Industry Insights

How Digital Changes the Face of Pharmaceutical Product Launches

Posted by Gyzel Pialat on Feb 25, 2020 2:27:06 PM

The pharmaceutical industry is an interesting and innovative world, in which new and evolving challenges must compete with windows of opportunity, funding, and market complexities. When it comes to launching new products, there are costs, timelines, pipelines and more that must all be delicately managed to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. The market is in a constant state of adjustment in order to best meet the needs of patients, payers, and prescribers, which is why the evolution of technology and digital marketing is so influential in the industry today.

Our commitment is to understand how the evolving digital world helps to power pharma product launches and be able to support our clients in maximizing their launch successes by :

  • Helping to select the right launch type
  • Building a roadmap to success
  • Providing key market insights
  • Identifying leverage points
  • Defining and prioritizing the different customer segments
  • Piecing together the most effective multi-channel strategy and plan

Supporting our pharma clients in navigating the challenges ahead

The innovative and interesting challenges that we mentioned before are many in number, but there are four key areas that we know our pharma clients and partners are most often caught grappling with.

  • More product launches than in the past - Businesses in the pharma industry are using the current state of the market to launch more and more products of small-to-medium size, as opposed to big hitters. This means there is a lot of pressure for quick success and return on investment. Faster and more integrated launches must work in conjunction with an abundance of complex data.
  • Balancing the resources - entering the market with a new product can be incredibly costly, so the bottom line is constantly under observation. Pharmaceutical businesses must get the best results they can with whatever resources they have available to them, which can be risky in a saturated market.
  • The rise of the specialist market - Launching a new product is not easy, but launching a new product to a very small patient base is challenging on a whole different level. Specialist drugs must launch in a very targeted way and there’s no guarantee for success, as the needs of the niche market may not have been tested before. Those marketing new pharmaceuticals need to build a clear understanding of payers’ and subscribers’ needs and how they are affected by digital health technologies.
  • Technology moving ‘too fast’ - Pharmaceutical companies are forced to stay one step ahead of their own launches due to the rapid way in which the innovation cycle now transpires. Products don’t have as long on the shelves as they used to, so launches must be made with enough force to help recoup the initial investment. To add to this, the availability of health information on the internet and social media has empowered patients to learn more about living with their conditions, giving them a new role in their care.

Navigating the challenges and trends

If the challenges mentioned above have been considered during the planning phase, it’s going to make life easier during the pre-launch phase. The environment must be set nicely for success as it’s so key to shaping the results when launching a new product. 

As we mentioned at the start, a roadmap to success is vital as it lays out what must be done in a logical and structured way to maximize the chances of a successful launch. Key market insights must then be sought and applied to the tailoring process for each new product. After that, resources must be distributed in a way that is both flexible and intelligent, and that takes into account potential ROI at one end and risk-management at the other. The PMO support function must be experienced and adept during every stage of the launch to navigate the current challenges and trends that have come to light, offering management expertise through all functions, as well as with external partners and stakeholders.

How does StratX ExL go further than our competitors?

Over many years of supporting our pharma clients through CentrX, we’ve seen the industry change in so many ways, one of which is how the pharmaceutical industry approaches learning, research, and development. In recent years, the direction for improvements has come in the form of improving leadership skills, finding winning commercial strategies, creating value for stakeholders in multiple ways, holistic patient experiences, engagement in the digital world, and improving the startup mentality.

We work with our clients to help develop considerable expertise and adaptability, addressing which skills need to be increased and how to manage all of the relevant departments and responsibilities during a very demanding product launch in this digital decade. The traditional launch style is slowly on its way out of the door...

Launch Excellence with CentrX BioPharma


Case study 1: Launch excellence in Biopharma

This top 10 biopharmaceutical company was planning an important oncology launch. The team leader had attended a StratX leadership program. He saw the opportunity to use experiential learning to bring his cross-functional launch team together. This was an important point as the team was spread geographically. He also wanted to help them think more strategically about how all the elements of the launch plans came together and how each team member in their role contributed to the overall success. 

The launch of the drug was a success, with quarterly revenues growing rapidly as the label expanded and the team kept working on reaching the asset’s estimated multi-billion revenue potential. Continue reading.

Case study 2: Drug launch simulation workshop at Genzyme

Team-based learning: leading the launch of a drug in a state-of-the-art biopharma simulation, CentrX

Participants work in teams and are in charge of the launch of a drug. StratX ExL expert consultants introduce the simulation case, assists the teams during the workshop, and reviews the team’s results, giving real-time feedback on what worked and what didn’t on the team’s launch simulation. Participants share their key learnings and how they will apply back on the job.


There’s no doubt that digital has enabled and empowered the pharmaceutical product launch process, and will continue to provide strength and be allocated resources in the long run. The challenges are always navigable and may even prevent unforeseen opportunities to those who can think creatively and execute plans effectively.

If you would like to learn more about how we partner with our clients to achieve launch excellence, contact us to speak with one of our expert consultants today.

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Topics: Case Studies, Biopharma, CentrX

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