Lipitor Marketing Case Study

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“Strategic marketing focuses on choosing the right products for the right growth markets at the right time” (Jain & Haley, 2009, p. 26). When Lipitor hit the market in 1997 that is just what it achieved – the right product, the right growth market, and the right time. Lipitor quickly gained the No. 2 spot with 18% of the market share within the first year that led the way to gain the top spot as the market share leader. Warner-Lambert developed the drug initially but needed to catch up in the market so they teamed up with Pfizer, known for their marketing and sales competency. This partnership was just what the doctor ordered for the initial introduction of Lipitor to the market. In 2001, Pfizer took full control of Lipitor and changed the marketing game once again. The strategic marketing efforts created competitive advantage for the drug by “delivering a product in the most profitable way by achieving a sustainable competitive advantage based on superior performance relative to competition” (Jain & Haley, 2009, p. 11). There were several strengths and opportunities to Pfizer’s Lipitor strategic marketing that culminated as Lipitor becoming the market leader with 42% market share and $7.4B sales by 2002. At the time of Lipitor’s market entry, the cholesterol lowering statin drugs were limited with little consumer awareness about the risks of high cholesterol. In 1987, the first cholesterol-reducing drug, Mevacor, hit the market as the market pioneers to educate public of the dangers of high cholesterol. They also had to convince doctors that statins would extend their patients lives. The connection between high cholesterol and heart attacks increased and heart patients knew their cholesterol numbers and the public began to know the difference between HDL and LDL. There was an estimated one-third out of 52 million people with high cholesterol in the U.S. getting the medical attention they needed. This number would be growing as the baby...
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