There’s no denying that bringing a new pharmaceutical to market is a long and risky process. And marketing the drug to consumers and medical professionals is also expensive. These facts may explain why, historically, drug companies have waited until the final phase of the often ten-year development process to begin actively promoting the new product.  But the market has become increasingly competitive and a recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted changes to the branding timetable.1111309_pills

The article cites Rebecca Robins, global marketing director at InterbrandHealth, who sees the following trends in branding new drugs.

  • Firms are exploring the branding process in the mid-stage development, after Phase II is complete.
  • Marketing may increasingly address the emotional reaction of consumers, instead of just  “function and safety”.
  • Companies are using one consistent name for a product throughout clinical trials and then to market introduction. This strategy allows them to build familiarity as reports and results are released over a period of several years.

The article also addresses the concern that early branding efforts may be wasted if the drug ultimately fails to win approval or is subsequently removed because of safety problems but many industry professionals believe there’s no substitute for consistent company branding. Read the rest of this article for more information on this thought-provoking topic.

[Source: Wang, Shirley. “The Changing Landscape of Pharmaceutical Marketing,” Wall Street Journal. 7.20.09]