Marketing Viagra in India


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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG130
Case Length : 26 Pages
Period : 1998-2006
Organization : - Pfizer Inc.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India, USA
Industry : Pharmaceutical and Healthcare

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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.

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Marketing Viagra in India

PL's marketing strategy for Viagra in India was different from its strategy in the US, which was Pfizer's biggest market for Viagra. This was because the market dynamics in India were significantly different from that of the US.

Another aspect was that while Viagra was the first such drug to be launched in the US, there were already many generic low-priced versions of the drug when PL launched Viagra in India. PL also had to consider the fact that DTC advertisements of pharmaceutical products were not allowed in India.

Premium Pricing

Prior to its launch in India, PL announced that it would price Viagra competitively. This gave rise to speculation among various analysts. Some believed that Viagra would be priced at around Rs 20 per tablet. Others believed that Viagra, being the original brand, would be priced at around ten times the price of the local versions of the drug.

However, PL launched the brand at a price of Rs 463 (for 50 mg) and Rs 594 (for 100 mg) for a single tablet. Although this price was on a par with its price in other Asian countries, it was about 20 times higher than the prices of some of the local generic versions available in the Indian market (Refer to Table V for Price Comparison of Viagra with Other Sildenafil Citrate Brands in India).

Future Outlook

Due to its late launch in India, analysts felt that Viagra had surrendered its first mover advantage. In 1998, when Pfizer launched Viagra in the US, it did not have to fight off competitors. In India though, PL was like a new entrant fighting against well-entrenched players in a multi-competitor setting and a "me too" environment.

Many doctors were skeptical about Viagra's prospects in India, in view of its high price. "The colour is the same, the effect as well as the side-effects are the same," said Dr. Prakash Kothari, a renowned sexologist, who had treated over 5,000 men with ED. Some doctors even said that they would not prescribe Viagra because more affordable versions were available.

Exhibit

Exhibit I: Pfizer's Three Year Financial Summary
Exhibit II: Global Top Ten Pharmaceutical Companies
Exhibit III: Viagra's Timeline: From Chance Discovery to Commercial Success
Exhibit IV: How Viagra Works
Exhibit V: Pfizer's Promotional Initiatives for Viagra
Exhibit VI: Pfizer's Efforts to Ward off Counterfeiters
Exhibit VII: Viagra ADS- From Creating Awareness to Mischief
Exhibit VIII: Competing Brands & New Entrants in the ED Market
Exhibit IX: Brief Note on Viagra's Competitors in India

 

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