In 2005, sales of biotech products -- i.e., biologics, including therapeutic serums, toxins, antitoxins, vaccines, blood components or derivatives, allergenic products, or analogous products, or derivatives -- grew by 17.1 percent, far outstripping the 5.2 percent in sales growth of small molecules-products developed and marketed by Big Pharma. Although the overall total sales of biologics is still small in comparison to small molecules -- about $52 billion vs. $600 billion -- the biotech industry is poised to dramatically increase the number of products it adds to the market each year.
Whatever the numbers, there's blood in the water and ad agencies are circling, trying to entice these innovative companies into transforming themselves into marketing machines. Some agency people suggest that biotech needs to engage in traditional direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Biotech, however, needs more than DTC as usual.
This article includes comments from Alfred O'Neill, SVP, Group Director at Ryan TrueHealth, an integrated direct marketing healthcare agency. Mr. O'Neill's experience includes the launch of Raptiva and Tarceva for Genentech and he was the lead agency strategist for Amevive and Iressa.
Topics covered include:
- Definitions and FAQs: What is a biological product? How do biological products differ from conventional drugs?
- Follow Big Pharma's Footsteps?
- Biotech Products Require More Education
- The "Oprahsizing" of Advertising
- Scientist Ambassadors
- Cost of Biotech Products
- Biotech Marketing Guideposts
- Service vs. Product: Betaseron Case Study
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