The 8 Most Common (and Costly!) Life Cycle Management Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)

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Understanding the critical success factors of Life Cycle Management (LCM) planning helps pharmaceutical companies avoid common life cycle pitfalls that can lead to sub-optimal life cycle plans or ineffective implementations.  Companies that don’t optimize the life cycle management process and develop innovative strategies to meet the demands of today’s pharmaceutical landscape generally experience lower returns than their more proactive counterparts.

Common Pitfalls

RxC International has guided numerous clients in developing innovative life cycle plans to help maximize product value from pre-launch through patent expiry.  We have identified eight common mistakes drug companies make when developing life cycle management plans.  These missteps generally fall into the following three categories:  process, organizational, and resource.

RxC International Three Types of Drug Life Cycle Management Mistakes

Process Mistakes

1. Waiting too late to initiate the life cycle planning process

LCM strategies have traditionally focused only on the commercial phase of a product’s life cycle.  Fierce competition and limited market exclusivity necessitate that LCM planning start during the pre-clinical phase when the pharmaceutical company is still selecting the lead indication.  Read more about early life cycle strategies here.

2. Lack of an objective process to identify, evaluate, and prioritize options

Drug companies with multiple products should have a consistent process in place for developing a life cycle management plan and prioritizing options to maximize asset potential.  Without a consistent and objective process, it is difficult to allocate resources across brands or therapeutic areas.

3. Limited regional input in generating concepts

Regional input across the globe and major markets is needed to aid in understanding local unmet needs, the competitive situation, and the customer makeup of diverse regions. Effective LCM will take into account regional variances and allow the asset to be strategically positioned for success across a number of regions.

Organizational Mistakes

4. LCM not embraced as an organizational priority

For Life Cycle Management planning and implementation to be successful, it must be an organizational priority that is routinely evaluated as part of the annual planning process. 

5. Failing to ensure consistent execution and governance

Successful LCM planning requires a follow-up mechanism and diligent oversight to ensure consistent execution and to project market opportunities that may emerge during the life of the product.  This mechanism goes beyond an annual refresh to measure success at predetermined intervals.

6. Not having the appropriate functional areas engaged

An LCM plan developed without the appropriate cross-functional input from clinical, commercial, medical, manufacturing, tech-ops, and regulatory departments will lack the critical insights and buy-in that are necessary for implementation.

Resource Mistakes

7. Insufficient funding to support key recommendations

Pharma companies must allocate sufficient resources for LCM implementation.  This includes giving teams the needed resources during the research and early planning stages and providing the necessary funding to drive implementation of life cycle strategies throughout the life of the product. LCM opportunities should be evaluated in a consistent manner to prioritize investments across the product portfolio.

8. Not enlisting the support of an experienced partner

A third-party partner with significant LCM experience, like RxC International, can help a drug company successfully navigate the process of developing and implementing effective LCM plans while avoiding costly mistakes.

How RxC International Can Help

The partners at RxC International have decades of experience developing, evaluating, and implementing life cycle management plans across the pharmaceutical industry.  We leverage our experience to apply best practices and proprietary frameworks to every client engagement.  RxC International is particularly experienced at developing innovative strategies for optimizing or extending a product’s life cycle.  We also perform in-depth analysis of existing LCM plans to identify areas for improvement.

To see how we can help your company develop new LCM plans or optimize existing plans, please contact us or email Frank Koos, Head of Business Development.  To receive updates from RxC International, follow us on LinkedIn.  Visit our LCM Resource Center for other posts, case studies, and resources on optimizing life cycle plans.

About the Authors

Nick DeSanctis is an Executive Partner at RxC International with over 25 years of leadership in the pharmaceutical industry. Nick is an expert in new product planning and driving portfolio value through portfolio management, life cycle management, target value profile development, and therapeutic area strategy.

Philip Vorhies is a Strategy Partner at RxC International with over 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience. Philip has deep expertise in new product strategy and commercial excellence. He has successfully assisted numerous clients in the areas of product launch strategy, brand and portfolio strategy, and life cycle planning.

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