Glaxosmithkline's Marketing Strategy for Requip: A Case Study in Product Lifecycle Management

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG173 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Marketing/ New Product Development
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2002-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : GlaxoSmithKline, Plc.
Industry : Pharmaceutical
Countries : USA, Europe


This case is about the innovative marketing strategy adopted by GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) for Requip, its drug for Parkinson's disease (PD). The case discusses how GSK created a new market for Requip by targetting the drug at a previously lesser known disorder, the 'restless legs syndrome' (RLS). GSK, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, made good use of public relations and its marketing muscle to make promote awareness among doctors and patients about 'restless legs syndrome'. After gaining approval for marketing the drug as a treatment for RLS, the brand experienced strong growth. In the process, the company created a 'blue ocean' that it was expected to own for a long time.

However, GSK's effort at marketing Requip for RLS had drawn criticism from various quarters. Critics felt that RLS was a "concocted" disorder, and that GSK had resorted to disease mongering to promote the sales of the drug. They also contended that GSK's marketing of RLS had many conflicts of interests as it was allegedly using patient advocacy groups and key opinion leaders to further its marketing agenda.


Understand the issues and challenges faced by companies in managing the product lifecycle of a drug

Understand how GSK created a new market for its drug Requip

Understand the ethical issues related to marketing of Requip


  Page No.
Restless Marketing? 1
Background Note 3
From 'Putting Life Back into Hands' to 'Restless Legs' 4
Marketing Blitz follows FDA Approval 6
Marketing Adartrel in Europe 7
Requip Sales Rides on Restless Legs 8
A Marketing Coup 10
Criticism of GSK's RLS Marketing 11
GSK's Views on the Criticism 14
Outlook 15
Exhibits 16


GlaxoSmithKline, Requip, Adartrel, Restless legs syndrome, Product lifecycle management, Disease mongering, Key opinion leaders, Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC advertising), Torre Lazur McCann, Sales force, Blockbuster drug, Pharma marketing, Un-branded ad campaigns, Public relations, Publicity

Restless Marketing? - Next Page>>


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