The launch of a pharmaceutical product is a crucial step, for the simple reason that you only get one shot to do it properly! In the pharmaceutical industry in particular, the investment of all the company’s resources is so important that it would be inconceivable to start the commercialisation with a blunder.
The development phase of a new medicine is extremely long, between 10 and 12 years from the beginning of the clinical works. Considering that a patent will protect a new compound for 20 years, the developer only disposes of 6 to 10 years to reach a positive return on investment before the market is flooded with generics. Some might consider the delay sufficient to recover the investment, but the development of a compound costs on average 1.5 billion euros.
For this reason the launch of a product is a crucial step for the company. In the event of a mishap, remobilizing the key players in the market and allocating new resources would cause considerable delays.
1. Necessary Tools to Complete the Launch of a Pharmaceutical Product
In the healthcare industry, a launch project is as complex as it is long. It generally takes 24 months to plan and implement hundreds of tasks. The complexity is increased by the multidisciplinarity of the product launch: every fonction of the company will be involved. The organization will hence be affected by the back-and-forths between various departments.
For this reason, using a collaborative launch planning tool is capital. It helps coordinate, share and follow actions in real time.
2. Main Functions of a Launch Planning Tool
This type of tool includes a GANTT Chart to visualize the project’s advancement over time and the interdependencies between the various tasks. It is the most common management tool, used by many companies on various projects. This kind of visualization helps indentify bottlenecks, work overloads and incoherences during the project. This plannification tool helps determine the duration of each task, and gives an estimation of the global duration of the project based on characteristics indicated beforehand.
Some launch planning tools will also integrate a notification function. In this case, the GANTT Chart will be associated with a smart notification system, which allows the nomination of persons in charge and the automation of some aspects of the communication within the project. This custom management limits errors caused by misunderstandings of the tool’s operations (deadline notifications).
This type of planning keeps the project manager up to speed with the general advancement of the launch. The tool reviews every task and identifies the changes of completion status (pending, on time, delayed, completed, …).
The most advanced solutions will also present a file management feature integrated to the tool. Thanks to this fonction, particularly useful in the pharmaceutical sector, the operator of a complex task will be able to transfer the relevant documents to prove it. It helps document and trace the project’s advancement all along the product launch.
3. How to Choose the Launch Planning Tool Relevant to Your Lab
A launch planning tool has to be a gain in simplicity and clarity for the participants to the project. Before using such a tool, the future key users (product manager, medical team, market access, …) must be trained in the proper project management practices and to operate the tool itself. This training will prevent future unnecessary work overload due to a suboptimal use of the planning tool.
The tool must be easy to use and to customize. That is why solutions available directly online, without need of installation or maintenance, should be favored. Those applications housed on the supplier’s Cloud are easy of access and facilitate the cooperation of the various parties involved on a single platform accessible everywhere. The various actors will access it from anywhere thanks to a password specific to each project.
4. Actando Launch Planning Tool: A Global Vision and a Collaborative Tool from Beginning to End of Your Launch
Boasting 13 years of expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, Actando offers a solution that can be customized to the specific needs of every product launch. It provides you with downloadable launch templates for your lab and allows you to create new ones according to your needs.
Actando comes with a global management of the project providing several training and configuration resources. Finally, the state of the art integration of an automatic notification system ensures a structured coordination of the various actors to the project, from the beginning to the end of the launch.