The Relaunch of an Ethical Product as an OTC Product in the Central American Pharmaceutical Industry
Silva, Liza María
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Upjohn Guatemala is a subsidiary of Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This subsidiary distributes its products to all Central American countries. Each Central American country has experienced different political and economic changes in the last few years. At present, each country offers to multinational organizations multiple challenges and opportunities, since the markets are still in a development stage. The potential is great in spite the political and economic problems of the region. A general overview of Central America's situation is presented, in order to describe each country's present conditions. This information is essential to plan investments wisely, and to provide a basis for outlining goals and strategies to develop the business. This information is also necessary to prepare a marketing plan. Only with it can priority be given to the markets with strongest potential. An overview of the Central American pharmaceutical industry is also presented, to show how this industry is divided into different markets, as well as how the central American countries participate in these markets. Finally, this information indicates which are the leading laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry. This study served to identify Upjohn's position in the pharmaceutical industry, its competitors, participation and opportunities. market Price structures, statistical sales pharmaceutical industry divisions and distribution channels are also described. analysis, sales and The Cold Remedy Market is divided in Ethical Products (sold through prescriptions in pharmacies) and Proprietary or OTC "over the counter" Products (sold by promotional investment). Upjohn's cold remedy product, cheracol capsules, being an ethical product, has been sold only in pharmacies, competing with OTC products, supported by good promotional campaigns, by means of mass media: radio, television, press, etc. Occasionally, the competition offers "push-money"; a tactic in which a company gives extra money to the pharmacies' salesclerk for promoting their products. Upjohn is an ethical company that offers free samples of Cheracol to the pharmacies' salesclerk or pharmacies' owners but no "push-money" • This has left Upjohn at a disadvantage in the market with Cheracol. For this reason, relaunch Cheracol Cheracol will be Upjohn's 1991 objective is to Capsules as an OTC product. strongly supported by promotional investment, in order to compete with other OTC products, like Tabcin, Contac X and Desenfriol-D, which not only are distributed in pharmacies, but also in supermarkets and stores. In order to prepare the Marketing Plan for Cheracol,it was necessary to study its historical sales, market share and marketing position. By the end of the ten-week SIP period, the Marketing Plan for Cheracol was finished and presented to the top management. Preparing a Marketing plan for Upjohn was a very gratifying experience. It was a good opportunity to apply all of the academics I have had at Kalamazoo College. It taught me many things about an organization and its operations, and broadened my career opportunities.
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