Datril Case

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Case Write Up: Datril

Bristol-Myers have been very successful in analgesic market for many years with Aspirin type pain relievers marketed as Bufferin and Excedrin. Together with Bayer Aspirin by Sterling Drug Company, three aforementioned aspirin type pain relievers comprised of 90% of Analgesic market. One other type of pain relievers, Acetaminophen, have emerged into the market and its growth in the market seemed quite significant compared to that of aspirin type pain relievers. Although acetaminophen comprised of less than 10% Analgesic market, its Sales were growing at a rate of 50% where Aspirin was only growing at a rate of 9%.

Bristol-Myers clearly saw an opportunity in Acetaminophen market and hence they are planning to launch Datril, acetaminophen type pain reliever. Acetaminophen pain reliever has the advantage over aspirin type with less side effects such as upset stomach. Acetaminophen was first-introduced in mid-1950s and it was not until early 1960s when it became available as over the counter drug. It was first launched as an over the counter drug by McNeil Labs, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, namely Tylenol. Tylenol has captured 8% of analgesic market, which implies that Tylenol has been dominating the Acetaminophen market.

Tylenol, compared to Aspirin type pain relievers, had a very different approach in targeting its market. Since acetaminophen was first considered as a prescription-only drugs, Tylenol was advertised only to the trade and to the medical profession. As a result, doctors were recommending Tylenol to patients. Although the price of Tylenol was almost double the price of Aspirin type pain relievers, physician's recommendation and perception of prescription-only drug provided Tylenol a "premium" feel compared to Aspirin type drugs. By simply segmenting the market by profile of patients who visit doctors and who do not visit doctors with attributes such as less side effects, brand-name and doctor's recommendation,...
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