​Launch Excellence V
​Surviving and thriving when launching in an increasingly specialised world
White Paper

The next decade will see greater concentration of competition for innovative Launches, with focus turning to more specialist therapy areas, limited key launch countries, healthcare budgets, doctor attention time, and even patients. Achieving true Launch Excellence will become even more challenging. To understand how to succeed in the future, companies must first understand how today’s launch environment drivers came to be.

Ten years ago, IMS Health (now IQVIA) published a white paper entitled “Launch Excellence”. It defined objective criteria for excellence in launch for prescription medicines and developed in-depth insight on medicines that achieved them. We drew tough but surprising conclusions. For example, that the first six months has a disproportionate influence on later success for at least 80% of launches in any country.

New Chemical Entity launch success is still, overwhelmingly, a developed markets game: 86% of the first five years’ sales of New Chemical Entities launches since 2005 came from just seven countries: the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy. Our interviews with companies preparing for launch suggest the overwhelming majority, if asked, will classify themselves as “behind” on some or all aspects of their launch preparation. But some of these companies will go on to have excellent launches — others will not. Quality of preparation matters as well as quantity.

A decade of launch excellence insight: What does it tell us about the future of the pharmaceutical industry?

Launch Excellence is at the heart of many of the fundamental changes in the pharmaceutical industry’s landscape. Launches drive pharmaceutical industry change, so excellence in launch is the key to the pharmaceutical industry’s future.

The first Launch Excellence white paper analysed launches back to 1995, an almost Jurassic era when the big beasts of the pharmaceutical launch world were primary care, mass market products: Lipitor, Plavix, Seretide, or Detrusitol.


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