Marketing of Merck`s Januvia Tablets

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Marketingof Merck’s Januvia Tablets

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Marketingof Merck’s Januvia Tablets

Thereis a steep growth in the pharmaceutical industry that is marked bythe emergence of new companies and sophisticated technology thatturns the ever-growing research findings into pharmaceuticalproducts. Although different stakeholders in the health sector mightwelcome the growth as a positive thing, it creates high competitionin the industry. Such therefore calls for innovativeness regardingmarketing strategy and product development (Brands, 2014). Merck isone of the companies that have succeeded in dominating the market ofdiabetes drugs. Its non-insulin drug referred to as Januvia hasdominated the sales of DPP-IV products, especially in the developedmarkets (Patrick, 2016). The brand accounts for an eighty percentsale worldwide for single-compound drugs, and such is attributed toproper marketing strategies and effective product development.

TheMarket Definition of the Product

Januviahas a well-defined market. The drug was developed to targetindividuals who have diabetes, which is a health condition whosepatient population is increasing at an alarming rate. The drug occurswithin the DPP-4 class of diabetes drugs and is used in the treatmentof Type 2 diabetes. Its main competitor is the AstraZeneca’s ($AZN)Onglyza and Eli Lilly’s Tradjenta (Patrick, 2016). During thedevelopment of the drug, Merck targeted the developed nations such asthe United States, but its demand and market boundary has rapidlyincreased to cover the developing countries.

TheIdea-Generation Process Used in Marketing the Product

Theidea-generation process used in marketing Januvia was mainlyinfluenced by the urgency of the company to produce a blockbusterdrug. They were running into problems such as liability lawsuits ofsome products such as Vioxx and an imminent expiry of three more oftheir blockbuster drugs (Ahlawat, Chierchia, &amp Arkel, 2014). Theidea generation process was based on questions that focused on theneed for innovation, meeting the urgent demand and the development ofa brand (Ahlawat, Chierchia, &amp Arkel, 2014). Although they joinedthe race for the development of a DPP-4 inhibitor drug, Merck alsothought that entering the market ahead of other rivals such asNovartis would help them establish their brand and this workedperfectly for them.

TheProcess of Product Design

Januviafollows a thorough process in the development of its product design.First, it pays much attention to the preferences of its customers andconducts an in-depth research for the development of a chemicalstructure that will not only ensure safety but also better resultsregarding providing a medical solution to the needs of theircustomers (Patrick, 2016). The company employs the Quality by Designapplication in making sure that the product is well accepted by thequality assessment bodies. The tablets are conceived in three formsthat include the 100mg, 50mg, and 25mg tablets.

TheProcess of Detail Engineering

Merckemployed the biocatalytic manufacturing route in the development ofJanuvia. The process consists of several chemical processes thatensure the efficacy of the product in meeting its purpose (Ahlawat,Chierchia, &amp Arkel, 2014). It also ensures that the quality ofthe product is above standard to meet the customer’s preference andto stand out among its competitors (Brands, 2014). The company alsotargeted the DPP-4 inhibitor in its engineering process and suchrewarded the company by making certain that the drug is effective inmeeting the customer’s expectations.

TheProcess of Market Research

Marketresearch is considered as one of the fundamental steps, which ensurethat the product attains its success regarding sales and profitgeneration. For Merck, this was one of the parts that keenconcentration was offered given that other companies were alreadyahead of them in the manufacture of diabetes drugs that acted asDPP-4 inhibitors (Patrick, 2016). In its market research, the companynoted that there was an urgency for the drug and therefore workedtowards meeting the insistence. Januvia entered the market ahead ofits competitors, and this worked favorably well for the company.

TheProcess of Market Analysis

Marketanalysis for Januvia enabled Merck to understand their customers,their price preference, and the competition posed by some of theircompetitors. They ended up pricing a supply of thirty tablets of the25mg oral tablet at $411. Such catered for the production cost andfavored the customers’ financial capability. The market analysishas also made the company to forecast the sales growth of the drugfrom $5.4 in 2012 to $9.7 by 2022. The market availability isexpected to drive the product’s Compound Annual Growth Rate by6.1%.

AnAnalysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Information used by theCompany in Generation and Commercialization of New Products

Thecompany employs qualitative analysis of their product to ensure itssafety and effectiveness in meeting the expected purpose. Januvia wasone of the first products to use the Quality and Design applicationas an internal analytical tool for quality approval. The company hasemployed an open model of the invention using alliances andauthorization as portrayed in its booklet of partnerships.anapproximate of sixty-three percent of the sales by Merck in 2009 wereattributed to the alliance products and patents. They also focus onmarketing the product in different nations as a way of increasingtheir market index for any innovation.

AnImportant Developmental Step for Januvia

Theeight steps to developing new products are important in making surethat the drug maintains its competitiveness, the company’s brandquality is promoted, and the drug meets its purpose (Brands, 2014).One of the most important of the eight is the post-launch review andperfect pricing. This stage ensures that the product promotes thecompany’s name and that it meets its purpose by emphasizing onquality. It is also at this stage that the firm can note some of thefaults in marketing and work towards their rectification.


Marketingis one of the most significant stages in the pharmaceutical industryespecially due to the growth of competition. Januvia, a product ofMerck that is used in the treatment of diabetes, is one of thesuccessful new pharmaceuticals in the market. The ability of the drugto meet the urgency by being the first to be launched was anoteworthy step in making sure that it stays ahead of itscompetition.


Ahlawat,H., Chierchia, G., &amp Arkel, P. (2014, March). The secret ofsuccessful drug launches. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from

Brands,R. F. (2014, January 07). 8 Step Process Perfects New ProductDevelopment. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from

Patrick,M. (2016, December). Merck Expects Modest Revenue Growth in Fiscal2016. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from