Background and challenge

The client is a global specialty biopharmaceutical company that required a series of successful launches over the next few years to meet shareholder expectations. However, legacy launch planning and monitoring frameworks and tools were cumbersome and did not fit the needs of the client’s growing business. The client hired L.E.K. Consulting to audit existing launch capabilities and design and implement a new launch excellence framework that could be tailored to the needs of various stakeholders within the company. L.E.K. was also asked to develop the implementation plan, train the global team and provide live launch support.

Approach and recommendations

L.E.K. assembled a team from global functions and key affiliates and worked closely with the client team to perform a launch excellence audit. L.E.K. reviewed the client’s current approach to launch, how it was defined and how it was executed. We also worked with management to understand unmet needs and challenges with existing launch tools and key requirements to enable companywide adoption of a new launch framework and process.

Based on this context and our experience and leadership in commercial launch, L.E.K. developed a framework to guide preparation of the market, the product and the organization for the launch of a new drug. The framework was designed to drive broad company adoption across geographies, functional areas, franchises and products. Key features included:

  • Comprehensive guidance throughout the entire launch process, from an early situation assessment (e.g., 36 months ahead of market authorization/approval) to launch planning and readiness, to performance monitoring, to transition to in-line status
  • Adaptability for a wide variety of launch scenarios, from messaging relaunch of an existing drug, to launch of a drug in one country in a short time frame, to global launch of a new molecule with several years of preparation
  • Simple structure that provides top-level guidance across the broader launch process and enables different stakeholders to prioritize and focus on key areas
  • Drill-down features that provide detailed information and guidance when needed

In addition, a suite of tools and materials supporting the framework was developed to provide additional guidance to launch teams. These include guidance on launch deliverable requirements and timelines, material required for the launch plan, and a customizable launch tracker that compares progress to key deadlines.

L.E.K. also created the implementation plan, including design and rollout of capability development programs with global and country teams. We next facilitated a workshop to train client team members from 15 countries on the new framework and tools. Finally, L.E.K. helped pilot the launch framework and provided live support in critical countries.


L.E.K. successfully designed and deployed an adaptable, pragmatic framework that meets the needs of the global business as well as the local teams. To date, the framework has been adopted for products accounting for 70% of global revenue and will underpin approximately $2 billion of forecast growth over the next few years. Pilot countries that have adopted the framework have already outperformed forecast revenue targets and have driven nearly two to three times the market share in comparable countries that have not yet adopted the framework.

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