Non-members: Click here to review a complimentary excerpt from "Gardasil Case Study: Using Policy as a Springboard For Launch Success"
Gardasil is a vaccine manufactured by Merck that prevents certain diseases caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), including cervical cancer and genital warts. Although the vaccine's cost is high, Gardasil achieved blockbuster status by focusing on public (government) and private (managed markets) policymakers as part of key pre- and post-launch activities. This case study reviews how Gardasil's launch followed Merck's new global commercial model, the hurdles the vaccine faced in the public arena, and how Merck used a value argument to overcome pricing and other concerns. The study also highlights Merck's lobbying efforts to make the vaccine mandatory and the consequent backlash that caused the company to ease up on its lobbying efforts related to Gardasil. Other topics addressed in the study are Merck's education efforts directed at different physician groups and parents/young adults, and how the company dealt with controversy.
Using secondary research and an interview with a senior Merck strategy executive, Best Practices, LLC created this case study to assess the winning strategies that led to Gardasil's market success. Executives can use this study to understand Merck's approach to using policy as a springboard for a successful market entry and how it can be used in other launch efforts.
- Product and disease state profiles
- Merck’s global commercial model
- Expedite global approvals & policy recommendations
- Quick and broad public and private funding
- Strong uptake among providers
- Parent and young adult female motivation
- Dealing with controversy
SAMPLE KEY FINDING
- Educate policymakers in both public and private sectors about costs of targeted disease state and value of new products: Diabetes and cardiology therapeutic areas are each huge cost drivers for both the public and private healthcare sectors. In launching a high-cost new product that impacted a low-visibility area (HPV), Merck focused early education on the long-term cost of HPV. These messages were disseminated to policymakers who control the purse strings for healthcare spending and formulary access.
- Use value message for providers and consumers as they can influence payer/policy decisions: Education and marketing activities for providers and patients can play an important role in influencing critical public policy and payer positions on reimbursement. Use the same value arguments as well as quality of life benefits that were used for policymakers/payers - sharpen focus to relate to target groups.
Insights were drawn from secondary research and an extensive interview with one of Merck's senior strategy executives.