Pharmaceutical company Merck had created the U.S. sales team managed to deal with a unique problem. In March 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Merck’s application for Crixivan, a novel antiviral drug Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) approved fight. Driven by positive data from early clinical trials, a huge medical need for new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatments and the demands of AIDS activists to make new drugs available, a … Read more »

Pharmaceutical company Merck had created the U.S. sales team managed to deal with a unique problem. In March 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Merck’s application for Crixivan, a novel antiviral drug Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) approved fight. Driven by positive early data from the clinical trials, a huge medical need for new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment, and the demands of AIDS activists to new drugs as quickly as possible, the FDA approved Merck’s application had a record – setting 42 days after filing. As Merck manufacturing facilities would not be ready to produce the drug’s capacity for at least six months, a small pilot plant would immediately provide Crixivan for an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 patients. Driven by the need Crixivan quickly but concerned about ensuring a continuous supply for the individual patient, so do not develop immune resistance to the drug as a result of inadequate dosage, the team had dealt with the question of how to distribute a drug only to a limited extent. The worst situation would start the patient on therapy, only to stop the treatment because Merck was unable to continue to supply the drug. Such a situation was a setup for the emergence of viral resistance, which would significantly worsen the AIDS epidemic. After much deliberation, the U.S. managed sales team decided to: (1) abandon traditional distribution channels, (2) to manage distribution from a single source, and (3) follow all patients from therapy with Crixivan. The team gathered to review the progress and success of the plan.
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from
Margaret L. Eaton,
Madhi Roy,
Marko Curavic
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
25 pages.
Release date: 01 April 2004. Prod #: BME9-PDF-ENG
Merck’s U.S. managed distribution program for HIV drug Crixivan HBR case solution

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