For Brand Teams, Timing Really IS Everything

For Brand Teams, Timing Really IS Everything

One of the best things you can do to create a successful product launch is also one of the simplest.  You see, while it’s easy for product teams to stay focused on the product itself, it’s sometimes a challenge to line up the services, including distribution channels, that will surround your product and make it accessible to patients and prescribers once the product is launched.  By waiting too long to make decisions about these services, product teams may miss an opportunity for the BEST launch possible.

I always tell my clients the optimal timeframe for a brand team to begin discussions surrounding their product’s distribution channel is 12 to 18 months prior to the expected launch date.  Why so far in advance?   This allows adequate time to thoroughly consider services needed, engage service providers in discussions, and initiate requests for information and/or proposals.  In addition, the contracting process with each distribution provider often takes longer than anticipated – up to 60 days, depending on the comprehensiveness of the services.

This old maxim holds true:  You can only launch once…, successfully, that is.  So, I encourage you to set your product launch up for the greatest amount of success simply by planning ahead. These consequences of postponing distribution channel decisions are often not considered:

  • Implementations are rushed
  • Staff may not be thoroughly trained
  • Data is not available immediately upon launch

Data is of particular importance. Access to data is one of the key elements of working with a service provider.  If data is available on day one, you can begin evaluating that data immediately and make any necessary adjustments as quickly as possible. 

As you plan for your product launch, you may want to consider a customized One Solution approach to leveraging your product launch for maximum success.  By integrating services under this One Solution offering, you can wrap around your product multiple services from one or just a few providers.  This maximizes communication, efficiencies, and patient care, while minimizing the time, costs, and overall resources needed to manage multiple contract negotiations and relationships. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Donna Trane, Sr. Director, Business Development,  is a subject matter expert in the development and enhancement of Specialty Pharmacy and Specialty Distribution solutions for new and existing pharmaceutical and biologic products.