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2023/2024  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 cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Christian Frank Scheuer - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Kamilla Have - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • 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 17-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate that they can structure a plan for a prescription drug with clear link between the vision and goals, situation analysis (SWOT), key issues and opportunities, strategic imperatives, initiatives, activities, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Understand the value-chain for the pharmaceutical industry relevant for launch planning and go to market planning within pharmaceutical marketing management
  • Understand the roles and contributions of relevant functions involved in developing and commercializing a pharmaceutical drug
  • Analyse, describe and apply the structure and approach taught in the course
  • Demonstrate understanding of situation analysis, identify relevant key issues and opportunities, strategic imperatives and provide concrete examples of initiatives, activities to address these and leverage the opportunities and provide a key indicator for success
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
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
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 provide an overview of the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and how pharma marketing management & strategy has become essential even for one of the most R&D-heavy industries


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?
  • How are pharmaceuticals developed
  • Who are the customers
  • How to launch a new product
  • How to extend the lifecycle


Pharmaceutical Marketing Management starts with understanding the unmet medical need and the drug candidate’s ability to address these compared to competitors, the ecosystem and how the drug will provide value to the shareholders of the company. While austerity measures in many countries are increasing local and national hurdles for market access (pricing and reimbursement), drug launches are becoming more numerous, targeting specific patient populations, and more competitive. It has never been more important for pharmaceutical & Biotech companies to master the capabilities of launching new products. To do this successfully, cross-functional work and functions must be involved in the planning and understand the fundamentals of the pharmaceutical marketing planning process.


The course content builds on the expertise and experience that the experts teaching this course has accumulated over the last 20 years in advising and implementing major product launches in EMEA, US, and Japan across major therapy areas. It covers all concepts and evidence-based tools for effective strategic decision-making and planning in the process up to launch, with a focus on what will determine the brand’s commercial success.


During the course you will be exposed to a theoretical understanding and a practical grasp of pharmaceutical marketing. We will do so by leveraging experts from the pharmaceutical and Biotech industry. Participants will during the course dissect challenging case studies and thus prepare themselves for strategic brand management issues in an international context. We will also leverage that the course participants consist of students from business school and life sciences.


Pharmaceutical marketing management includes traditional marketing topics like brand vision and goals, situation analysis (SWOT), key issues and opportunities, followed by strategic imperatives, initiatives, activities, and KPIs. The course focus on how to apply these to building a commercial strategy for a prescription drug in one of the most complex and regulated industries. We will address e.g. these questions:

  • How to ensure patient 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 the strict regulatory, ethical and compliance regulation?


Description of the teaching methods
Lectures, home-study, study cases, group-work in class and class discussion
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

Introduction Books to Pharmaceutical Marketing Management: Pharmaceutical Marketing by Brent L. Rollins and Matthew Perri (c.f Module 3)

Good reference for Pharmaceutical Brand planning:

  • Brand Planning for the Pharmaceutical Industry; Janice MacLennan, Sept 2016 (c.f. Module 7)
  • Brand Therapy, Prof Brian D Smith: 15 Techniques for creating brand strategy in Pharma and Med Tech, Jan 24, 2018


Introduction to the pharmaindustry


Strategic Drug Development

(Optional reads) If you want to know more – skim through: Schacter, Bernice Zeldin (2006). The New Medicines: How Drugs are Created, Approved, Marketed and Sold. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-98141-X Chapter 1, Chapter 3-11; Pdf’s provided and uploaded on Canvas


  • Launch excellence papers: (skim) vi and read: vii
  • Orphan- medicines-launch-excellence
  • Marketing principles and process, Pharmaceutical Marketing by Brent L. Rollins and Matthew Perri. Ch 1


Product Lifecycle Management

  • Kvesic DZ. Product Lifecycle management: Marketing Strategies for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Journal of Medical Marketing. 2008; 8(4): page 293-301

For more detailed information (optional): 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

Brand Marketing Management                                    

  • EFPIA HCP Code http:/​/​transparency.efpia.eu/​2019
  • Marketing principles and process, Ch 1, by Brent Rollins

Optional reads: Reuters on C-19 survey – Digital impact to pharma industry

Health Economics and Market Access

  • Deloitte Consulting: Big pharma’s market access mission
  • J. Sussex – Adrian Towse – Nancy Devlin: Operationalizing Value-Based Pricing of Medicines – A Taxonomy of Approaches
  • B. Luce et. al. (2010): EBA, HTA, and CER: Clearing the Confusion (page 256-276), MIlbank Quarterly
  • The Economics of Drug Discovery and the Ultimate Valuation of Pharmacotherapy in the Marketplace (page 263-266), Discovery; J.A. Sollano et. al. (2008):
  • Pieter Dylst, PharmD, et al (2012): Reference pricing systems in Europe: characteristics and consequences, Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal 


Last updated on 17-02-2023