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discovery of a cure for AIDS is a very significant breakthrough in the world of medicine. U.S. Triple Z Corporation is proud to be a part of this discovery. In keeping with the strategic goals of the company, a decision has been made to offer this medication to every country and to all its citizens in the world. Basically, all who need of this drug to help manage and control their sickness will be provided it. It is important to recognize however, that in the interest of offering this benefit uniformly to all citizens of the world, some critical decisions will have to be made. The first and most significant one is the segmentation of the population to which this drug can be provided. This is based on each nation's GDP and the ability of the population to afford this drug. It is advantageous if the company markets this product under its own brand name in all the countries that they sell. They could however, form collaborative relationships with local companies for manufacturing and production of the drug in an effort to achieve economies to scale for the region.
Marketing and sales work involves educating doctors, nurses and health care professionals about the advantages and benefits of this drug. In addition, it is also important to educate the general population about the new drug and treatment choices that are available. All marketing requirement need the setting up of sufficient infrastructure to deal with the logistics, planning and distribution of drugs for the country. 'Direct-to-Consumer' (DTC) advertising, a new concept, which has introduced to the public, knowledge of drugs and treatments that were formerly offered as information to doctors, nurses and healthcare workers only. The mass appeal of "contact your doctor," "talk to your healthcare provider" about benefits of using any given drug or product is constantly being made. DTC advertisements have also made the consumer more knowledgeable about disease prevention and the risks of drug interaction. There is however, concern that patients might not completely comprehend an ailment and create confusion at the diagnosis and analysis stages. DTC is also stated to have a positive effect on the treatment as the patient feels that he or she understands the disease and feels s sense of control over his or her situation.
From an ethical standpoint, pharmaceutical companies face certain challenges. Not least of which is the struggle between aiming for the highest profits that 'blockbuster' drugs can give them and the need to provide healthcare to a populace, irrespective of affordability. Identifying a standard and global marketing strategy for a product of this nature is not appropriate. The GDP and the purchasing levels of the population can differ significantly globally. When setting prices for the drug it is important to set the price based on the purchasing power of the local population. Even within a country, the type of health infrastructure and the use of social medicine policies also impact the decisions for treatments that can be used.
Medication of this nature can also benefit significantly from mass marketing and through promotional campaigns. Maturity of the markets for drug use and the dependency of the population on medication also impact the extent to which this drug could become popular. For example, the North American countries of United States and Canada are the largest market for pharmaceutical drugs and products. It is estimated that 39% of the worldwide sales in 1998 occurred in this market. The estimated value of this market was $118 billion and the value is only expected to grow at a rate of 9-10% in the future. The use of medical insurers, Health Management organization (HMO) and Medicaid and Medicare in the U.S. is attributed to the robust market and sales rate.
On the other hand, there are countries in Africa and Asia that have very low drug usage but have the highest incident of AIDS in comparison to other countries. However, the purchasing capacity is very low in the countries of this region and Us Triple Z Corporation will have to make substantial price reductions in the cost of their drugs to supply to these markets. In addition, they will also have to undertake publicity campaigning to health care professionals in the region to ensure that the best exposure to the drug is available. As the population that needs the drugs in this region is high, the volume of usage should be balanced by the manufacturing from an economy to scale to best balance the needs of the region. In spite of the higher cost of prescription, when compared to the overall healthcare cost the drug and product cost is relatively low.
The increased cost of healthcare and pharmaceutical costs in recent times has forced governments -- central and local all over the world to evaluate and analyze their policies and regulations. Us Triple Z Corporation should also actively work with governments to ensure that the company does generate a required profit for operating in the region. It is observed that many governments have been able to restrict the price increase of the drugs sold to them by the pharmaceutical companies. Negotiating and bulk purchasing by governments can help reduce the profits that can be obtained by the company over time. Drug approval by the local governments is also required. Many countries have very strict requirements of drug testing and clinical screening prior to allowing companies to market their products in the region. Many of the major pharmaceutical companies feel that these approving agencies take too long to approve drugs in the market and as a result the 10-year patent-time expires too close to the approval making the profit margins low for the company. Intellectual property right issues can create a high level of distrust among countries. Care should also be taken that sufficient patent laws and regulations exist to prevent rouge companies from stealing the market share through 'imitation drugs" sold under a different name but very similar to the companies.
Brand image of the drug is also important. Patents in different countries might also be required to ensure that reverse engineering of the drugs do not impact the profits that can be gained by the company. There is however, the threat that once the patents on the drug expires, local companies will cut into the market share. The increasing cost of prescription drugs in global markets is often due to the fact that companies have limited time frame within which they can obtain the maximum returns for the research and developmental work that they had undertaken to create the new drug. The strategy of entering any market with this drug should be one for product differentiation, as no other similar drug exists in the market. In addition, the company can also work with local doctors and health clinics to identify the best method of educating patients on the new drug and the method by which they can enhance their quality of life. This drug also offers its users a solution and an opportunity to live a longer life. Therefore the psychological cost of pricing is also an important fact.
At this point in time, the total cost of manufacturing and production and the logistical cost of shipping it from the facility to the point of utilization is also important. Supply and demand of the drug and its effectiveness on the afflicted will also be an important factor in determining how quickly any drug gains approval within a market. The area of research for new drugs to combat the AIDS issue is also very critical. Other pharmaceutical companies could also make major discoveries in this arena making the new drug obsolete and reducing the product life cycle that the drug can enjoy. The internal rivalry that exists with the various drug manufacturing and researching companies also is very high making the issue of gaining maximum market share and recognition very important.
Supply chain management of the product from raw material to finished product is very important. The company might also considering partnering with local wholesalers and distributors to better manage their logistic and distribution cost. Currently, the company also enjoys major distribution networks in locations all over the glob, by virtue of it being the third largest pharmaceutical company. Suppliers can exert bargaining power in the pharmaceutical industry either by raising the prices of their raw materials or reducing quality. This has lead to wide scale vertical integration within the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical and medical supplies industry is a very complex and heavily regulated industry. The issue gets more complicated when the shelf life of drugs and products is very limited or the cost is so high that maintaining inventory of the items is not possible for distributors and point of sale locations.
Currently, advertisements and marketing operations have the ability to create blockbuster drugs that can improve the quality of life in the region. Labor, marketing and advertisement costs are important factors in this industry and the restricted supply of any of…[continue]
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