Propecia - Helping Make Hair Loss History

1003 words 5 pages
Case Overview:
November 1997, Tom Casola, PROPECIA brand manager for Merck planned to launch with regulatory changes by the FDA in two months (likely launch Date: January 1998)
PROPECIA (Expected FDA approval December 1997) represented a major breakthrough in the treatment of Male Patter Hair Loss (MPHL) “balding”. Merk’s 1st consumer-driven product (prescription needed) Direct-to-Consumer Ads key to building demand

PROPECIA (Finasteride) originally developed for treating enlarged prostates at a 5mg dose vs 1mg for MPHL. Works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT = stops the deterioration of follicles
• 83% of participants maintained current hair count
• 66% of men experienced visible re-growth within the first
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Amount of Clutter – there is only one pill
6. Measurement: determine which means are the most effective
a. Spending on lengthy Physician based marketing campaigns is arguably a waste (ie. Rogaine)

Case Questions (from GC) to discuss:
1. When and what type of ads should Tom Casola run after launch? Under what circumstances would you use each type of ad? Is there a point where you would consider a switch in Propecia’s advertising strategy?
(See 4. Media above)

Advertising types reviewed in the case: (p. 8 & 9)
Product Claim Ads: (Option freshly FDA approved) –Branded advertising campaign informing potential customers of PROPECIA, what it does and side effects. Concern over potential detriment of side effect disclosure (required). Perfect for drugs w/ consumer-driven demand where side effects are not overwhelming.
Reminder Ads: Branded campaign that does not mention what drug does… can cause confusion (people may think PROPECIA is an antidepressent or question why Merck is afraid to disclose use / side effects).
Help-Seeking adds: unbranded help-seeking ads which encourages men to see their doctor if concerned about hair loss – likely to be much more beneficial to Rogaine which has 95% mkt share. When Propecia gains significant market share this could be more cost-effective.

2. Define Propecia’s potential customer base. What is Propecia competing against in the consumer’s mind? What can be learned from Rogaine’s experience in the