Does Innovation Guarantee Blockbuster Products?

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Does innovation guarantee blockbuster products? The importance of innovation in today’s dynamic business world is well recognised. However, evidence proves that innovative aspects of a product alone do not guarantee its market success. Of equal importance is the clarity with which these features are communicated to the customers. The pharmaceutical industry is a domain of great innovations, which unfortunately has witnessed many an innovative drug faltering due to sheer laxity of marketers who fail to communicate the critical differentiating features and the related benefits to the right customers. Added to this is the complacency which sets in with the initial success of the product. The study presented herein looked into the various market related aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and the importance of innovation in the same. Also, it investigated the reasons for the waning of Merck KGaA’s innovative drug-Glucovance in the US market. It provides ample evidence for the possible reasons aforesaid for the failure of innovative products. Keywords Innovation, Pharmaceutical industry, Anti-diabetics, Glucovance, Merck KGaA Introduction Pharmaceutical companies globally are having to face the challenges of thinning pipelines, patent expirations and threats from generic drugs, while emerging trends such as mergers and acquisitions, which are shifting the focus of innovation towards biotechnology and increased pressure from customers for better value are truly reshaping the pharmaceutical market place. In this climate, a good way of meeting these challenges is to be innovative in every facet of operations, from production and marketing to distribution. In the pharmaceutical RandD context, innovation can be defined as: a technological process that creates an entirely new product; a reduction in the cost of production; or an increase in the therapeutic value of an

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