Small Companies Can Too Co-Promote
Big Pharmas often argue that co-promotions with small companies are more trouble than they're worth. Icos is proving this assumption false, through its joint venture with Lilly for the new erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. The drug was third to enter the ED market in the US, but it's steadily taking share from category pioneer Viagra, and has now overtaken the second entrant, Levitra.
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The drug industry has accepted the need to outsource R&D--now, with sales productivity down, and the rising cost and risk of owning too much commercial infrastructure, why not outsource more of the sales effort, too? Big and small pharmas resist the idea but will eventually have to accept it--junior partners in licensing deals are insisting on roles in selling their own products, and Big Pharma must investigate cost-saving solutions.
Mid-sized European companies attempting to compete with Big Pharma's increasingly dominant sales forces in the European primary care arena might consider following Altana Pharma and Solvay Healthcare's lead. A novel cross-promotional agreement comprising a detail-time swap in the UK in theory allows each company to boost its share of voice in its target indication-at practically no extra cost.
The Lilly Icos joint venture for the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis has the markings of a complementary alliance. Though too soon to gauge its commercial efficacy, so far the deal is working because both parties view it as a vehicle to build value of the sort important to them.