Taren Grom, Editor
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Letter From the Editor Relationship building Life-cycle management takes the knowledge, savvy, and experience in all areas of pharmaceutical development, from product formulation and clinical development to navigating the regulatory review process, to building an effective marketing strategy and salesforce. According to industry sources, generic drugs now account for more than 50% of all prescriptions filled in the United States and more than $40 billion in prescription sales worldwide. More than $80 billion worth of global drugs face U.S. patent expiration by 2008. For brand teams, it is no longer sufficient just to focus on evergreening through extensions and next-generation drugs or extending product lives as patent expiration looms. To develop comprehensive life-cycle management plans, brand teams — on both sides of the table — must consider a variety of alternative strategies for dealing with generic competition, such as prescription to OTC, pricing strategies, and marketing strategies to enhance patient outreach, compliance, and retention. Two main components to developing any life-cycle management strategy are commitment and continuity. Pharmaceutical companies, which experience planned turnover among their brand managers, need to rely on long-term agency partners, who in essence maintain the brand’s history. The ongoing challenge is to develop these relationships for the long-term and for the mutual benefit for all involved. Clients and agencies need to trust each other, have a mutual respect for ideas and opinions, and have clear communications to make the partnership work. “I believe that it is very important to have brand-steward capabilities on both sides of the table so that there are checks and balances,” says Rod Hanlon, chairman of Wanamaker Associates. “There are companies that very much need brand stewards and others that believe they are strategic engines and are looking for agencies to only execute against strategies developed in-house. Agencies should be able to challenge the client on assumptions and have a healthy and constructive dialogue.” Taren Grom Editor Rod Hanlon The first tenet of trust is the financial relationship between the organizations, and how that is established, from a compensation standpoint.