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Products & Services Brand Management and Product Leadership Product Marketing and Innovation

Launching A Specialty-Care Blockbuster Franchise in Hepatitis C: How Sovaldi & Harvoni Rewrote New Product Launch History

ID: PSM-322


Features:

100 Info Graphics

18 Data Graphics

100+ Metrics

67 Narratives


Pages: 138


Published: 2015


Delivery Format: Shipped


 

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  • STUDY OVERVIEW
  • BENCHMARK CLASS
  • STUDY SNAPSHOT
  • KEY FINDINGS
  • VIEW TOC AND LIST OF EXHIBITS
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.


Industries Profiled:
Pharmaceutical; Health Care


Companies Profiled:
Gilead Sciences; Merck


Study Snapshot

Best Practices, LLC conducted extensive secondary research to review key aspects of Sovaldi’s launch, including prevalence of Hep C, Sovaldi’s method of action, key aspects of its product launch, results of launch, payers’ reaction to pricing, Gilead’s response to pricing criticism, patent challenges and the entrance of Harvoni.

Key Findings

Target Patient Population: Gilead benefitted from a “triple dose” of good fortune: (1) a large patient population, (2) many diagnosed but untreated patients, and (3) a market eager for better treatments.
Patient Support: Patient support is instrumental at launch for expensive treatments. Gilead made superior patient support a cornerstone of launch and market access.

Cannibalization: Embrace “planned obsolescence” of 1st-generation product to ensure sustained market leadership.

Table of Contents

Playbook of a Blockbuster: Key Insights from Sovaldi & Harvoni’s Launch Year Success
Birth of A Specialty Medicine Blockbuster -The First Oral Cure for Hepatitis Virus C (HCV)
Having The Insight & Expertise To Envision Transforming HCV Treatment Paradigm
The Seeds of Success: Sovaldi Method of Action Moved Therapy From Treatment to Cure
The Seeds of Success: Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Created A Tsunami of Global Unmet Need
Market Entry History: The Back Story of The New Blockbuster Model
Sovaldi Launches Like A Rocket Ship
Other Noteworthy Market-Entry Tactics and Practices
Pricing New Therapies Offers Multiple Risk Frontiers
Public Reaction Ranged From Jubilation To Outrage
The Global Launch & Pricing Strategy Divided The World Into Key Regions
Payers Crafted Different Strategies Both To Access The New Therapy & Manage Its High Price
Where Blockbusters Grow, Patent Challengers Quickly Spring up
By Its First “Birthday” Gilead’s HVC Franchise Had Rewritten Biopharma Launch History – But Still Faced Many Challenges