Topics: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Venlafaxine, Eli Lilly and Company Pages: 4 (1238 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Cymbalta case Analysis

Mohamed A. Kamara
AMBA 650: Marketing Management and Innovation
January 22, 2013
Table of Contents
1.0. Identification of the strategic issues and problems.
2.0. Analysis and evaluation.
3.2. Recommendations.

1.0. Identification of the strategic issues and problems.
In April 2000, Eli Lilly’s New Antidepressant Team (NAT) convenes to review the potentials of alternative medications, and to subsequently adopt a replacement to the company’s premier antidepressant drug, Prozac, a form of fluoxetine molecule (Ofek & Laufer, 2008). Prozac’s huge market success after its market entry in 1988, these authors argue, is predicated on its ability to produce fewer side effects that resulted from targeted serotonin uptake; its tolerance to overdose; and, of course, its efficacy. However, Prozac’s success, with revenues of $2 billion a year, is without challenges. First, Prozac’s patent term expires in less than three years [in 2003], a patent already challenged by competitor, Barr Laboratories. In addition, the field of drugs that comprises Prozac has become crowded with available substitutes, such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa, to name three. Also the market introduction of a much cheaper generic fluoxetine was imminent (Ofek & Laufer, 2008). The NAT’s task is to formulate a pre-mortem strategy for the highly profitable Prozac, specifically to find a replacement in Cymbalta. Cymbalta, the front runner among Prozac’s successors, bore encouraging characteristics. Cymbalta’s effectiveness is comparable to, if not better than, existing antidepressants; it is safe to consume; and it could potentially provide value-add for the patient (Ofek & Laufer, 2008). But the path to becoming Prozac’s replacement is no picnic, Cymbalta has a number of challenges it must surmount. Primarily, the team must decide on a clinical path to pursue, since the time [of almost two years] needed for a full-scale clinical trial for Cymbalta is not...

References: Elie, O., & Ron, L. (2008). Eli Lilly: Developing Cymbalta. Harvard Business School, 1-28.
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