Metabical is revolutionary product and forecasted to be the first FDA approved prescriptive drug for overweight individuals with weight-loss goals. The previous prescriptive drugs have a negative side effects that out weighed its positives. Metabical, on the other hand, did not display as many negative effects in its trail runs and thus was being strongly endorsed by the medical community. The current weight-loss drugs can be classified as prescriptive drugs or over the counter remedies. OTC drugs were not as a popular among overweight individuals due to lack of regulation and safety concerns. OTC drugs lost out to diet plans, exercise plans and meal replacement/ weight management products, as they were safer options. The only drug that was approved by the FDA for over-weight individuals was Alli. Alli used to block the body’s absorption of fat, leading to weight loss.
However, it had a lot of side effects, which could cause dangerous medical situations. Metabical, on the other hand, was a dual layer, controlled release formulation. It acted as an appetite suppressant and also had a fat blocker and calorie absorption agent. The over-all product was far superior in achieving weight-loss, over its competitors, for over weight indiciduals but not for obese and severely obsess individuals. Therefore, Merabical was aunique product, which was focuses towards a particular segment of the market, the over weight segment. It was the first of its kind and had that advantage. There were other products, but they were not as popular in the market segment Metabical was targeting. It was pictured as a low-risk, high returns drug and had built good support in the medical community, who were needed to prescribe this drug.
2. What are the pros & cons of the forecasting methods presented by Printup? If you had to estimate demand for this product, how would you go about it? What would your demand (unit) forecast look like for the first 5 years? Answer:
In her first approach forecasted demand by looking at the number of overweight individuals in the United States and narrowing down that population to those who were actively trying to lose weight. She felt those potential users should be narrowed to the 15% of those who were comfortable with weight-loss drugs. The second approach specifically addressed consumer interest in a prescription weight-loss drug for the overweight and 12% were ready to go to their health care provider to request a prescription. The third approach was the target market. Even though Metabical would be attractive to all overweight individuals, Printup established a primary target for the purpose of developing a communications strategy. The ideal Metabical consumer was found to be overweight females, age 35 to 65, who were college-educated.
All those three methods seem well-structured and provide the reasonable ways to project the demand for Metabical. However, the problem was method one and three were based on assumptions. Before making any recommendations, she must explore and analyse the assumptions to see if it’s true. She must also guarantee that the three models must be achievable before proceeding in with the new product. Focus not only on the ideal target market, statistics says more males would be interested in weight loss products, therefore it would be better if Printup could expand the target market.
I would probably recommend to go for the third forecast as dataonly focused on our targeted market. In five year there would be about 50% of targeted population captured in this market.
3. What considerations should be taken into account when making decisions about the package count? What package size would you recommend? Answer: Printup said that the standards for prescription drug dosing rang from one week supply to a three month supply. The 12 week pricing tag would be too much for some targeted individuals financially. They must have a breakeven/ balance for the pricing and the 12 week supply of the weight loss drug. (ie. You will be able to achieve optimal weight loss within 12 weeks of the drug, however paying for 12 weeks of the product is out of some people’s wage.) In the case, Printup decided that the design of the packaging should be “blister” style package, which will allow patients to see each pill and keep track of the dosing. So I think the best strategy is the 4 week to 6 week package that could allow patients to refill once or twice.