The first all-oral HCV medication, Sovaldi went on to become the biggest blockbuster in Pharma history. Sovaldi's high cure rate, short dosing period, and assurance of less severe side effects, along with a large target market and pent up demand propelled the drug to $2.3 billion in sales during the first quarter of 2014, the therapy's first quarter on the market.
However, it faced formidable opposition at the time of its introduction from payers for its hefty price tag. With a view to counter pricing challenges, Gilead created and executed a launch plan that ensured Sovaldi found a place on payers' formularies, was accessible for those lacking coverage/resources and dominated the competition. Also, it overcame market resistance with its superior patient support programs, strategic worldwide pricing, and effective public relations campaigns.
This case study from Best Practices, LLC reviews the strategies and tactics utilized by Gilead to accelerate Sovaldi’s path to success. In particular, the study looks at how Gilead countered the backlash over Sovaldi’s $84,000 cost and how payers adjusted to the product’s price tag. The study also highlights a nine-step analysis of key tactics/strategies for a new product launch. Additionally, it reviews the predatory patent challenges that Gilead faced after it became clear it had a blockbuster and how Harvoni helped propel the company’s hepatitis C franchise.