Pharmaceutical Launch Sequencing (PH172)

Mapping Commercialization Opportunities to Maximize Global Value and Expand Market Access

  • Maximize Revenue with Strong Global Launch Sequencing

    Reference pricing significantly impacts today’s biopharmaceutical launch strategies. Because countries increasingly reference other nations to set their own prices, an early launch in a low-price market results in lower revenue potential worldwide.  To maximize product revenue, especially for innovative drugs, companies must carefully prioritize the order in which different markets receive their products. 

    Global launch sequencing is a complex task requiring input from stakeholders companywide, from the C-level suite to affiliate offices.  Successful teams develop launch calendars to leverage internal expertise, and they strategically address country-level challenges in each launch market — preventing costly delays.

    Use this report to determine the optimal product launch schedule.  Data benchmarks and tables for 14 specific markets detail how top-performing companies prioritize lucrative markets while overcoming hurdles in regulatory and reimbursement processes.


    Manage the Risks and Impact of Reference Pricing

    Understanding reference pricing is essential in building effective global launch calendars. Learn how companies weigh this factor and nine others when setting a launch course, and benchmark individual countries’ global launch positions from first-wave to fourth-wave launches. 


    Marshal Launch Planning Resources Effectively

    Work with C-level executives, market access teams and other internal stakeholders to eliminate duplicated efforts and account for country-level requirements.  Benchmark time spent on sequence planning and gauge companies’ satisfaction with these timelines.


    Prepare For Future Growth in Key Emerging Markets

    The emerging markets are a growth engine for pharma.  Weigh potential revenue opportunities against regulatory and pricing challenges to prioritize launches in the BRIC countries, and navigate changing regulatory processes and agencies, as well as value-based pricing challenges, in key launch markets.

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  • Global Launch Sequencing Metrics


    Chapter 1: Determining a Global Launch Sequence

    Chapter Benefits

    • Involve key stakeholders at the right time during launch sequence planning to guarantee an optimal product launch.
      • Involve commercially oriented teams early to avoid surprises that could cause delays.
      • Gain high-level input before the launch sequence evaluation begins.
      • Keep local teams informed and value their input — but do not let them lead the process.
    • Dedicate ample time to developing your global launch strategy.
    • Avoid the most common pitfalls in planning a global product launch.
    • Examine key factors influencing a global launch sequence:
      • Reference pricing
      • Clarity of payer demands and payer accessibility
      • Ease of regulatory approval
      • Intellectual property concerns
      • Availability of vendors and market access information
    • When facing challenging markets, ensure that affiliate teams provide the resources necessary


    Chapter Data

    24 charts focused on global launch sequence planning:

    • Group responsible for leading global launch sequencing efforts
    • Hours spent on global launch sequence planning annually (per product, per therapeutic area and per product portfolio)
    • Percentage of companies satisfied with time dedicated to global launch sequencing
    • Importance of factors influencing global launch sequencing decisions, including:
      • A country’s prices’ likelihood of being referenced by other countries
      • Clarity of payer requirements in country
      • A country’s payer reimbursement rates
      • Difficulty in gaining regulatory approval in country
      • Intellectual property concerns in country
      • Company’s presence in country
      • Previous experience in country
      • Desire to expand presence in country
      • Availability of market information for country
      • Availability of outsourced sales forces and MSLs in country
    • Percentage of companies using market research to determine global launch sequence
    • Percentage of compounds that are first-in-class, by company
    • Average number of countries in each launch wave
    • Percentage of companies launching in a specific country during the first wave, (second wave, third wave and fourth wave)
    • Percentage of companies preferring not to launch in a specific country


    Chapters 2–15: Country Profiles

    Chapter Benefits

    • Prioritize the most lucrative markets — and avoid those with unreasonable risks.
    • Discover which markets present the most challenges when planning the launch sequence.
    • Implement real-world solutions provided by key players active in these markets to avoid or mitigate country-level challenges.
    • Measure the value of individual markets using up-to-date metrics.


    Chapter Data

    Chapters 2 through 15 profile the following countries:

    • US
    • Germany 
    • UK                
    • France         
    • Italy  
    • Spain           
    • Japan          
    • Australia      
    • Canada       
    • Mexico         
    • Brazil           
    • Russia         
    • India 
    • China


    Each country profile contains the same elements.  Tables illustrate the country’s economic, demographic, and healthcare information. Charts explore different factors influencing a country’s global launch sequencing position.

    7 tables and 8 charts per profile focus on various aspects influencing a company’s global launch sequence:


    • Economic information (GDP, GDP per capita, distribution of family income)
    • Population breakdowns
    • Corruption perceptions index
    • Healthcare information (breakdown of healthcare costs, life expectancy)
    • Top ten causes of death
    • Regulatory approval bodies
    • Healthcare payers



    • Country’s global launch sequence position (first wave, second wave, third wave, fourth wave)
    • Pharmaceutical companies’ overall experience in the country
    • Surveyed companies’ opinions on the country’s:
      • Clarity of regulatory approval process
      • Cost of regulatory approval process
      • Clarity of payer demands and payer accessibility
      • State of reimbursement rates
      • Intellectual property concerns
      • Availability of outsourced services


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  • Global Launch Sequencing Key Finding

    The following is excerpted from the full report's Executive Summary:


    Do Not Allow Reference Pricing to Diminish Drug Value

    Companies must consider price referencing prior to launch.  The fact that two-thirds of surveyed companies rank price referencing highest among launch-determining factors highlights its importance.  Companies that fail to anticipate pricing schemes lose valuable time and potentially sacrifice revenue.  Drafting a launch plan with reference markets in mind can ensure that companies do not settle for lower prices by prioritizing launches in low-paying countries.  This is especially true if higher-priced markets reference those initial markets. 

    Companies must become aware of the changing face of price referencing markets.  Proximity is no longer the sole reference-pricing determinant.  Previously, European countries maintained a relatively isolated referencing system.  More and more countries are expanding their price referencing beyond their geographical neighbors, however.  According to one executive, Latin American markets are looking toward Canada for referencing.

    Formal and informal referencing systems prove equally influential as emerging markets look increasingly toward developed markets.  Ultimately, the price a company sets in its initial launch provides a benchmark to which future launch markets will compare.  For instance, India looks toward the US and UK markets for guidance as it develops its international reference-pricing scheme. 

    Companies already have the tools in place to maximize price referencing systems knowledge.  In anticipation of price referencing schemes among countries, companies should take a top-down approach.  Global teams must develop and implement launch sequences with price referencing at the forefront.  Affiliate teams must then set prices in accordance with the globally determined launch sequence.  These plans must favorably balance market entry costs and anticipated profit margins from a selected price.  By adhering to this strategy, companies can prevent affiliate-determined prices from adversely affecting prices in later launch stages.

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