Pharmaceutical Launches: 73% of First-Year Brand Spending Goes to Marketing and Commercial Initiatives

Post-launch brand spend must support a variety of categories, according to surveyed pharma companies supporting US brands

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - July 26, 2016) - A new study published by Cutting Edge Information revealed that surveyed US pharmaceutical companies allocate an average 73% of launch year brand spending to marketing and commercial initiatives.

By comparison, surveyed European and Asian brand teams allocate a significantly higher percentage to similar brand spending. As for the remaining budgets, medical affairs and market access categories only receive 14% and 10% of post-launch, brand spending budgets across all markets.

According to the study, Pharmaceutical Commercialization Profiles: Driving Brand Success with Better Budgeting and Timing, the highest percentage of brand spending (42%) among surveyed pharmaceutical companies supporting European brands goes to medical affairs during the launch year. Marketing and commercial activities claim an average 19% of brand spend and only 4% is used for market access activities.

"Even though pharmaceutical organizations support many activities throughout late-stage development, individual companies' priorities and spending vary," said Adam Bianchi, senior director of research at Cutting Edge Information. "Surveyed companies' reported brand spends impacted by not only development phase, but also by market, company size and product type."

During the first year on the market, brand spend allocations remain similar across all categories for surveyed drug manufacturers supporting US brands. However, for European brands, surveyed pharma companies decrease medical affairs support to an average 28% of total spending and increase marketing spending to about 29%. Companies supporting US pharmaceutical brands decreased marketing spending to an average 60% of overall commercial investment during the second year on the market. Pharma companies reporting European spends allocate similar resources to marketing and medical affairs -- an average 34% and 35%, respectively.

Pharmaceutical Commercialization Profiles: Driving Brand Success with Better Budgeting and Timing, available at, provides signposts and key budget and staff metrics to help improve your pharmaceutical brand commercialization strategies and resources. Report highlights include:

  • An overview of medical affairs, market access, marketing and commercial resource expenditures from pre-clinical development to two years after product launch
  • Data on staffing brand commercialization committees and timing specific brand activities and assessments
  • Profiles of more than 20 pharmaceutical brands for early brand development, late-stage brand development and post-launch support

For more information about this study or other pharmaceutical brand management services by Cutting Edge Information, please visit

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Contact Information:

Elio Evangelista
Senior Director of Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information

Launch Year Budget Allocation Concerning Specialized Spending Categories