A key factor for a pharmaceutical company in any successful drug launch, large or small, is knowing and understanding the market and its needs. In this digital era, more and more of these conversations with influential healthcare professionals (HCPs) are happening online, and importantly, they can shape the success of a drug’s launch and set its course for the decades that follow. The key is tapping into these invaluable HCP insights to drive your drug launch strategy.

HCP insights are valuable throughout the drug approval process

The drug approval process is an often complex and complicated process which involves the preclinical discovery and screening of potential new drugs, different phases of clinical trials, and regulatory approval processes including reviews and ongoing safety monitoring. Furthermore, the drug approval process varies from country to country, with the different authorities, such as the EMA, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, each having their own drug approval requirements.

At each stage of the drug approval process, different marketing and communication strategies need to be successfully implemented. Notably, insights from HCPs’ online conversations can help you not only develop these strategies but help you track their response. For example, by listening to and engaging with online HCP influencers or Digital Opinion Leaders  at congresses during the clinical trial stage of the drug approval process, you can adapt your messaging to your target customers well before the approval and launch into the market. Furthermore, by seeking early input on target product profiles, you may be able to incorporate it into later clinical trial designs. 

How can CREATION.co help you launch your drug?

It is never too early to start – at CREATION.co we can help you plan a drug launch that resonates with your customers and their digital behaviours. Using CREATION Pinpoint®, we can not only help you develop a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, which allows you to create a powerful and meaningful brand, but we can help you identify and engage with HCPs who matter to you.

Whether you are launching a new drug or an existing drug in a new indication, contact us today to discover more about how CREATION.co can help you leverage HCP online market research. 

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Why is it important to know what a failed drug launch looks like?

Sadly, a good proportion of new drugs fail to meet pre-launch expectations, with research showing that a vast majority of these drugs continue to miss market expectations 1–2 years after their launch. There are a number of factors that may contribute to an unsuccessful drug launch, including, limited market access, inadequate understanding of the market needs, and poor product differentiation from your competitors. However, by having an awareness of these hurdles, you can understand what your pharma company needs to do to have a successful drug launch. Simply, you should use a market-led approach.

A market-led approach with a cross-functional team is key to a successful drug launch

A market-led approach to brand planning during new drug and medicine product launches focuses on having an in-depth understanding of the customer using multiple methods of market research, strong brand positioning based on medical benefits and delivery of innovative customer value beyond the product itself, and pulling together a cross-functional team under one shared vision and goal.

This cross-functional team may consist of a:

  • Supply and manufacturing team – because without a product there is nothing to sell
  • Regulatory team – working closely with drug approval authorities to finalise the drug label
  • Legal and compliance team – to ensure the drug and the company are protected and complying with the right regulations
  • Marketing team – to ‘share the story’ with the customers
  • Medical affairs team – to work closely with key opinion leaders (KOLs), HCPs, and advocacy groups to ensure accurate and meaningful communication is being carried out

Have you tapped into online HCP conversations to maximise your new drug and medicine product launch?

Over a number of years, there are three phases when thinking about effectively bringing your product to market  – pre-launch, launch year, and post-launch. The very beginning of a product’s lifecycle is arguably the most critical, and the area where the greatest opportunity for success usually sits. So it’s important, more than ever, to get the launch right.

  • Revamp your drug launch by listening to online HCP conversations 

Alongside pharmaceutical companies opting for smaller targeted drug launches, the market has been transformed by social media – with HCPs and patients learning about treatments and innovations faster than ever before, and having a global space to share their thoughts and opinions. Therefore, the business model for launching a new drug has shifted.

Notably, the ability to distil and analyse conversations among HCPs on social media gives business intelligence teams new tools to inform pharmaceutical launch strategies. Ultimately, when you listen to your HCP customers throughout the launch period, you gain a deeper understanding of their needs, which allows you to create early awareness and advocacy, to address unmet needs and differentiate yourself from your competitors, and can accelerate market access.

  • Create impactful marketing strategies

HCPs are uniquely positioned to recognise gaps in a treatment landscape – this is evident in their discussions of news regarding clinical developments, the sharing of data, or even the occasional outburst of frustration. Furthermore, in an era when digital has become the new normal, the unique opportunity of digital should be leveraged to the fullest extent. Herein lies an opportunity to build an impactful marketing strategy that directly responds to the voice of the customer.

It is likely that HCPs are shaping their perceptions of your product well before you have developed your brand strategy. Thus, when thinking about content planning in a drug launch strategy it is essential that you are speaking the right message and using the language that your customers are already using on a regular basis. 

Therefore, by using a market-led approach, and listening to HCP conversations on social media you are able to not only identify their needs and concerns about your product or therapy area, but you are able to hear and learn the language that they use. These invaluable insights are then able to help inform and drive your content strategy, and allow for the development of engaging and targeted content through the drug launch process.