Marketing experts start shaping a message in Phase II

Once upon a time drug developers would wait until they had solid Phase III data and an NDA filed before they would think about the marketing campaign needed to sell the drug. These days, the experts say that with the drug market cluttered by an ever-growing array of products, you need to start giving serious thought to the campaign when the experimental drug is still in Phase II.

Rebecca Robins, the global marketing director at Interbrand Health, tells the Wall Street Journal that it's important to start conceptualizing campaigns while the drugs are still in the proof-of-concept stage. That extra time is needed to hammer out a thoughtful and effective marketing message, which will focus more and more on the emotional connection consumers make with pharmaceuticals. That may not mean a lot to many small biotechs in Phase II, but it's something to bring up during licensing talks. The earlier a big pharma company steps in to acquire the rights to a drug, the earlier they can get the marketing work underway.

Another tip: Effective marketers will turn more and more to blogs and Twitter to establish their reputations.

- check out the report from the Wall Street Journal