offerings, or is it a class of its own? How will this resonate with your intended audience?

Also, carefully consider the channels through which you communicate. As mentioned previously, the earliest stages of your commercialization efforts may involve more hands-on, interpersonal communication with brand and product ambassadors and evangelists.

Securing Financial Assistance for Commercialization of Pharmaceuticals

There are many moving parts during the commercialization of pharmaceuticals, and these parts can accrue staggering continued costs for innovators.

For example, if you’re working on creating electronic service hubs or high-touch physician evangelist programs like those discussed above, you’ll need additional resources to develop and implement the needed platforms and processes.

In some cases, brands may be eligible for financial assistance that can help to fund the various stages of commercialization.

When seeking financial assistance, it’s important to understand that each phase of drug development and commercialization involves different investor types.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “basic discovery research is funded primarily by government and by philanthropic organizations, late-stage development is funded mainly by pharmaceutical companies or venture capitalists.”

Assistance opportunities for different commercialization stages are available in several forms, including:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Early-stage
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – Early-stage
  • State governments – Early-stage
  • S.-based foundations – Discovery through proof of concept
  • Department of Health and Human Services’ Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs – Discovery through proof of concept for small companies
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) – Public-private partnerships in targeted areas of interest to the FDA
  • State-based funding – Discovery through proof of concept
  • Pharmaceutical companies – Late-stage
  • Venture capitalists – Late-stage

Learn More Tips for Commercialization of Pharmaceuticals

The process of bringing an innovative drug or therapy to market requires expertise and dedicated strategies. The team at Legacy DNA has been in the specialty pharmaceutical industry for nearly a decade, which has fostered an intricate understanding of the market and how to navigate it.

To learn more about our expertise and how to commercialize healthcare innovations like new therapies and technologies, download our free white paper: “10 Steps to Healthcare Technology Innovation Success.”