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2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV1479U  Pharmaceutical Marketing Management

English Title
Pharmaceutical Marketing Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Mogens Bjerre - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
The course is organized and taught by Senior Executives from the Health Care industry and companies such as Coloplast, Novo Nordisk, Leo Pharma and Lundbeck
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
• Describe, classify, structure and combine concepts, theories, methods and models taught
• Identify and develop relevant issues within pharmaceutical marketing
• Analyze and synthesize specific issues within pharmaceutical marketing by using the concepts, theories, methods and models taught
• Assess and communicate problem-solving on a reflective, scientific basis
Course prerequisites
It is recommended that students have a basic knowledge of theories about consumer behaviour and marketing (bachelor level). The course is especially relevant for graduate students from e.g. the EMF, BCM and IMM lines at CBS or students from other lines wanting to expand their marketing skills. All students are welcome to attend.

This course is strongly recommended for students planning careers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, other R&D-heavy industries, management consulting etc.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
* if the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course will give an overview of the pharmaceutical industry and how marketing has become essential even for one of the most R&D-heavy industries.Many people – also within the pharmaceutical companies themselves - find marketing circumspect and believe pharmaceuticals should be sold on scientific merits only. However, R&D productivity has fallen and companies need to maximize return on each and every innovation just to survive. Therefore, the pharmaceutical industry is a good place to learn about recurrent as well as future challenges for marketeers, e.g:


  • How to ensure customer-focus throughout product development?
  • How to differentiate products with similar functionality?
  • How to successfully launch a new product?
  • How to optimize the value of a product through its lifecycle?
  • How to comply with tougher and tougher regulation?

The course will provide a theoretical understanding and a practical grasp of pharmaceutical marketing and leverage the expertise that has been developed by the Danish pharmaceutical industry. During the course, participants should dissect challenging case studies and thus prepare themselves for strategic brand management issues in an international context. Key learnings include how to develop pharmaceuticals, how to launch and brand a new product, how to price, how to manage a wide array of stakeholders, as well as what other industries can learn from the pharmaceutical industry.
The course will introduce participants to the fundamentals of pharmaceutical marketing management, including for example:



  • What is the role of marketing in the pharmaceutical industry: Few industries are under such close scrutiny by authorities and consumer groups, and stakes are high and increasing; the development of a new pharmaceutical product costs 1000 million USD and more often than not new product have few, functional benefits, ie. marketing makes the difference. However, many industries are experiencing the same trends and could learn from the pharmaceutical industry…
  • How are pharmaceuticals developed: Pharmaceutical products can take 10-15 years to develop and often result in products that are difficult to distinguish from competitor’s. This can of course be mediated if the marketing strategy is clear and succinct from the start and incorporated into product development!
  • Who are the customers: Purchase decisions are made by many different people, including authorities, physicians, patients, nurses, payers, patient groups etc. Therefore it is essential to understand customers and purchase factors well before a product is even developed
  • How to launch a new product: Similar to other industries, first impressions and exposure counts are important, but since pharmaceutical companies have some of the biggest budgets and sales forces of any industry the difference between success and failure of a single product can mean life or death of a company

How to extend the lifecycle: The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly relying on line extensions and new uses for old products to maintain sales after the first patents have expired


Description of the teaching methods
Lectures and case work
Feedback during the teaching period
Continuous feedback will be given to the student based on their level of preparation and engagement. At each lecture students will be probed on their level of understanding of the course topics and ability to use learnings for problem solving. Feedback will be provided orally in the lecturers
Student workload
Forberedelse 123 hours
Undervisning 33 hours
Eksamen 50 hours
Expected literature

1.      Schacter, Bernice Zeldin (2006). The New Medicines: How Drugs are Created, Approved, Marketed and Sold. Westport, Conneticut: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-98141-X Chapter 1, Chapter 3-11
2.      Deutsche Bank: Pharmaceutical Industry R&D Pipeline, January 2012
3.      Pharma Product Launches: Strategies for success, A FirstWord ExpertViews Report, October 2011
4.      Keller, Kevin Lane (2008, 3. ed), Strategic Brand Management, chapter 2-3
5.      Denend, Lyn, Zenios, Stefanos and Chess, Robert (2005). Abbott Laboratories and Humira: Launching a Blockbuster Drug. Stanford, California: Stanford Graduate School of Business. Case OIT-44
6.      Achieving Global Launch Excellence, IMS Special Report, January 2009
7.      Ellery T. & Hansen N.. Pharmaceutical Lifecycle Management; Making the Most out of Each and Every Brand. Wiley. 2012. Part D and Part E: page 113-206
8.      Fereshteh Barei, PhD, et al (2013): The generic pharmaceutical industry: moving beyond incremental innovation towards re-innovation. Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1.
9.      PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Pharma 2020: Challenging Business Models. Which path will you take?
10.  Article: Navigating a changing health care environment, July 2012 McKinsey & Company
11.  Article: Jose Santos et al. Towards a Theory of Business Model Innovation within Incumbent Firms. Page 1-47. INSEAD Faculty Working Paper, March 2009
12.  KPMG (2011). Key Challenges facing the Pharmaceutical Industry.
13.   A Wake-up call for big Pharma, McKinsey Quarterly, 2011

Last updated on 15-02-2021