Case Study: How to sell, when Side Effects of a Newly Launched Drug is a Concern!


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Patient type & Medication:

Patient Age – 29 years, Female

Medication – Contraceptive Pills

Prescribed dosage – Once a day

Side Effect: Pulsating Headache after taking the drug.

Problem statement: If there is a serious concern about side effect of a newly launched drug, how to sell it.

Thought Process: Actively Listen to the Side effects noted by the Doctor & take insights on the side effects. Discuss in detail with Doctor, what can be the future implications of these side effects? It’s important to take feedback from many users before considering these findings as final.   Report the side effects to Pharmacovigilance team as soon as possible. Now dive deep into data to find the correlation between clinical trials results & real-world settings results. Take the help from medical team of your company. Connect Doctors who have positive experience with doctors who have concerns pertaining g to side effects.

Here are few Options that can be used. You can also mention your suggestions or any practical scenario related to this case, in comment section. 

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1. Active Listening & Insight gathering on side effect concern

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Whenever a doctor complains about the side effect of drug, try to listen actively & report the side effect to pharmacovigilance or Safety team.

2. Validate from other HCPs

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Sometimes findings from a few Doctors are taken as final consensus. If a doctor comes up with some drastic complaint about the product, go on to validate the same with other doctors too before considering that final.

3. CMEs on the side effect profile

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CMEs should be arranged immediately to disseminate DATA over the side effect profile of the drug. The data will be from the trails & real-life experience. Connect the complaining Doctor with the doctors having positive treatment outcome. Sometimes giving lower doses also brings same effect & side effects are not seen.

4. Refer Risk Mitigation Document of the Drug

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Don’t forget to distribute Risk mitigation document to practicing HCPs. This document has got explanation of various expected side effects of the drugs & ways to deal with it.

5. Clinical trial data use medical teams for data explanation

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Take Support from medical affairs team of the company. They can explain the data in a much better way & can create concept driven medico-marketing messages for Doctors.

6. Real world experience studies result

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Case presentations are an excellent way to communicate Real time experience of the drug with Doctors.

7. Use global pharmacovigilance data as supporting evidence

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Sometimes when enough reliable data on side effects of a drug is not available, Global Pharmaceutical data can be called on from Global teams to analyse the findings of side effects of drugs. Try to correlate your local data with global side effect data.

Take away: Whenever a new Drug is launched, its safety & efficacy results matter a lot. Sometimes the results published in trials may not match with the real-world experience. Doctors may come up with bitter experience & may report to you. As sales personnel try to understand the insights given by Doctors. Never take the insights in a negative way. Try the find various scientific engagement activities & data dissemination techniques as mentioned above. For a new launch concept establishment takes time & don’t expect hike in sales of a newly launch product immediately. In case of side effects, Active listening & Scientific data dissemination is the key.

Disclaimer: The case study is designed for understanding & learning the various concepts of Pharma Industry functioning. We do not intend to promote or demote any drug or company with these case studies. There may be more & better solutions related to case studies & and users are advised to use their discretion while applying these learnings. If by chance, any connection is found with any of the components of pharma functioning, it may be considered purely incidental & should be reported at for quick remediation.

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