By John Mullin

How should a pharma marketer be thinking about CRM (or better, CXRM) across the life cycle of a drug? Early. And often.

Of course there are inflection points when we use CRM to align with the brand:

  • New indications or formulations
  • New launches
  • Clinical trial results
  • Managed care or formulary wins

But RM adds value at every stage of the drug lifecycle. Not evenly of course.
The dotted line depicted follows the drug lifecycle and the delta is the value of RM at each stage. The sweet spot is still during growth and maturity, that’s when RM adds the most value. But let’s look at the full journey from pre-launch through introduction, growth, maturity, decline and finally LOE.


Before launching, RM and RM thinking have a big role in audience understanding, segmentation and prioritization. Today engagement is the new grail. Before launching we should have a vision of the relationship–the engagement–we want to have. Especially w blockbusters giving way to smaller brands for very specific markets–even medications that require diagnostic testing to determine whether they’ll work.

The business end of RM means segments and investment models. It’s also RM thinking that eventually finds the technology to answer, “What sorts of a conversations do I want to have with my patients?”

Growth and Maturity

As the brand grows and matures, RM drives behavioral engagement. This is what people think about when they think RM. Here the outcomes are understanding, persistency, compliance and advocacy and here’s where tactical selection is richest, for example,

  • Mobilization of branded and unbranded consumer sites
  • Mobile Apps for Compliance and Adherence programs
  • QR code and text campaigns to trigger patient education, literature and support
  • Mobile couponing, co-pay and rebates
  • Prescription reminders and refill alerts
  • Patient and caregiver assistance and resources
  • Mobile healthcare videos including patient testimonials
  • Personalized medication information and treatment guidelines and options


Here RM can help prop up the value proposition as generic options emerge by wrapping the HCP/patient in conversations and experiences that are helpful to sustain preference.
CRM can drive more vitality, sooner, and disrupt diminishing returns at the end of the lifecycle.