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When it was approved by the FDA in May 2011, Incivek represented a milestone in the treatment of hepatitis C. While standard treatment for the potentially fatal disease had a cure rate that hovered around 50%, Incivek's cure rate was around 79%. But Vertex Pharmaceuticals' first commercial product faced some challenges: Merck had a product approved the same month that had the same method of action (Victrelis), Incivek was significantly more expensive than other hep C treatments, and competitors were developing next-generation products that could be even more effective.
Clearly, Vertex had to get Incivek's launch right. And the Boston company nailed it, using planning and execution to drive more than $1 billion in Incivek sales during the product's first four quarters on the market. How did the company not only unseat Pfizer's Celebrex as the pharma product with the fastest launch, but also neutralize the mighty Merck?
This case study reviews how Vertex meticulously planned and executed:
This case study was created using multiple secondary research sources.