To successfully understand the essence of pharmaceutical product management, we must first take a look at what product management, in general, is all about. Various sources state that product management is essentially a function of the organizational life cycle that deals with the various aspects of bringing a product to the market. Product management is composed of two basic sub-processes – product development and product marketing.
In short, product management sums up the entire process of picking successful candidates for new products and bringing them to the market in a sane and productive manner. Now let’s go further and define pharmaceutical product management. As defined by several experts in the field, it is a way to plan for and manage various pharmaceutical products, and to develop strategies which bring the pharmaceutical company closer to its goals.
But there comes a time to ask the most important question – what are the special needs of the pharmaceutical industry? Are there any particular factors to consider regarding pharmaceutical product management?
As with any industry, there are specific things which need to be kept in mind here as well. Some of them are the following:
1. Make sure to appease the two main target groups – patients and prescribing physicians. The tricky part about product management in the pharmaceutical industry is having to meet two different sets of expectations at the same time – those of the people who would actually take the medication, and those who are going to prescribe it to them. It is not uncommon for pharmaceutical companies to dedicate a part of its sales force to convincing doctors why their product is optimal. Presenting the product’s advantages in front of medical professionals can guarantee a steady increase in sales, which is why so many companies spend thousands annually on convincing physicians of the superiority of their product.
2. Examine problems with competing products. A good product management campaign takes into account the shortcomings of the competitor’s product, and attempts to use them as an example of what to avoid. If the said shortcomings cannot be avoided, the product management campaign must make an assessment on whether the product should be discontinued or not. Focusing on the advantages of the product in order to get the customer’s attention away from its shortcomings is also an important part of the product management process.
3. Branding and product image should be paid even more attention in the pharmaceutical industry. The requirements are more here, due to the fact that packaging can sometimes be limited by the specific needs for storing the product. Along with that, it has to conform with local standards and regulations. Selecting the proper colors, typography and brand vocabulary is a crucial step towards having a successful product on the market.
In the end, it’s important to note that in everyday life, pharmaceutical products are referred to by their trade name or brand name, instead of their scientific name, which makes it all the more important to pick the correct name for a product. Such a choice should be based on detailed analysis in the course of the pharmaceutical product management processes.