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Onglyza, a DPP-4 inhibitor class of anti-diabetes drug, was the second DPP-4 to the market behind the blockbuster Januvia. Its development partners, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, expected the oral therapy to win enough share from Januvia to become a blockbuster itself. However, the similarities between the two DPP-4 inhibitors were so striking on critical factors - safety, efficacy, convenience and price - that there was no clear differentiation for prescribers, patients and payers. Marketing missteps exacerbated the situation and the end result for Onglyza was a muted launch for a promising product.
Best Practices, LLC created this case study to illustrate the challenges of differentiating similar products in a competitive marketplace and to highlight the critical nature of positioning in a new product launch. Launch leaders can use this study to better understand and avoid the launch pitfalls that can mar the market entry of products facing a crowded market.
Insights were drawn from extensive secondary research and interviews with launch leaders in both marketing and strategy at a Top 10 pharma company.