You’re the PM at a pharmaceutical company. How would you go about launching a new sleeping pill?
- What kind of products does the pharmaceutical company mostly deal in? Drugs for all ailments (You can assume any big brand like Sun Pharma)
- So we are a big pharma company with an established brand name/ industry reputation? Yes
- What kind of a sleeping pill are we launching? What is the USP of this particular product? (It’s a different / safer salt, and the USP of the product is that it is not addictive unlike most of its counterparts)
- Do we have other drugs in our brand that cater to the same problem? Yes a couple
- What stage of development is this pill in? (It’s been thoroughly researched and the product is ready to be manufactured.)
- Where are we planning to launch the product? (India)
- What is the price of the product? It is affordably priced at Rs 50/- per 10 tablets. (~$0.7)
- Lastly, do we have any budget constraints? No
About the product:
A new sleeping pill in the market has the USP of not being addictive and is safer than most of its counterparts.
Our goal with this launch is to ensure the adoption of the product in India.
The first step in our launch process would be to ensure that the right amount of drugs are manufactured to cater to the public so that we are not wasting our resources on overproducing and so that we are not underproducing either.
TAM: Indian population with ailments/ sleep issues / chronic problems
Total population: 1.4 B
Assuming most people who are 50 + would be suffering from sleep issues (20%)
~ 280M out of this approx only 50% ~ 140M
SAM: people who are taking medicines to treat this issue or there is an intent of treating ~ appro 60% ~ 84M
SOM: % of the market that we can capture (assuming we are a big well-known brand) ~ approx 50% ~ 42M
Total revenue/day: $60M
We should be producing at least 60M units to launch the product. (keeping some for buffer)
Porter’s 5 Forces:
- Industry rivalry (Medium): We are a big brand, well known, and we have a strong USP
- Threat of New Entrants (Low): Not many players in the pharma industry. It’s tough to break into
- Threat of substitutes (High): People don’t like to medicate their sleep problems and rely on herbs/exercise / healthy lifestyle to tackle them.
- Bargaining power of buyers: (Medium): Our end consumers are usually taking these medicines with a doctor’s prescription. Switching from one brand to another is difficult especially if the salt is unique. Still in India, many things depend on the pharmacist & doctors that are supplying the product (they would mostly recommend your product if they get a good commission)
- Bargaining power of suppliers: (Low) Assuming it to be low, as we are only sourcing the salt / raw materials but the rest of the manufacturing is in-house. We need to patent our research on the product so our competitors cannot steal our formula.
Pharmaceutical products cannot be promoted through traditional marketing.
So the first step of the launch would be to create an awareness of the product to our direct buyers (doctors/pharmacists)
- Conduct informational sessions in collaboration with medical institutes (like AIIMS / Max / Medanta/ other medical R & D institutes) where we would invite doctors from across India and inform them about the product, its pros and cons and the general benefit of using our product.
- Share research / conduct research with top medical institutes in India. These research findings should be made public so as to ensure the general public in India that this product is safe and has been validated by the top minds of the country.
- Send SDR representatives to pharmacists (starting with Tier 1 towns) and then slowly penetrate into the rest of India to inform them about the new product and give a batch of sample products for them to sell at their shop.
- Put a substantial commission-based model in place with private doctors and pharmacists so as to ensure that your product is recommended over the competitor brands.
- Roll in any existing products that deal with insomnia that might risk cannibalizing our new product.
- There should be a close monitoring of the patient results of taking the product at least up to 5 years after launch so as to ensure that no short-term/long-term side effects occur. Meanwhile, we can focus on our own R&D to further improve the product.
- Conduct Insomnia awareness workshops with the general public (we can start with hospitals/ senior citizen homes/ offices) to make them aware of insomnia as a medical condition, the pitfalls of it and how can people tackle it (we will not sell our product here). This can be done in collaboration with doctors.