New Product Planning
Pricing, Packaging, and Demand Forecasting for a New Weight-Loss Drug Case
1. How does Metabical compare to current weight-loss options?
There are only several other weight-loss options in the market competing with Metabical. The first is prescription drugs. These are prescribed for use only by obese and severely obese individuals. This meant that only individuals with BMI of over 30 who were prescribed weight-loss drugs were using appetite suppressants and fat-absorbing blockers. They had serious side effects associated as well, which meant only a doctor could approve them. But these prescription-drug options did not account for the overweight segment with BMIs between 25 and 30 who were looking for weight-loss solutions as well. The second option was the over-the-counter weight-loss drugs. However, the only real over-the-counter weight-loss solution approved by the FDA was Alli. The problem with Alli, though, was that it had many negative side effects, with over 30 reports of liver damage. Other over-the-counter solutions were considered herbal or dietary supplements by the FDA so they were no regulated. The issue with these supplements was that they negative side affects were not discovered until after the product was widely in use. The last weight-loss option was using a diet plan, exercise plan, mealy replacement products, weight management support programs, or pre-portioned packaged food delivery services. Metabical, on the other hard, would be the first prescription drug approved specifically for overweight individuals. The current weight-loss options did not capitalize on such market so Metabical had a good opportunity to excel in. These were individuals who had hopes of losing about 10 to 30 pounds but did not need to prescribe to obese weight-loss solutions or commit to a diet/exercise plan.
2. What are the pros and cons of forecasting methods presented by Printup?
Barbara Printup used three different approaches to forecast demand of sales for Metabical. The first approach was to look at the number of overweight individuals and then narrowing it down to a population of those who were actively trying to lose weight. From this number, she would narrow it down again to those who were actually comfortable with using weight-loss drugs. This was a good method to focus on a target market that was open to the idea of a new weight-loss drug and wanted to commit to using it. The problem with this method, however, was that this did not distinguish the individuals who were already committed to a weight-loss solution. This did not tell us also about whether or not people wanted a new solution. It was a very broad population of consumers that was not specified further enough to solidify a target market. The second approach was conducting a CSP survey. The results showed that there was a considerable amount of consumer interest in a prescription weight-loss drug for the overweight. Printup would then narrow this pool of individuals to a number of those who were ready to immediately go to their health care provider to request a prescription. This approach was a good indicator of which consumers were generally interested in trying a new weight-loss drug. And by narrowing the population to those who would prescribe immediately, Printup is expediting the process of targeting a specific market and generating sales. The problem with this approach, however, is its ambiguity. Though it is true that these consumers are interested in the new drug, this was mostly based on assumption that these consumers would actually switch over to Metabical. The third approach of forecasting demand was to directly market to the ideal target consumer. These consumers were educated females between the ages of 35 and 65 with BMIs between 25 and 30. This would help Printup focus directly on this market since it was estimated that they would make up most of the sales for...
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