Project Description

Navigating a Product Launch in the Competitive Pharma Space

Client: Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Explore how strategic audience segmentation and sustained omnichannel marketing efforts propelled the successful launch of the first authorized generic of a popular narcolepsy treatment, resulting in more than 4,600 new patients in just 16 months.

A Narrow Window of Opportunity

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that significantly impacts the quality of life of as many as 180 per 100,000 people in the United States.1 While there is no cure for the condition, brand name treatments are available to help manage symptoms. One such treatment, sodium oxybate oral solution sold under the brand name XYREM®, while effective, was cost-prohibitive for many patients.

In January 2023, Hikma Pharmaceuticals received approval to bring the first authorized generic to market – about six months ahead of its generic competitors. Not wanting to waste a second of this advantage, Hikma needed to quickly introduce itself and its new, cost-effective treatment option to sleep medicine physicians.

Engaging New Audiences With Precision Targeting

As its longtime digital partner, Hikma engaged Responsory to lead the strategic and expedited Sodium Oxybate Oral Solution launch.

Responsory started by developing a custom-designed website tailored to meet the specific needs of both narcolepsy patients and their prescribing physicians. For patients, it offered comprehensive safety information, copay savings details and dosage instructions, and REMS information. For physicians, it presented its authorized generic offering as an affordable yet effective alternative for their patients.

To further engage the sleep medicine physicians, Responsory devised an omnichannel marketing campaign that included digital display, search advertising (PPC), and targeted email components. This strategic media mix worked in concert to highlight the affordability and efficacy of Hikma’s generic, positioning it as a comparable alternative to the more expensive branded version.

Building a Trusted Brand and Gaining Market Share

The strategic marketing efforts led to significant achievements within the first 15 months post-launch. Hikma’s offering rapidly transitioned from unknown to readily prescribed therapy. It garnered substantial patient uptake, with over 4,600 new patients by April 2024.

The campaign’s success was also evident in digital engagement metrics. The targeted website continued to experience growing traffic, while the email and PPC campaigns maintained their status as top-performing channels. These efforts proved essential in capturing the attention of sleep medicine physicians, even amid new market entries by competitors in mid-2023.

Our performance, particularly at the profit level, was driven by sales of the authorized generic of sodium oxybate, which we launched at the start of [2023].

Riad Mishlawi, CEO of Hikma Pharmaceuticals

We launched an authorized generic of Xyrem® (sodium oxybate) in January and are pleased with the strong performance to date. Despite an increase in competition, we expect to continue to benefit from this new launch in the second half [of the year].

Said Darwazah, Executive Chairman of Hikma Pharmaceuticals