Packaging is the key to CPG: what about Pharma?

Pharmaceutical Executive recounts how a packaging decision by a marketing team had unexpected side-effects on a pill under development:

    Decisions made in one functional area, such as marketing, can significantly affect others. So open decision making is critical, particularly during late stage development. In one instance, the marketing team for one drug manufacturer's COX-2 inhibitor decided to change the tablet's size close to launch. The team made the decision from a branding perspective.

    The idea was to make the name printed on the tablet more visible for target customers. To modify the size, excipients were added. These additional components affected the medication's absorption rate and altered its pharmacokinetic properties. Although the impact was realized before registration, the decision put timelines at risk.

    Open communication between the marketing and clinical teams could have prevented unnecessary delays in the drug's registration or launch.

WHEW! Thank god the two teams finally got their act together and mitigated the impact. Lord knows we wouldn't want to delay registration or launch! It's not like there are other problems with COX-2 inhibitors to deal with.

Of course, marketing executives would have a far easier time if pharma companies slowed their merger mania: their unwieldy amalgamated names could score 688 points in Scrabble.