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Novartis' blood pressure treatment Diovan faced multiple challenges when it entered the crowded antihypertensive market. Diovan, a Angiotension Receptor Blocker (ARB), was the second drug launched in that class - ARB market leader Cozaar hit the market two years earlier. Also, Diovan entered the market with a weaker dosage. After a tepid launch that saw Diovan having trouble penetrating the crowded marketplace, Novartis leaders built a business case that gained senior leadership support for a long-term brand building strategy for Diovan. The plan they executed included tactics such as winning expanded dosing options, launching large comparative effectiveness studies, investing in expanded sales and marketing activities and seeking partnerships with key stakeholders to promote education.
These tactics - executed in stages over a 10-year period - helped increase Diovan's reach annually so that by 2002, the drug surpassed Cozaar as the #1 prescribed ARB. In 2010, Diovan hit $6.1 billion in sales, making it the best-selling drug in Novartis' history.
Using secondary research and interviews with a Diovan brand manager, Best Practices, LLC created this case study to highlight how to effectively execute a multi-pronged strategy to boost a brand's presence in a crowded market. Executives can use this study to understand Novartis' approach to long-term brand building in a competitive marketplace.
Insights were drawn from extensive secondary research and an interview with a Diovan Brand Manager.